Interview with Artist Rahel Yohannes on “Yederaw chawata”
Although Rahel Yohannes is a formidable singer who has performed professionally for more than 20 years, her entrance into the music business was almost by coincidence. As the manager of an Ethiopian restaurant, Rahel would frequently entertain her customers by singing acappella for them.
Her patrons began to look forward to her impromptu performances and, one evening, one of these admirers brought the late Ketema Mekonnen – a well-known singer and player of traditional musical instruments – to the restaurant and asked Rahel to join him in a song. She performed the haunting ballad ‘Tizita,’ and a couple of years later released her first album. Since then, she has released nine recordings as a professional singer.
In addition to being an accomplished entertainer, Rahel is an entrepreneur who has owned and operated various nightclubs in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Presently, she entertains ever-growing audiences at the Fasika Restaurant and Nightclub in Addis Ababa. ‘Menelik,’ a tribute to the late emperor of Ethiopia, is Rahel’s tenth album.