GV Board Elections 2017: Endalk Chala

My name is Endalkachew Hilemikael Chala. I contracted Endalkachew into Endalk. I find it easier to go by Endalk. Unlike in most of the western world in Ethiopia, we use our father’s name in both formal and informal contexts. But I dropped my father’s name (Hilemikael) in favor of adopting my grandfather’s name (Chala) as a surname in accordance with western naming conventions after I came to the U.S in 2013.

Until I moved to Oregon, I lived in many parts of Ethiopia. I spent my formative age in Harar, an ancient town located in Eastern Ethiopia. While attending, elementary, middle and high schools, I lived in Ginchi, a town 45 miles West of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After high school, I studied English Language and Literature at Dilla University for four years. Then I left to Arba Minch University to start a career in teaching English. In Arba Minch, I found myself into a different career path – journalism. Believing a graduate education in journalism would enhance my journalism career I joined School of Journalism and Communications at Addis Ababa University in 2006. Upon finishing the graduate program at Addis Ababa I returned to Arba Minch to teach journalism. After five years of interweaving exercise of teaching and practicing journalism at Arba Minch I came to School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon in 2013 for Ph.D. studies.

While I was in Ethiopia I was not able to have a stable journalism career but I always enjoy writing contextual and nuanced journalistic pieces about Ethiopia on Global Voices. Some of my works were also featured on The Guardian Washington PostBBC, and NPR. As a part of my journalistic endeavor, I co-founded Zone9, a blogging collective in 2012. In Ethiopia, we have not followed the global trend of migrating from newspapers to online media. Government’s crackdown on journalists forced us to adopt the internet as the only viable alternative platform. Unfortunately, the Ethiopian government spared no one. Six of my Zone9 colleagues spent 16 months in prison, their crime was using the internet as a platform to tell stories. The arrest and the trial of my colleagues propelled the case into the global spotlight, thanks to the relentless support of  GV-Community and Advox members.

I enjoy learning through translation.  I along with my Zone9 colleagues started the Amharic version of Global Voices in 2012 through which I have learned a great deal of digital storytelling and citizen journalism. I picked up some internet security skills and learned about encryption while I translate, Surveillance Self Defense, an internet security guide that helps people protect their online security. Occasionally I do translate literary pieces as well.

I am a GV enthusiast. Over the past five years, my journey with GV is a harmonious one. It has presented me with opportunities to work with the wonderful community and Advox members. If I got elected I want to

  • Keep doing the good work GV is working
  • Help to create opportunities I have got through GV
  • Help new authors see their stories see the light of publishing

If you have any question, please contact me through my contact page or via my Twitter @endalk2006


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