Friday, September 22, 2023

Entertaining interview with Fantu Mandoye

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Artist Fantu Mandoye (Dubbed as the Morgan Freeman of Ethiopia ( apparently because of their look, stature, and unique voice) unheard life experience. Yet Hedesh Neber is one of the classical music from the early 1970s. I remember in the early eighties when Hibret Terit (Variety Show) used to bring some funny songs performed by the veteran Fantu Mandoye. In one skit it was he with Tshaynesh Bekele playing his daughter discussing the passing of arranged marriages and the thing called Love. The title? “Yet Hedesh Neber?” As a solo act Fantu Mandoye also performed, “Ehud YeEqub Tela ” and “Hamus Mata New,“, this song was written by the famous Tesfaye Lemma of the Orchestra Ethiopia fame. This version is a remake and doesn’t do the original justice.
Though I used Fantu Mandoye as the character that most 20 and 30-somethings would remember, the Godfather of the funny songs goes to none other than Getu Ayele. Getu Ayele started and ended his career at the Haile Selassie I Theatre. Getu also performed some of the funny songs with the legendary, Fikerte Dessalegn. The duo’s performances recorded live had audiences in stiches. Getu used his short stature to his advantage in some of his repertoires. Getu & Fikirte’s skits touched on jealousy, money, and marriage life. Most of these songs were written and performed in the 1960s.

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