There are several reasons that compelled me to be part of this documentary film project. But I will list just one of them on this post. To me, what I found most interesting was the intricate details of Emahoy’s life experiences. First off, it is quite evident that even during her childhood, Emahoy Tsege Mariam was a prodigy amidst an extremely reserved society. One can just read the words Emahoy writes (in her music as well as poetry) and instantly understand the depth of character and thought provoking ideas she harbors! Equally interesting to me was the fact that despite coming from an upper class family that were close to the royal families of the time, prestige and luxury never held any significance for Emahoy. In fact, it was at the age of 21 when she became a nun and refrained from her God given talent–music–to lead a sacred life. This is actually one element the film will explore in depth: how Emahoy struggled to find balance between the two worlds–sacred and secular. This was both a blessing and a curse at the same time. Despite her accomplishments, Emahoy never once craved for fame and material possessions. What mattered to her most has always been focused on sharing her God given talent with the rest of the world.
While focused on worshiping God in an Ethiopian Monastery in Israel, Emahoy never revisited her music for over 20 years. She avoided the piano all together. She knew when she became a nun that the musical passion she held dear to heart had to die, forgotten for the remainder of her life. But there was always an incessantly burning passion inside her soul that somehow wanted to find ways of expressing her deeply felt sorrows, happiness, isolation, and spirituality. But that once burning flame must have had a speck of fire left amidst the ashes that her passion re-ignited again at a much later time in life. It was at the age of 85 years, her Etiopiques CD was published. I am so proud to learn more about this remarkable Nun. What I just mentioned is just the tip of the iceberg. Her story will amaze you, guaranteed!!!
This is my reason to be involved. What’s your reason?