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child brides, HPV, menstrual pads : Goats and Soda : NPR

by Editorial
child brides, HPV, menstrual pads : Goats and Soda : NPR

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A scene from the favored Ethiopian cleaning soap opera Yegna, which sends messages about well being and well-being to its teen viewers. Subjects vary from little one marriage to menstrual pads.

@yegnaplayer through YouTube/ Screengrab by NPR


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@yegnaplayer through YouTube/ Screengrab by NPR


A scene from the favored Ethiopian cleaning soap opera Yegna, which sends messages about well being and well-being to its teen viewers. Subjects vary from little one marriage to menstrual pads.

@yegnaplayer through YouTube/ Screengrab by NPR

Tsega is a teen who needs to be a physician. However the excessive schooler’s dad and mom need her to marry an older man who’s well-off – and will assist her dad and mom, who’re previous and never wealthy.

That is the most recent plotline within the groundbreaking cleaning soap opera Yegna, which launched its fifth season this spring in Ethiopia.

Baby marriage is one in all many urgent points for teenagers that the present has addressed. Previous plotlines have taken on cervical most cancers vaccines, menstrual pads and feminine genital mutilation. It is also a present that seeks to create gender fairness in its employees – this season the vast majority of its writers and administrators are girls.

The cleaning soap opera was created by the charity Lady Impact, as a follow-up to {a magazine} and radio present launched a decade in the past. Yegna is Amharic for “ours.” The objective has at all times been to supply useful content material for teen ladies. The weekly present has an viewers of 9.8 million, with 44% of the viewers ladies age 13 to fifteen. Presently, Yegna is making an attempt to succeed in teenagers in distant areas the place TV is probably not obtainable, working with UNICEF to arrange screenings in faculties in 22 villages adopted by discussions.

It is at all times exhausting to show that TV can change minds and attitudes. Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), a accomplice in creating storylines in regards to the cervical most cancers vaccines, employed an unbiased evaluator, Swiss TPH, to interview ladies who watched the present and ladies who did not. The viewers have been educated about cervical most cancers than the non-viewers (67 % vs. 36%) and the HPV vaccine (76% vs. 47%) and have been additionally extra more likely to need to take the vaccine (70% vs. 43%).

Eden Tigabu, 25, at all times wished to be a author, and that is what she started to do on season 5 of Yegna, the Ethiopian cleaning soap opera with a social conscience — together with being a manufacturing supervisor and assistant director. Writing for the present, she says, has taught her “to face up for myself in my profession and in addition in my private life.”

Yetenayet Taye


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Yetenayet Taye


Eden Tigabu, 25, at all times wished to be a author, and that is what she started to do on season 5 of Yegna, the Ethiopian cleaning soap opera with a social conscience — together with being a manufacturing supervisor and assistant director. Writing for the present, she says, has taught her “to face up for myself in my profession and in addition in my private life.”

Yetenayet Taye

To study extra in regards to the new season, we interviewed

Eden (pronounce Ayden) Tigabu, 25, is a script author for the fifth season of Yegna in addition to a manufacturing supervisor and second assistant director. We spoke (in English) on Zoom from Addis Ababa, the place she moved from Harar (a small city within the japanese Ethiopia) along with her mom and brother after eighth grade to have a greater schooling.

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How did you turn into concerned with Yegna?

I at all times wished to be a author, however I studied city and regional planning at college as a result of my dad and mom wished me to get a level and went by means of loads to get me there. By probability, I met the pinnacle author of Yegna and bought the chance to work in manufacturing. In season 5, Lady Impact was in search of new skills. They took younger feminine interns and educated them in writing, producing and directing. I educated as a author and managed the season 5 crew, which had greater than 35 crew members.

How do you write the scripts?

We sit collectively, seven younger writers and the pinnacle author and government producer, Emmy-nominated Mehret Mandefro. Each season, Lady Impact offers us a collection of subjects to deal with, based mostly on points confronted by youngsters in our nation and what has occurred within the earlier collection. We talk about the weather we need to embody, the story arcs, the construction, the cliff-hangers. Then we determine which characters will carry the primary story line and the sub story strains, and we write the script. Yegna has 5 most important characters – three ladies and two boys – every with their very own backstory and traits.

Which storyline was most significant to you?

It needs to be the one about little one marriage. Ladies in rural space usually marry younger as a result of their dad and mom are poor and struggling to make a dwelling. The character we selected for this subject is Tsega. Like me, she got here from a rural space to the town to be educated. She lives along with her aunt. She is shy, clever and devoted to her research. She needs to be a physician when she grows up, however her household are making her marry an older man. I’m not going to let you know the way it ends as a result of season 5 continues to be being aired!

I used to be stunned to see you had a storyline about betting. What prompted that?

Plenty of younger males guess. They assume it is simple cash. And older individuals watching soccer guess too and get in hassle and it is inflicting issues of their marriage. It is such an enormous downside in our nation that our authorities is speaking of banning soccer betting.

How did you deal with betting?

This story begins in season 4 with Haile. He’s in highschool, however his dad and mom should not properly off, so he must get a job. He bought one as a mechanic. In season 5, he begins to earn good cash whereas nonetheless in highschool, however he would not know easy methods to handle it and below peer strain, he begins betting. At first, he wins and thinks it is a straightforward option to earn a living. Then he loses all of it.

At first Lady Impact did not approve of that story: they did not need individuals to assume [betting] was a straightforward option to earn a living, however we used that story to point out younger individuals the significance of studying easy methods to take care of their cash.

The present gives a unique picture of women and girls.

Most individuals in our nation assume that ladies should not adequate. Within the media, when ladies are represented, it’s as moms, doing housekeeping. If girls need to have a job, they aren’t seen as bosses. Folks would quite take orders from a male than a feminine.

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Yegna addresses this in most seasons. In a single, Hana and her brother are going to the identical college, however when she goes dwelling, she has to take care of her youthful brother and sisters, cook dinner, clear the home and assist her mom. However her brother simply has to go to high school. When he comes again, he eats and goes out to play soccer. On the finish of the episode, he understands: he gives to assist his sister, in order that she will get the time to check.

What sorts of reactions are you listening to in regards to the present?

I used to be in one other metropolis and noticed individuals watching Yegna. They stated: “You guys are actually making modifications. You level out issues which might be occurring, however that we did not give consideration to, like menstruation.” Many individuals know that ladies have cycles, however not what is definitely occurring, the place to search out sanitary pads or have good hygiene. In rural space, many individuals do not even know what a sanitary pad is! So, lots of ladies miss college as a result of they do not know what’s occurring to them. On this season, Tsega comforted a brand new woman in school, who was crying within the rest room as a result of her uniform was stained from having her intervals. And she or he confirmed her easy methods to make DIY sanitary pads as a result of she will’t afford to purchase them. We’re additionally making an attempt so as to add male involvement on this collection as a result of going by means of menstruation is not only about girls.

Has writing these storylines modified your views on any issues, had any impression by yourself life?

Sure, it made me understand that there are lots of tales I might inform and the ability of the media. After writing season 5, I’ve began to face up for myself in my profession and in addition in my private life. Plus, it additionally gave me an concept that I might flip right into a script.

Earlier than season 5, I used to be at all times a follower. I would not let you know my opinion as a result of I used to really feel like my voice, my opinion would not matter. However having the expertise of writing an episode and seeing what ladies undergo, then being a manufacturing supervisor, helped me understand that I could lead on a crew. And season 5 crew was a hit!

The story I need to inform is that, in our tradition, children should not given lots of consideration when grown-ups are having a dialog. And when one solutions the incorrect reply at school, college students make enjoyable of that pupil. I need to present folks that shaming or telling others to maintain quiet would possibly have an effect on a baby’s future profession. This tradition has even affected me. I’m engaged on overcoming my fears and dealing on this script is a primary step in creating my very own profession.

Veronique Mistiaen is a London-based award-winning journalist, writing about world improvement, human rights and social points for main media retailers within the U.Ok. and internationally, together with The Guardian, The Instances, The Economist, BBC Information, Newsweek, Nationwide Geographic, Le Monde and The Chicago Tribune. @VeroMistiaen

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