“Few years ago we started the project ‘Youths of Shasha’, with the aim of supporting the new generation of artists in Shashamane, Ethiopia, through the establishment of a Music Center with a Recording Studio for the local talented youth. It was 2009.
Many things have been done since then, trying to achieve the objective of the project, which is very ambitious, but possible and mandatory.
Since 2011 to the present time, YOW has delivered free music courses in collaboration with the local NGO ‘Tamira Youth Development’. The teachers are YOW volunteers, mainly from Europe and the USA, and local professionals from the Rasta community; they are specialized in recording and musical production, radio programming, Deejaying, guitar, bass-guitar, vocal technique and they all use English as vehicular language.
The task is difficult, but the reward is great: we’ve started working with ten youth and now the three-moths courses organized at the Tamira Youth Center are always a success and the number of young students is increasing year by year.
Youths of Shasha – The Movie – represents a picture of what the project was at his first stage: ten youth from 7 different nationalities that share the dream of becoming musicians and the physical space of the multiethnic and multicultural community of Shashamane: their aspirations, their visions of life, but also the lack of technical facilities to develop and upgrade their musical and artistic skills. Thanks to the contribution of Donald “Flippin” Leach, Sydney Salmon and Ras Ibi, the documentary analyzes the current state of the music industry in Ethiopia and attempts to propose solutions and promote the concept of ‘participation’. In line with this principle, this part of the project has been developed with the direct participation of the ‘Youth of Shasha’ and some of the greatest artists of Reggae music, such as Bob Andy, Earl “Chinna” Smith, Tony Rebel, Morgan Heritage, Kiddus I, Sizzla Kalonji, Capleton and many others.
There is still a long way to go to support the local youth with more possibilities of expressing their talents and provide a serious alternative in boosting the music business in Shashamane…but we are humbly doing our best!”
YOW – Youths of the World