Africa Direct

Azmari: An Ethiopian Musician

A young Azmari musician embarks on a challenging journey to Addis Ababa to improve his musicianship and find work.

Yoseph Gedefaw is an Azmari, a traditional musician and singer of song-stories, who lives in Birbuax, Gondar in Ethiopia.

He leaves his village to meet other Azmaris in the capital, Addis Ababa, where he hopes to improve his musicianship and find work.

In this film, filmmaker Henok Mebratu follows his journey, immersing us in Yoseph’s musical world and sharing some of the rituals of his community, as he struggles in the big city.

Henok Mebratu is a director and producer who works across multiple aspects of the film business in Ethiopia, from production fixing to editing and animation. He has participated in major international festivals including Cannes and the Berlinale.