Artist Profiles: Minase Hailu

Minase Hailu, guitarist, fled Ethiopia during the dictatorship of Mengistu Haile-Mariam. He now lives in Germany. His family, having its farms confiscated, paid a high price for supporting the opposition. A brother and nephew were killed, a sister tortured and jailed for four years. Minase spent six months in prison for taking part in a demonstration when he was 14. By then, he was playing the guitar and passionate about music.

Minase managed to leave Ethiopia with a grant to study in East Germany. As things got worse in Ethiopia, Minase crossed the border to West Berlin and requested asylum.

His guitar skills landed him a job in a music shop, and he played in various bands. Soon he was touring Europe with Ethiopia’s best artists. He does not forgive those who ”killed people just to stay in power”, but has decided to go forward and “make the best out of life”.


Refugee Voices (UNHCR/Stern’s)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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