Audio

On Ethiopian Instrumentation

Discover the various traditional African music instruments of the Horn of Africa's Ethiopia including the kerero, krar, washint, masenqo and begena.


Ethiopian instruments have been used for centuries to accentuate different aspects of the mental, physical, and spiritual realms. While some instruments conjure religious interpretations, others find sanctuary in recreation. Find out what makes this Horn of Africa vibe so unique, and experience the sounds and ceremonies of Ethiopia’s most revered instruments below.

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Kebero

The Kebero, a cylindrical dual sided wooden drum, beats in a spiritual context with metaphorical meaning. Played in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church ceremonies as a means of celebration, the Kebero is said to represent various aspects of Jesus.

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Krar

A Krar is a five or six stringed instrument classified in the Lyre family. This instrument has been used in Ethiopia for centuries, often associated with love songs.

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Masenqo

Horse hair, rawhide and wood. These three things predominately make the beautiful one stringed lute that is the Masenqo. Tuned with the protruding wooden peg at the top, this instrument is played with a bow much like a cello or violin. Its simple construction lends for smooth harmony with the powerful Amharic voice.

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Begena

Used in conjunction with meditation and prayer, the Begena is a sacred instrument, used mostly in the confines of ones personal space. Although occasionally used in certain festivities, the strong tones of this ten stringed lyre are usually heard in solitude, mostly being played alongside no other instrument other than the voice.

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Washint

The Washint is a wooden, bamboo, or cane made flute whose construction greatly depends upon its player. The placement of finger-wholes vary from performer to performer, leaving its sound and style malleable. The pitch of the instrument depends upon its size, some yielding lower tones while others resonate at higher, more trebled frequencies. Washint players are said to perform with multiple flutes, using each one to complement the pitch of a particular song.

Style

OkayAfrica and B4Bonah Share New 'B4Beginning' Capsule Collection

We've teamed up with the Ghanaian artist ahead of the release of his debut project for some colorful new merch.

Rising Ghanaian star B4Bonah, premieres his catchy debut track "See Body," and to mark the song's release, OkayAfrica has teamed up with the artist to share a new collection of tees, that'll fit nicely into your summer wardrobe.

The artist's latest track is a party jam, that sees him flowing "over an earworm flute melody and afrobeats percussion," using "his rasping flow to celebrate the girl of his dreams." The track was produced by J.Rocs.

B4Bonah - See Body www.youtube.com

In conjunction with the song's release, two new shirt designs are available for preorder at our Okayshop. The vibrant shirts feature the artist's image on colorful blue and green colored blocks, with the words "B4BONAH B4BEGINNING," on the back—referencing the artist's debut mixtape, which is slated for release in late July. The project features Medikal, Mugeez (R2Bees), Amaarae & Ivy Sole.


B4Bonah is an artist to watch, as he continues to make his presence known in the Ghanaian music scene.

Watch the music video for "See Body" above, and head to shop.okayplayer.com now to pick up to pre-order a shirt (or two). You can also preorder B4Bonah's B4beginning mixtape here.

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Watch EL, Joey B and Falz' New Video for 'Ehua'

Ghana meets Nigeria in this hilarious new clip.

Ghanaian rappers EL and Joey B connect with Nigeria's Falz for this addictive new collaboration and music video for "Ehua."

"Ehua" is built on energetic afro-electronic beat work produced by EL himself. Joey B handles the hook while Falz kicks things off early with a solid verse.

The eye-catching and hilarious music video for the single, directed by Yaw Skyface, features EL as a policeman, Falz as the 'oga' bossman, and Joey B as a worker for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).

Falz takes Joey B's woman by showing off his money and status, so Joey B enlists policeman EL to get back at Falz. The plan backfires however as the officer decides to stick around and party with the rich instead of helping the everyday worker out.

For more GH hits check out our Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month roundups and follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Watch the new music video for EL, Joey B and Falz' "Ehua" below.

EL ft Joey B & Falz - Ehua (Official Video) youtu.be


News Brief
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Nigeria's Super Falcons Were Forced To Threaten a Sit-In Protest Over Unpaid Bonuses After Women's World Cup

After negotiations, the Nigerian Football Federation have agreed to run the players their money.

Nigeria's own Super Falcons had a great run during the Women's World Cup. But instead of the players heading back home or to their respective professional clubs after losing to Germany 3-0, they were forced to strong-arm the Nigerian Football Federation to pay what they're owed.

According to ESPN's initial report over the weekend, the Super Falcons threatened to stage a sit-in protest at their hotel in France until all of their unpaid bonuses dating back to two years ago were paid, along with their World Cup allowances and bonuses.

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