The WISE Awards

Ms Bruktawit Tigabu

Position: General Manager and Co-Founder, of Whiz Kids Workshop
Country: Ethiopia
Bruktawit Tigabu began her professional career as a primary school teacher in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Determined to improve the conditions of children in her country, she looked for ways to educate children on a mass scale. In 2005, with her husband, Bruktawit 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, the first educational preschool television program in the country. Tsehai Loves Learning has won numerous international awards for educational design, quality children’s production, and innovative social enterprise.

Responding to the critical need to improve literacy rates and school retention rates in Ethiopia, Bruktawit’s organization created a spin-off program called Tsehai's Fidel School which systematically improves the methodology of teaching reading and writing in a phonetic, fun, and interactive way, supported by educational workbooks and reading materials. Whiz Kids Workshop was named a 2011 Tech Awards laureate for this effort. 

In addition to preschool programming, Bruktawit has developed two educational television series for youth. Involve Me is a first-of-its-kind reality series featuring one-minute short films created by underprivileged youth. This award-winning program aims to boost children’s confidence and give children a voice. Little Investigators is new series, currently in development, aimed at motivating primary school students to be more interested in science and innovation. 

Bruktawit was named a Rolex Young Laureate in 2010 for her efforts to reduce the child mortality rate in Ethiopia through public health messaging in Whiz Kids Workshop's productions.