Politics Through Entertainment

Posted on 19 May,2017

Music is entertainment on the main. However, it is also a powerful medium through which different messages can be conveyed. In the Ethiopian tradition, we also have musical works (songs) with double-edged puns accompanied by Masinko, a traditional Ethiopian single-stringed bowed lute.

Masinko is skillfully operated by five fingers in a measured length alternating while the other hand keeps on moving the little bow back and forth, straight or at a slanted angle, to adjust the sound to fit the singer’s (male) melody or the chorus repeated by a lady who dances to the tune accordingly.

Yes, music entertains, and it is food for the soul. Soloists the likes of Alemayehu Fanta, Getamesay Abebe, and their counterparts were well-known entertainers. They had been playing to cheer up the nobility including the heads of state and the Royal family.

Songs and musical puns, particularly those nationalistic ones, can inspire and mobilise people to defend their nation from foreign aggressors, which was often evident in our history. Such songs are also promoters of and means for instilling a love of nation in the hearts of citizens.

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