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The power of recognition

The Bego Sew award that took place last Sunday is one of the few award ceremonies in Ethiopia that recognize people for their contributions and achievements in their respective areas of expertise. I believe these kinds of awards should be commended as they not only help boost the performances of the awardees but also those of us who look up to becoming one day one of them.  As a blogger in the Ethiopian Reporter and a veracious reader of the Ethiopian Reporter, I must say that I am truly happy that the founder and general manager of Media and Communications Center Amare Aregawi is one of the recipients of this award. I believe that one of the important qualities of a newspaper is the fairness in the news and views that are being reported, a quality which I believe truly characterizes the Ethiopian Reporter and also a quality which I miss in many of the media Ethiopian platforms out there. So, well done Amare Aregawi and team!

We all need recognition in what we do. That is human nature. Recognition is something that all of us have sought desperately since we were kids. We seek recognition from our parents, from our friends, from our colleagues, from our bosses, and from society in general. We may be even willing to trade-off a good salary for a good recognition of our achievements. Particularly as one reaches the self-actualization stage of Maslow’s hierarchy after meeting basic needs, recognition for one’s achievement becomes high on the agenda.

Nowadays in Ethiopia, more awards recognizing people’s achievements are coming to the stage. In the music and movie industry, and now with Bego Sew, us the audiences are getting to know people with high achievements who would otherwise stayed a light in the barrel (or ‘ye gan mebrat’ in Amharic) if it was not for these awards. I believe more can and should be done when it comes to awards. I believe we should have awards that specialize in specific fields. An award for scientists, for entrepreneurs, for sports people, for painters/artists, etc., is what we need. An Ethiopian version of the Nobel prize is what our greatest Ethiopian contributors and our society needs. And why would there not be such awards? I do not see any reason.

I believe what we need for these awards to happen is one person who is willing to initiate such awards and be willing to be committed to their realization. For Bego Sew, we owe it to Deacon Daniel Kibret, for Leza Award, we owe it to Birhanu Degafe. We need more of these guys. I am sure there are scientists out there whose names we have never heard before, let alone hearing about what they have contributed to their beloved countries. I believe that it is always good when one has someone in mind who they aspire to. That person who we would like to be like one day is like evidence to us that our dreams can actually be true. 

I talk about in this article more about the formal recognitions that one gets in publicized awards. But the little recognitions can matter as much, because these are the ones that will keep us strong and committed until we reach that prized award. We all have around us people who we work and/or live with that need our recognition. Our children, our employees, our parents, our friends, our colleagues, all need recognition. I believe we should all extend our arms of recognition to others, because after all, it is free yet so valuable and nourishing.

Contributed by Tsion Taye
Contributed by Tsion Taye