Hamere Mulugeta: Authentic Power Unleashed

Born and raised in Addis Ababa, Hamere is the second child in a traditional household. She was often labeled as difficult for her inquisitive and curious nature. Growing up, she felt she was neglected but felt confused when her diligence in housework was a trait very much needed.

Hamere thought she had to give herself what she thought was missing growing up–love and nurture. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” wasn’t a question she entertained. She went with what felt natural to her and learned everything she felt drawn to. She made paints out of leaves and flowers and used feathers as paintbrushes. She fed the chicken and played with mud satisfying her passion for connecting with nature – an impetus to “Nu Chika Enabuka”. To her parents’ chagrin, she sang to her delight using her voice as an instrument for her creative outlet. She found joy and wonder in unexpected places. 

As soon as Hamere finished high school, she joined an advertising company, Neon Addis, as a secretary. She was very observant and proactive in her role finding creative ways to improve her environment. She says “Wherever I am, I create an atmosphere that fits my standards of beauty”. Her supervisor soon recognized her artistic talents and transferred her to the graphics design department. Joining a bigger office, she found a bigger canvas for her art! She would go in early mornings just to organize the office and put flowers on each table. She is never sitting idle, her eyes are observing, hands creating, and mind focused on her vision.

Hamere later joined Art School and studied visual art, graphic design, and music. Bundling her passion with income generation, she started her own advertising company. When she had her first child, she decided to close her business and stay home. Creating nostalgic experiences for herself, she taught her two daughters how to connect to nature – they paint, wash dishes together, make dough, feed the chicken, make pottery, and tend to the hundreds of plants they planted together. She was determined to pass on the qualities she possessed such as knowing what one wants, self-love, confidence, taking action, imagination, and dreaming big. 

The idea of Nu Chika Enabuka ignited on a day twelve children gathered at her neighbors’ house for an occasion. The children insisted on moving the gathering to Hamere’s place for they had witnessed what was in the compound and wanted to get a taste of it. For Hamere, entertaining twelve unexpected guests was quite a chore. As a quick thinker, she began visualizing her day creating games and everyone taking turns in different activities. At the end of the day, Hamere realized how smoothly it all went. The idea of Nu Chika Enabuka Summer Camp was conceived then and there. In the meantime, she was in search of an ideal school for her firstborn and found one that was beyond her means. Being an enterprising Hamere, she negotiated with the school to start a summer camp and Nu Chika Enabuka Summer camp was realized in 2015. 

As her vision for her passion project elevated, she began to plan it as a full-fledged festival. She submitted proposals to government institutions and finally she secured a community recreational center where the first festival took place in April 2019. In Hamere’s vocabulary “Impossible” doesn’t exist. She plotted a perfect plan to meet the Prime Minister and secure Unity Park at the National Grand Palace for her next festival and she succeeded. She manifested her vision in a miraculous way – Nu Chika Enabuka festival at the Unity Park in January 2020 brought over 5,000 participants. Nu Chika Enabuka Multimedia also launched its first show “Hamrawi Children TV Show” in May 2020.

Hamere elevated her festival to the level of a true cultural institution. She then took Nu Chika Enabuka to the newly refurbished Meskel Square annually for the next three consecutive years. The three festivals were huge successes attended by an average of 20,000 participants. On one of the festivals, the crowd blocked the roads; the police commissioner was incredulous to find out who was behind this commotion… a petite woman with much power to amass the excitement. She came to realize that she had the power to have the biggest square in the city closed. That was when her next vision revealed itself – Nu Chika Enabuka as a National Holiday. 

Hamere took Nu Chika Enabuka to Dubai in 2023 & the United States in 2024, participating in the 2024 Select USA Investment Summit. 

Hamere defies the norms. Many didn’t think “Nu Chika Enabuka” was serious enough to come this far but she trusted her intuition and went with it. The recreational center with a restaurant around the Hayahulet area offers all the activities and natural flavors of nutritious Ethiopian vegan meals. Many questioned how a restaurant that doesn’t serve beer and meat can be successful but she made that possible.

For Hamere, leadership begins with our ability to look within and understand our power. She encourages the youth to believe in themselves and break free from self-imposed barriers and unleash their true potentials.

There is no delineation between Hamere’s “work” and “leisure” time. She is a role model who created a seamless integration between fun and her life’s purpose. Her retirement plan is to travel the world and make jewelry.

Hamere is grateful for this life on earth and she believes that we humans are in a unique position to be a vessel for God’s work. She believes in the power of asking “If we know what we want and ask the right questions, we can achieve anything in life”. There is no doubt that her incredible energy, positivity, and sense of adventure will continue to inspire and uplift everyone she encounters.

AWiB thanks Hamere for taking the time to share her inspiring story!

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