Turning a dream into reality
Vocalist Asnake Abate ( nicknamed Asne) was born and raised in the heart of Hawassa, one of the attention-grabbing towns in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples State of Ethiopia.
He grew up in the area commonly known as Korem Wiqro playing football with his age mates every so often. Most of his friends were the pride of that locality. They did not give room for laziness whatever happened at that juncture. Whatever a stumbling block they encountered on their way, they kept on circumventing by the sweat of their brow with the purpose of materializing their objectives. They believed in hard work and determination.Asnake and his friends were the talk of their vicinity considering their determination to meeting ends passing through twists and turns. They had a firm commitment in changing their lives overcoming life challenges no matter what the cost may be. As a child, Asnake was dreaming of becoming a vocalist despite he did not know what the future held for him in store. The vocalist attended elementary and high school education at Tabor primary and secondary schools respectively. During those days, using his pens and pencils, it was his bent hammering the school desks as a drum from time to time. From force of habit Asnake turned anything that emits sonorous sound as a music instrument to produce pleasing melodies to his ears. But, for this act of his he was known in the school compound by the majority as a trouble maker.Despite this negative outlook, he was among one of the academically outstanding students who used to harvest the fruit of success over and over again. Be that as it may, his dad too had been awarded Philips radio, the Ethiopian flag and what not while he was working at the Ethiopian Agricultural Institute. The entire family grew developing affection for the Ethiopian flag with all their hearts. Asnake’s love towards the Ethiopian flag kept on growing. Deep in the heart of his hearts it ignited an indelible nationalist feeling. Whenever he happened to gaze at the flag, he never failed to experience an electric shock feeling that galloped through his entire body. As time passed by, he got attracted to the Reggae music. For this reason, his love towards music went on developing every so often though the challenges were not that easy. As his lucky star was with him, the vocalist joined Moliyer Theatre and Circus Group and set in motion performing a range of melodious songs revolving around different issues. Above and beyond, his love towards Reggae music kept on growing now and then. Most of his works focused on the different cultures of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopian. He was sure that he would prove to be one of the famous vocalists across the country no matter how long it lasts. He was determined to make his dream translated into a reality. As life had many ways of testing a person’s life, there was no stone he left unturned to reach where he is in the present day. Having passed through many twists and turns, he performed most of his works at different clubs. To mention a few, he involved himself in Family Planning and Moliner. He as well had worked for two years in Sothern Nations, Nationalities and People’s troupe, which had helped him develop his confidence. In addition, he had been performing songs in a band, comprising more than twenty vocalists. More than forty songs were performed a day. As such, the vocalist managed to gain huge experience.The experience gave him an inspiration to focus completely on Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and People’s cultures.By the same token, vocalist Asnake is an all rounded musician at this point in time. He plays the guitar and keyboard very well apart from composing lyrics and melodies and other related tasks. After he had a successful time in his place of birth regarding his profession, he came to Addis Ababa without rubbing his eyes nourishing a dream of producing a music album at the age of twenty. He did not want to back pedal. He had a two-month salary in his pocket. As good luck would have it, he joined a music troupe entitled Jangle Kiru. The troupe gave him an opportunity to put his huge experience into practice. The thing was, vocalist Asnake came to know Kamuzu, Teddy, Jalud and other foreign musicians. After a short time, the vocalist turned out to be successful putting into practice his accumulated experience. At the time that Asnake came to Addis Ababa, Kamuzu was not that known as none of his works were on the air. Following his talent, Asnake professed that Kamuzu would be a famous composer in no time at all. He was sure that Kamuzu would stand shoulder high within the shortest time possible. As he professed, Kamuzu grew to be a well-known composer in an instant. Vocalist Asnake made a first album with Kamuzu which made his fame spread far and wide across the country in a little while. Martha Adugan’s work entitled Wehayab as well grew to be one of the identities of vocalist Asnake. Despite the fact that this song was performed at different times, when vocalist Asnake gave color to the song blending it with Amharic language, it began to win the favor of all without difficulty. Similarly, the other song entitled Zumbara made his fame to ripple fast like a wild fire in every nook and cranny of the country. He came to know the musical instrument entitled Zumbara at the time when it was on air on Ethiopian Television in a certain program. He collected the essential information concerning the instrument and hunted for a song verse and title the go along the musical instrument. After that, for the right vocalist he chose Diamond, one of his colleagues, as the song verse goes with her voice. In due course, he completed the whole lot in five days time. Eventually, he took the work straight to Kamuzu, the now famous music composer.This time Kamuzu said, “I have not ever heard this kind of music all my born days. I do hope the music will be very famous in two months time.” As he professed the music within the shortest time possible he began winning the hearts and minds of everyone. Vocalist Asnake did not expect that his efforts would bear fruit in a short time. Indeed, at first, his intended target was simply to acquaint our traditional musical instruments with the general public. At some point, a friend of Asnake asked him to visit Assossa. Accepting the invitation,the two went there together. In their stay there, Asnake’s friend recorded the whole lot concerning the landscapes and the cultures of the people. He did not have money to get himself involved in clip works let alone giving out audio to journalists working on different media at that time. Slowly he acquainted himself with the president of the state and other prominent figures. He got a land award from the state at that point. Later, he came up with a melody entitled yeshi wajile for Benishanguel and Olyro liro and malmal for Gambella. After that, he produced a music entitled Lomye, Juli Afa Wella Sida, Amege, Bursema, Dinguzaye, Asura, Goda Zako, and so forth.He said, “Though I am inspired by the music of Ethiopian Nations and Nationalities, I could not achieve the intended target. I am tired of the endless bureaucracy. Whenever I go to different places, I find out they are not in the position to lend me their ears. As to me, simply wearing a Tee-shirt and Caps on Nations,Nationalities and Peoples day does not bring the desired goal. I can amass money going to Dubai every week and singing songs about the striking nature of a lady—her eyes and teeth. But that runs counter to my interest. Hand in glove, all pertinent bodies should work hard to take the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Music to a new height of success. The thing which makes vocalist Asnake different is his versatility. He does most of his works on his own. He focuses on introducing his country through his works. He would like to pass down to the generation next, the broad-array of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples cultures. Asnake does not fail to remember the time that, not at a long range, he came face to face with tigers in Kemahai found in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia when he was on duty. Once, he as well had encountered a python. There was even a time that he was carried away by a roaring river. In fact, the challenges helped him be stronger than ever before.He hates traditional dances with modern touches as they pour cold water on the originality of our cultures. The vocalist does not release any album which reflects the culture of a certain ethnic group unless he makes sure that its originality is confirmed by the native speakers. Unless they pat him on the back regarding his works, he does not take any action at any price. That is why his works are winning the hearts and minds of all and sundry after a short time. He always wants to represent and reflect the spectrum of cultures of the different ethnic group of Ethiopia through his works. Every year he looks forward to the anniversary of Nations, Nationalities and People’s day as it is the main source of inputs for his works. He never wants to miss the celebration . His fan base expanding, many loves him very much appreciative of his works. He evaluates his satisfaction by the bravo or go aheads of the different Nations and Nationalist of Ethiopia. He has been awarded a land award from three states. The all rounded musician Asnake came to know his wife while they were crossing paths on the street. They fell in love at first glance. She is his right hand person at this time. She helps her husband choosing different melodies. As a finial point he said, “The head of most offices in various states of the country should leave their doors open for any talented person who would like to work with them. Let us introduce the nuts and bolts of our culture thorough our works. Let us work hand in glove to take our traditional music to a new chapter of success by familiarizing our culture to others. We do not have to wait an anniversary to come to celebrate big events.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
SOURCE : ETHIOPIAN HERALD