On the third day after our arrival in Ethiopia, we had a full day of promotion which meant dealing with the media. The government-run TV broadcasting station came to the Melody Hotel where most of our band members were staying to film a program at 2 pm.
The talkshow host was woman named Edom, and she got in touch with us after watching the video of us singing “Mimamakim” posted on Facebook.
Turning the lobby of the hotel into a studio, the program was recorded and consisted mostly of interviews.
When I was about to have my picture taken, the lobby filled with smoke.
I wondered what it was all about. It turned out to be a coffee ceremony.
It seemed that Daniel wanted us to try some coffee from a man who is a coffee farmer. At this moment it really hit home what things are like in Ethiopia. I was amazed to see this farmer making fire for the coffee ceremony in the lobby.
If that had been in Japan, a fire alarm would have gone off.
The TV program consisted of me being interviewed and introducing the band members who were standing behind me. The show concluded with us performing a bit for separate recording. There was no question that wherever “Nanu Ney” was played in Ethiopia, it was well received.
After that, we did a recording for a radio show at the same place. I had to deal with that by myself in a separate room.
After that, I took part in a live show at AFRO FM. It took us 20 minutes to get there by car on a poorly maintained road.
We arrived at place that looked like an old school and parked in an alley filled with mud. It was getting dark even although it was still early evening.
As we entering the compound, I looked around and found a communication tower and realized that they were broadcasting from there.
There were two small sound booths in the building, and in one of them we were interviewed and played some music including “Nanu Ney”. As you can imagine, they are touched by our singing “Nanu Ney”.
During the dinner at the Japanese Embassy, Ambassador Saita told us many times that talking about the roots of Japan and the roots of Ethiopia would be well received in Ethiopia. Through taking part in that day’s three media programs, I was confident that what he said was true.
Japan and Ethiopia are similar since they are from the same roots.
They were very impressed when I shared that we felt as if we were being reunited with good old Japanese people in Ethiopia .
In spite of the complicated issues and circumstances facing Ethiopia, what I shared might have resonated with their Ethiopian pride and touched their hearts.
That evening the band members had dinner at a restaurant which showcased traditional dance. It seemed that they were able to do some effective promotion as they were allowed to perform on the stage.