Bruktawit Tigabu began her professional career as a primary school teacher in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Determined to reduce child mortality rates in her country, she looked for ways to educate children on health matters. In 2005, with her husband, Tigabu set up Whiz Kids Workshop. Working from their living room, using sock puppets, computer graphics and their own voices, they began producing Tsehai Loves Learning, a television programme about a young, female giraffe, named Tsehai, which covers many health-related issues. Twenty-six episodes of this highly successful programme (in Amharic, Ethiopia's principal language), have now been created, each one seen by an estimated 2.6 million to 5 million children.
Published in 2010
The first quality that comes to mind is my work ethic, which I think I inherited from my father. But my husband reminds me that I'm very committed to my work, which is born out of a deep love for the children I serve in Ethiopia. I also persevere; I wish hard work was enough.
I admire people who are passionate about making other people's lives better and people who make sacrifices or endure difficulties to make other people's lives easier, be it their family, neighbours or people who they don't know.
My favourite memory is when my older sister who had been raised by my grandmother because my parents couldn't afford to care for her when she was born returned to live with our family.
Happiness is when I do the things I am the most passionate about and see it working. I am most happy when children are smiling and learning and getting comfort from the programmes I create for them. This could be at home watching the programme with my daughter or sitting under a tree surrounded by hundreds of kids who have gathered to watch the programme.
Growing up in poverty, and [being] surrounded by poverty as part of day-to-day life, it is only natural to want to help. I have an absolute need to help my country emerge from poverty. Rescuing children from preventable disease, educating children and teaching them to think critically, to be problem-solvers and to have a desire to serve others – this is the best hope for our future.
I guess my computer, which has brought me information about anything I need and has helped me develop my knowledge, helped create this programme and allowed me to communicate with people around the world.
"Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures and enable mankind to benefit therefrom." – Bahá'u'lláh
Emotional, satisfied and energized.
Free time? What is that? I'm sorry, I don't understand the question. Seriously though, I enjoy playing basketball with my husband, playing with my daughter, beating everyone I know at games like SET [a card game] or Blockus [a board game], and watching [television programmes] Friends, The Office or Lost.
My Dad taught me that you can overcome great challenges through hard work. As long as I can remember, he taught me this through his example.
Nelson Mandela. He's a symbol for peace, perseverance, forgiveness, and he overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles through the power of his upright character.
The Beatles, Aster Aweke, Ethiopiques collection, Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Jason Mraz.
I managed to get Tsehai Loves Learning broadcast on Ethiopian Television again after it had been stopped for an unknown reason.
David Kleeman, who runs a centre for children's media in the U.S. He seems to know everyone in the world of children's media. I have met him four times in my life, each time on a different continent.