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Yet Hedesh Neber – Fantu Mandoye and Nardos and the cultural context

Yet Hedesh Neber by Fantu Mandoye and Nardos

Ethiopian Music Video
December 1,2017

Yet Hedesh Neber is one of the classical music from the early 1970’s. It was first released in 1972. Dubbed as the Morgan Freeman of Ethiopia ( apparently because of look, stature, and unique voice), Fantu Mandoye is very popular for the song.

The music features cultural clashes between the old and the new (back in the 70’s) generation on the issue of marriage. In the old time, marriage was arranged through parents, relatives, and kins. The purpose, viewed traditionally, was to ensure continuity of the institution of the family. Of course, pre-marital sex was ruled out and it is not uncommon for a boy and a girl who never knew each other before to get married through an arranged marriage. All the background checks regarding personal behavior and family history was done by relatives and the new couples have to accept the family decision. There were cases when Ethiopian astrology was consulted to determine compatibility.

The conception of love was totally different. In the Christian influenced Ethiopian tradition, filial piety was a virtue and there was trust in the judgment and decision of parents and relatives.

So the Music below features a girl who picked up her own partner in her own way casting aside the tradition of arranged marriage which was practiced even in the Royal family (no evidence that even the last Ethiopian Emperor, Haileselassie, picked his own wife). And the father is shocked to hear that. Finally, she convinced him that she found someone whom she loves and of good character. Enjoy.

Video credit: EBS
Cover photo: Screenshot from video

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