I was impressed by many details about Yegna.  If I had to choose one detail which impressed me the most I would say that it is how coordinated and intentional the whole endeavour has been.  This article about and by Nicola Harford says it very well.



Yegna aims to reduce child marriage, give them control of economic assets and enable them to stay in school. So the challenge is to create multiple characters and storyline that model those changes, which is why the main characters in Yegna – five girls who come together to form a pop band – are all very different. Through what they say and what they do – and how that changes over time – the characters embody the behaviour we want the audience to emulate.

Other section headings in the article include:

Start Where the Audience is and Gain Their Trust

Create A Roadmap of the Journey

Make the Journey Realistic

Create Emotional Connections

Use the Right Language

Reinforce It

Measure Your Success

This intent is applied intentionally to the various types of media – radio drama, radio talk show, music, SMS interaction, Facebook, personal appearances, concerts, music videos and a movie.  All of these work together to reinforce the message.



Another important part of the success is that the intended audience is broad.  They could have just aimed at girls and women but they also direct the message to boys and men.  Behaviour and attitude change needs to happen in all parts of society.  Famous celebrities appear in the music video, e.g., Aster Aweke and Haile Roots, and they have gotten the support of popular brands, e.g., Ambo.



Update 2017-01-07

The BBC just announced that the UK government has stopped funding for Yegna.


British taxpayers’ money will no longer be used to fund an Ethiopian girl band, the government has said.

International Development Secretary Priti Patel announced a review of the funding last month after reports that pop group Yegna received £5.2m.”


Yegna has been the subject of a long-running campaign by the Daily Mail, which suggested that grants to the group were a waste of money.”