Published April 2020

The untimely death of social entrepreneur Caleb Meakins at the end of February was and is still mourned greatly by many. At aged only 31 and involved in so many positive projects, his death was hard to grasp and many people were extremely affected by the devastating loss of such a vibrant man. They included his family, friends and colleagues as well as people who did not know him personally but knew of him from his popular you tube channel “Ethiopia In Me” and the many clips he made which amused us.

He had an excellent sense of humour and an engaging smile and laugh but Caleb was also a man with a deep and profound Christian faith and he often gave inspirational talks at the IEC Church where he attended. Many of those talks can be found online. He also devised a young adults group called Thrive at IEC Church. He had a gift for speaking and getting his message across as well as a captivating personality that endeared him to many, both young and old.

Many people have commented that whenever they met him,  he always made time for them – he was never rushed or looking at his watch or phone ready to move on to the next appointment.  He had an easy going manner and a humble disposition. And yet he was a busy man! Returning to his motherland just 6 years ago with a real sense of purpose, he set about creating social enterprise businesses and creating employment opportunities (the popular Bake and Brew restaurant/working space as well as Mella Monthly (providing a platform for entrepreneurs to share their success stories and to inspire others) and Rala Media which proudly counted Ethiopian Airlines as one of its clients.

Caleb loved life and lived every day as fully as possible – he didn’t just start one project and see how it went, his creative juices were already at work on the next one! He loved connecting people and launching businesses that would engage and support others.

Caleb grew up in Ethiopia until the age of 8 when tragedy first struck the close knit family with the death of his father Englishman Andy Meakins who lost his life in the Ethiopian Airlines hijacking and crash. After this event his Ethiopian mother Ruth decided to move the family back to England and that is where Caleb and his younger sisters Lydia and Abigail were raised.

After graduating from university in England, his passion for social entrepreneurship and  the desire to return home to his motherland intensified and so when an opportunity arose to join a startup project, he took the leap and used his time at REPPIE (waste to energy project in Addis Ababa) as a launchpad to devising and developing his own social enterprises.   The rest as they say is history.

Despite the short period of time that he ended up spending back in Ethiopia, the positive effect he had on people was quite remarkable and those who loved and supported him will nurture his projects and always remember the impact that this extremely talented, charismatic  and unique young man made to others during his time on this earth. I am glad to have met him and will never forget him.

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