Meti Shewaye Yilma, Living Her Authentic Truth
“Conformity without questioning was frowned upon in our home so from young age, I practiced living an examined life.” Meti Shewaye Yilma
Metasebia Shewaye Yilma was born 11th February 1979 in Dire Dawa then moved to Asmara until the age of seven when she moved again to Addis Abeba, where she has lived since. Meti, as she is known by many, is a whirlwind of similes and boundless energy. She says her childhood formed her personality, an acute curiosity that was actively encouraged by her parents, who pushed her to live her truth and never compromise her authenticity. She changed different schools when she was very young but educated in Yehiwot Birhan School for girls until she finished the twelfth grade. She credits her exposure to different contexts and people in her formative years for her compassion, love for spontaneity and diversity.
“I’m called Metasebia Shewaye Yilma or Meti. Shewaye is my mother and Yilma, my father. I use both names to acknowledge their immense role and selfless contribution to make the person that I am today.”
She is grateful for her parents, whom she describes as the most conscious, self-aware, respectful and good-hearted people she has ever known. They are people of integrity who live as they preach and their 4 children to live a dignified life. She’s also grateful for her daughter whom she says gives her a new perspective in life, enabling her to live a more conscious life as constant reminder of living beyond self and making the world a better place. Meti is an extremely energetic and passionate woman who loves taking risks and challenges as they enable her to unleash her potential, use her creativity and resources to be a stronger, better and bigger person.
Meti describes herself as a zealous student of life. She is also a Media and Communications professional and a Media Entrepreneur. She is the founder and Chief Visionary Officer (CVO) of a start-up named QUEENDOM.MEDIA ( www.queendom.media ), a newly established Pan-African multimedia production company based in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. She is also a public speaker, events moderator and EMCEE. She also confesses to being an avid traveler and adrenaline junkie who loves adventure and living life on the edge.
For Meti, creativity and critical thinking are big part of her work where her skills for observation, inquisitiveness, listening, reflection, purposefulness are the main elements of her work. Her work enables her to meet people from all walks of life, which allows her to learn about different topics through research and content development as well as constant feedback. Her work in media started at a young age of nineteen as a Continuity Announcer for Amharic and English transmissions of Ethiopian Television. After ETV, she went on to become a regular contributor for Timeout Addis, an English weekly paper that focused on social issues, art, entertainment and current affairs. Soon after, she worked in public relations and communications with various local and international institutions such as Save the Children USA, the USA Government Centre for Disease Control (CDC), Network of Ethiopian Women’s Associations (NEWA) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Meti also had international experience as a co-host for episodes of Studio 53 on MNet and an episode of Destinations Africa on EbonyLife TV, both on DSTV. She worked as a journalist for The Seychelles Independent newspaper based on The Seychelles Islands in 2015. More recently, she was a senior producer and member of the editorial team on LTV where she was highly involved from recruitment to training and coaching of producers. She works on high level corporate and social events organized by various institutions as event planner, coordinator and/or EMCEE. She is currently the moderator of the weekly MindSet Public Lecture Series by Dr Mihret Debebe since December 2017.
Meti is the co-founder and founder of Tadias Addis on Sheger FM 102.1, Hawari Travel Show on Fana FM 98.1 and In and Around with Meti on Afro 105.3 FM. In 2017, she launched her experiential travel show, Let’s Go with Meti on LTV as producer and host. She established QUEENDOM.MEDIA with a vision of building a one-stop village for creativity and collaboration on multimedia content research, development, production and distribution in Africa. “It’s high time for Africans to tell our own story and set our narrative” Meti stresses on the need of creative collaboration to change the image of Africa.
Meti believes it is important to pay forward all that has been invested in her. She is currently supporting a local not-for-profit organization, Joyful Life, on their communications and media relations strategy. She is always willing to support students and educational institutions. Through QUEENDOM.MEDIA, she aims to launch an online video and podcast series on personal & professional development that gives insights for a better life and community advancement as well as spread practical wisdom from those who live their WHY and transform lives. The first thing is to live her authentic life and to be an example by action. She hopes to also mentor young people mainly in her line of work.
As AWiB president her theme for 2018 was Visibility and along with a strong and dedicated board, she has achieved it. AWiB is more visible during her time and she has also transformed as a leader in her journey with AWiB. Her most important accomplishment in her career is creating a household name as a bold, authentic, ethical media professional that does her work with knowledge, respect and courage. In her personal life, she considers her accomplishment as identifying her purpose in life at an early age and serving as a medium to help people live a conscious life. She loves learning and sharing so people will be equipped with information and tools to live the better version of themselves. Meti celebrates every micro-win in life and appreciates herself for the good that she is and as much as she’s critical of herself for the wrong that she does.
As part of living an examined life, Meti questions difficult questions (WHY is her favorite question), critically thinks and consciously analyzes issues even the ones that are considered taboo. “As much difficult and insane as it sounds, I became more alive the moment I started reflecting on and having conversations about death and became at peace with it. The day I wrote my will, I found a new sense of liberation to living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment. For Meti, success is not a destination but rather a journey; living each day with purpose and service. “Heaven is when I sleep with contentment and wake up with gratitude. So it’s up to me to create my heaven or hell on a daily basis. No excuses”.
She is a firm believer that authenticity and staying true to her truth, regardless of the hardship, eventually pays. She believes that how one treats others is the reflection of how one treats the self and that the first step of becoming a better version is having the courage to look inside, to have an honest conversation with ourselves and confront our demons.
“I am my own rescue so unless I commit I can’t push myself to the next level regardless of others commitment to my transformation. This is true about everyone. So don’t try to commit to and invest on others who are not committed to themselves. It’s waste of resources.”
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