Navigating Through a Capricious World Recap

Despite a bit of chill in the May air, the vibes at the Hilton on May 9th were anything but cold. AWiBers and guests mingled and networked creating true connections–a testament to the power of AWiB as a pioneer networking platform.

The event commenced as Egziharya Meshesha, AWiB’s 2024 President-Elect energized the crowd with a promise of a captivating evening. She then invited representatives from the evening’s sponsors: Lead Sponsor, Yetem Trading; Emerge Sponsors, Enat Bank & Chapa Financial Technologies; and Connect Sponsor, Selam Institution to the stage to introduce their products and services. Followed by Lidya Yohannes, AWiB’s MPM to announce the event of the year, AWiB May Forum, coming up on the 30th of May at the UNCC with the theme, “Agile Leadership: From Authority to Partnership”.

The evening’s tantalizing program, “Navigating through a Capricious World” explored how art equips us to navigate life’s uncertainties. The speakers lined up embodied this concept. Hiwot Emishaw is a poet, author, an advocate, and communications professional. Blen Yosef, a musician known for fusing Ethiopian melodies with contemporary influences, and Fraol Bedada, an up-and-coming comedian who addresses social issues using humor as a tool. Each speaker demonstrated art’s ability to entertain, inspire critical thinking, and deepen our understanding of the world.

Laughter filled the room as Fraol pushed boundaries with his humor, fostering camaraderie and reminding the audience that even when edgy, humor can be a powerful tool for navigating life’s uncertain journeys.

Hiwot Emishaw followed her voice and poetry inviting vulnerability. Her poetic language, flowing prose, and artistic flourishes ignited the imagination. The creative depths of her works resonated deeply on a personal level. By intertwining personal experiences with universal challenges, she highlighted how shared stories can instigate understanding and empower us to navigate life’s uncertainties, even amidst a changing world.

Blen Yosef then flawlessly played the flute, filling the room with a mesmerizing blend of Amharic tones – ‘Tizita minor’. She showed the audience how a deliberate “mistake” shattered the tranquility, serving as a powerful metaphor for the importance of collaboration. It was a reminder that even the grand symphony of life can be disrupted by a single misstep, prompting the audience to contemplate their role in creating harmony.

The audience, buzzing with inspiration, actively fired questions at the artists. Work-life balance, a perennial challenge for artists juggling multiple hats, emerged as a central theme. Hiwot Emishaw resonated with the audience, emphasizing the need to cultivate space for personal growth. Seeking inspiration from one’s own experiences, she highlighted the power of authenticity – the rawest, most personal experiences often translate into the most profoundly impactful art.

Acknowledging artistic struggles, Fraol Bedada cited limited platforms and discouraging feedback. Blen Yosef countered urging artistic exploration regardless of critique. The discussion then shifted to the power of vulnerability. All agreed: honesty is art’s lifeblood. It delves beyond beauty, a platform to confront uncomfortable truths and share personal struggles. This exposure fuels creation, transforming hardship into narrative, complexity into humor, and emotions into moving pieces.

AWiB’s Founder and Director, Nahu S. Girma, highlighted the association’s robust and dynamic network, envisioning it as a catalyst for creating a supportive and empowering space for artists. The speakers echoed this sentiment, recognizing AWiB’s potential to nurture talent, boost confidence, and foster connections within the creative community.

This event wasn’t just inspiring; it was a powerful call to action for everyone! Whether you’re a budding creative artist or just navigating a capricious world, AWiB’s supportive community is here to support you in accepting challenges as part of life that catapult us to our own light!

As the AWiB tradition goes, Egziharya closed the event gifting the speakers with tokens of appreciation. Hiwot Emishaw was asked to share with the audience what was inscribed on the gift: “You are a beautiful creation… perfectly imperfect… a work in progress… you have everything you need to fulfill your purpose… don’t dilute yourself for any person or any reason… you are enough… BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU!”

The AWiB Team!

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