Derebe – Portrait of an Ethiopian Musician

Derebe is a peek into the life of a young Ethiopian exile as he plies his musical trade in the Sydney suburbs. Listen here.

Derebe Desalegn was a young professional musician in Addis in Ethiopia when he met and Married Jackie Bond, an Australian NGO worker in 1997.

The couple returned to Australia where Derebe studied English and together, they brought up their daughter, April.

Derebe has worked in a number of jobs since coming to Australia while trying to establish his music career. He plays Masenko, a one stringed instrument played with a bow, and sings traditional Ethiopian songs, mainly at local Ethiopian community events.

This program revolves around the Easter celebration which is Derebe’s biggest gig of the year. Organising is not Derebe’s strong point – will the gig break even? Will he get a crowd? Will Derebe ever achieve his dream of stardom in Australia?

This program mirrors the problems many emigrants have in coping with a new country….. For now, Derebe faces the future with a positive vibe, a big smile and a rocking repertoire of kicking Masenko dance tunes!