Mother of Eritrean soul, Tsehaytu Beraki, dies

Tsehaytu Bereaki, September 1, 1939 – May 25, 2018 (79) RIP

Mother of Eritrean soul, Tsehaytu Beraki, dies

By Tesfalem Araia | BBC Tigrinya

Legendary Eritrean musician Tsehaytu Beraki has died in exile in the Netherlands at the age of 79.

Regarded as the mother of Eritrean soul, Tsehaytu was a trailblazer for female musicians in the Horn of Africa – shaking off the conservative outlook of society in the 1960s.

In the region, she is on a par with her contemporary African pioneers such as South Africa’s Miriam Makeba and Tanzania’s Bi Kidude.

Dubbed the “Sunshine of Eritrea”, she sang in Tigrinya and was a renowned player of the kirar, a bowl-shaped lyre.

She started her career aged eight, playing in local bars.

A singer, songwriter and dancer, she released several albums about love and politics – especially during the height of the Eritrean struggle for liberation.

Some of her memorable hits include Mejemerya Fikri and Abashawel.

Watch some of her performances:

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