Addis Ababa, Ethiopia April 27, 2009 (Ezega.com) – Geteye Abebaw is a young piano player with special skills. He can play the piano with his fingers. He can also play the piano with his elbow, forehead and legs. We are not talking about playing with just one keyboard, but multiple keyboards at the same time – up to four different keyboards at the same time. Currently, he is training to play five different keyboards at the same time – using his head, hands, and feet, with his body suspended on air.
Geteye Abebaw Chane was born in Lalibela, but he grew up in Addis Ababa. He has been playing the piano for a long time. Lealem Desta of Ezega News met with him recently and asked him about his background, his piano skills, and how it all started. Here follows the full interview with Geteye Abebaw.
Ezega.com.com: Thank you for interviewing with us.
Geteye: No problem at all.
Ezega.com: Can you please tell me about your childhood?
Geteye: I was born in Lalibella, one of the historical places of Ethiopia and of the world. I grew up in Addis Ababa in Bole orphanage school. I learned to play music there at the Bole Orphanage School. Alemtsehay Wodajo and PT Officer Belaynehe Tesfaye were my instructors.
Ezega.com: How did you come to Addis Ababa?
Geteye: I don’t know my father. I was living with my mother in Lalibela and there was a call for children who lost their parents. Then, I went there and registered for adoption. My mom was not interested and didn’t want me to go but I decided to go by myself, without her knowledge. It is a very long story but this is how I came to Bole in Addis Ababa.
Ezega.com: What do you do for a living now?
Geteye: I am currently teaching music at the Brass Youth Academy. Before this, I have been teaching music at Nati Kindergarten, Kebede Michael Academy, Future Talent and Addis International. Besides this, I have my own music band. The band is called “Semen Musical Band”. At night I work in my own nightclub in Golden Fork Bar and Restaurant. On Saturdays and Sundays, I play at weddings. I also work on concerts but by invitation only.
Ezega.com: How did you start playing with your forehead and other body parts?
Geteye: I was very much interested in playing the keyboard in different ways than usual. One day my friend was with me in a music class and his pen fall on the floor and when he tried to pick it up he touched the keyboard on his head and we heard sound. He asked me, does it work? After he left, I tried playing with my forehead and I saw something there. That was how I started playing in this unusual way.
Once I started playing with my forehead, I continued on playing with my elbow and feet. I then went on playing on three keyboards, then four. I am currently training to play with five different keyboards. It is very expensive to buy five keyboards by myself. So, I rent the keyboards to do my training. I pay one hundred birr per keyboard per hour. This has slowed me from doing my training at the pace I want.
Ezega.com: What really motivates you to play with other body parts?
Geteye: Well, you see, if I play with my forehead all the time, there is nothing new. If I just do the same thing again and again, it will become boring. People need change. So, to satisfy my audiences, I always try to improve my skills in different ways.
Ezega.com: Have you received any recognition, prize or certificate for your special skills so far?
Geteye: I have got certificate of participation from different organizations but not more than that. So many people have advised me to contact Guinness World Records. They tell me that Guinness World Records doesn’t have anyone with similar skills, but I don’t have their address and haven’t yet contacted them.
Ezega.com: Do you have any plans in the future to do something related with the piano?
Geteye: Yes, I am now doing music clips. I play the instrument. I hope it will be on air in the near future, God willing. I also have a plan to show my talent to the world. I am currently dealing with sponsors. I am known in Ethiopia at present but I want others in the world to know my work as well.
Ezega.com: Before we close, do you have any other thing to say?
Geteye: I would like to thank people who played big roles in my life. I especially thank Engineer Asmare Wale, Ato Semeinwork Getu, Saba Debebe and her families, and Simegne Belay. I thank you all for your profound support and contributions to my life. And, if anyone would like to help connect me with Guinness World Records, my address is as follows:
Getiye Abebaw Chane
P.O. Box. 28674/1000
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
This article was written by Lealem Desta reporting for Ezega.com from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She can be reached by email at News@Ezega.com. The article can be reprinted in full or in part elsewhere but only by giving full credit to Ezega.com. If reprinted on a website, we ask that you place this active link: Ezega Ethiopian News, pointing to http://www.Ezega.com