Six clubs toast at Debre Zeit


Members of six toastmaster clubs celebrated their annual mid-year celebration in Debre Zeit last Sunday February 24, 2013.
There are two kinds of toastmaster clubs – community and corporate. People from all walks of life can join the community toastmaster clubs while employees of companies, organizations, and institutions can join corporate toastmaster clubs.
Currently, four community toastmaster clubs, including Imperial, Addis Ababa, Jupiter and Blue Nile, and two corporate toastmaster clubs International Community School (ICS), and Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX), are helping their members in promoting their communication and leadership skills. Blue Nile was the first club to be established in Ethiopia and it involved  ambassadors, employees of international organizations, and other famous personalities including Kebour Ghenna, Director General of Initiative Africa, the late Maitre Artist Afewerk Tekle, and Bingu wa Mutharika, former President of Malawi who passed away in July 2012.
It was difficult to sustain the club as its members were often traveling and not able to meet regularly because of the nature of their jobs. Recently though it has revived with the children of its former members, though participation of its members still isn’t as active as the other clubs’, according to Anteneh Dagnachew, Senior Member at Imperial Toastmasters Club. 
Imperial Toastmaster was established on March 19, 1998 by young members of the then Blue Nile Toastmaster club. They adopted the new name for the hotel-Imperial-that allowed them to use its conference hall for trainings and meetings.
Then later members of Imperial Toastmaster Club agreed to split the club into two so as to enable members to come across redundant presentations and other tasks. “Because of our number we were forced to have presentations and tasks once in a while “said Anteneh. 
Each toastmaster clubs has about 20 active members on average. All members are required to be part of the board members, event organizers, presidents, vice presidents, treasurers, secretaries, and other tasks in the clubs so that they are able to get the exposure.
Anteneh stated that he didn’t have a lot of knowledge on many things before he joined his club some 15 years ago. “I can now do any assignment,” he triumphantly claimed. “I know a number of people who had difficulty to even say their name, but after sometime, I have seen them change and be able to humorously hold presentations, and effectively comment and critique.”