Since the write up below noting the accomplishments of two outstanding contributors to our community, an important development has taken place that deserved a moment of recognition. Two days ago, Washington DC’s mayor Muriel Bowser made an official proclamation in honor of Salome Mulugeta and the important milestone she attained in becoming the first Ethiopian to produce a movie as a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild.

Salome’s achievement is not only a personal triumph, it is an important marker for our community writ large. Our history, heritage and contributions are significant and deserve to be known by a wider audience, having one of our own join the ranks of noted filmmakers and producers opens up a window of opportunities for our stories to be told by us instead of having our stories told to us. Mayor Bowser’s proclamation also serves another purpose beyond celebrating Salome’s achievements, by highlighting Salome’s work and successes, younger Ethiopians can dare to dream big and share our culture through movies and shape the perception of Ethiopia positively in the process.

The proclamation honoring Salome will be held Monday, August 19th at Checheho Restaurant in Falls Church, Virginia. You can RSVP to the event by clicking HERE or on the picture below. Read below the picture to find out more about Salome and Hawi’s recognition by Ambassador Fitsum Arega at the Ethiopian Embassy.

We want to take this moment to recognize two extraordinary Ethiopians who were recognized by Ambassador Fitsum Arega last evening during Emperor Haile Selassie’s birthday celebration at the Ethiopian Embassy for the outstanding work that they are doing in their respective fields.

Award Winning Director and Cinematographer Salome Mulugeta

Salome Mulugeta was honored for he continued excellence in film production and cinematography. Salome traveled a long road to success, after leaving Ethiopia and immigrating to England, she attended an all-girls boarding school in Bedford. She enrolled at Mid-American Nazerene University In Kansas where she studied broadcasting and journalism. Her first feature film, Woven, won an award for a film directed by women of color at the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York. Salome is a ground breaker; she is the first Ethiopian woman to have her films featured on major media platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

Inspiring Entrepreneur and Community Empowerer Hawi Awash

Hawi was honored for her perseverance in overcoming obstacles and her determination to inspire people who need hope in their moments of hardship. A co-founder of Yema—an African inspired Fashion Company—Hawi grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya before immigrating to Minnesota at the age of 8. Upon arriving in America, Hawi endured further obstacles as she faced the challenges of fitting in and adapting to a new home. Not one to give up, Hawi rose to the challenge; she became the president of “Books for Africa”, got accepted to college and became president of the Ethiopian Student Association where she highlighted the beauty and diversity of Ethiopian culture. Through it all, Hawi has made it her purpose to give back to her country and her people that she loves.

While it is important to celebrate the past achievements of our ancestors and honor the memories of Ethiopian kings and queens, we must never fail to acknowledge the work being done by the people and the energies that the younger generation is bringing to the table. The future belongs to those who empower the next generation; we are blessed to have wonderful and talented young Ethiopians like Salome and Hawi who are as inspired to give back to Ethiopia as they are to succeed.

A special thank you goes out to Ambassador Fitsum Arega, though this space pulls no punches in terms of holding people in positions of power accountable and demanding better of the Ethiopian government, we must give credit when it is deserved. Ato Fitsum has been a wonder to witness; he has gone above and beyond for the past year as he traveled state to state speaking to the Ethiopian community and more importantly listening to our concerns.

Salome and Hawi give us hope in times of difficulties for our nation. Even though Ethiopia is undergoing challenges at this moment, we have faith that sun will return to our country after we pass through the shadows of uncertainty. We advocate for the return of the Ethiopian monarchy precisely because of amazing young adults like Salome and Hawi; our desire is not to create an aristocracy of ivory towers and exclusive societies but to be a bridge for our people so that their latent energies are realized and manifested for the betterment of Ethiopia.

One day soon, #Ethiopia will be restored and our people will receive a double portion as we rejoice in God's grace. #GenerationJoshua Click To Tweet

” Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” ~ Isaiah 61:7

Photo Credit: Matt Andrea

Pay attention to this video, there are messages mixed with the music. Ethiopia will double her portion the minute we believe in collaboration instead of competing with ourselves.