Janinites: First All Female Rock Band in Ethiopia

Preparation for 1st album afoot behind closed door.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – It is a dream that came true for Mistre Getahun, moving her sticks fast to bang the drums and rock in Janinites all-female rock band, the first and the only such band in the contemporary Ethiopian music industry.

When she dropped out of the Mathematics Department of the Addis Abeba University and joined Yared Music School, she was confident to realize the dream she had had since childhood. Unfortunately, after her graduation, she found herself teaching children in a primary school. She has moved on to another profession, which she does not want to be identified, but still unrelated to music.

“Unwanted journey,” she says.

Looking every opportunity to get in to the music sector, she exerted efforts a lot but unsuccessful.

“Even if I have the potential, it was very hard to get recognition in any of the bands in the city to play,” she remembers.

It was the same for Messeret Gezahegn, the band’s base guitarist. She was looking for any crack to inter to the music scenario and meet what she says is her destiny.

She graduate from Yared Music School, and started out as a DJ, went on to become a full time reporter at Fana Broadcast Corporate (FBC) as well as playing guitar at the band. Determination does a lot for Messeret.

“It has been eight years waiting for such a chance,” she says.

The band has now nine members, three vocalists, Emnet Gezahegn, Hermon Baraki, Melat Bogale; two lead guitarists, Betelehem Engda and Abaynesh Abach, a base guitarist, Messeret Gezahegn, Tegest Sime on the keyboard and Mistre Getahun on the drum. All of them come together six months ago under Jananites, formed by Addis Gessese to play Ethiopian music with rock flavour. Read more