The Loss Of The Kirar Queen

Actress Asnakech Worku was an actress and a musician for many years. She was amongst the first female pioneers of her generation to step on the theater stages, but also get national recognition for her Kirar playing skills. Asnakech, born and raised in Addis Ababa, always delighted and entertained her fans with impeccable and extraordinary skills in Kirar and her voice in Tizita songs.

Asnakech Worku’s musical career began when she bought a Kirar for 25 cents in her early childhood years. Kirar is an instrument similar to guitar with five strings used, among others, in traditional Ethiopian Amharic and Tigrigna music. She is a self-taught Kirar player – it was clear from the very beginning that her voice complimented the beautiful kirar sound. It was a match made in heaven Cmd368 sports.

Asnakech began performing in cabarets and bars in Addis Ababa as an Azmari at a very young age. Talented and beautiful queen of Kirar, Tizata Asnakech Worku remained a sensation for a half century in the Ethiopian music industry. The last 10 years of Asnakech’s life she struggled with deteriorating health – and she spent part of her years in bed due to nerve damage. She appeared in media and she was well in the minds and memories of Ethiopian people by giving various interviews to the local media. She repeatedly demonstrated her passion for the music, even when she was sick and in bed. Her fans played a role in keeping her musical spirit.

Asnakech Worku was also an actress who made her debut in the 1952 at the City Hall Theatre in Ethiopia. She was extraordinary for the generation of 1950’s and she played a role in changing the drama stages with her unforgettable romantic roles in the theaters. However, her roles also raised a few eyebrows of the rather conservative society of the time. Apart from being an entertainer, she was also an icon of beauty and fashion – many still remember her for her impeccable hairstyle and dressing, because of which many of her fans used to compare her with Elizabeth Tyler, another Hollywood diva and superstar.

She spent 30 years on the theater stages of at National Theatre before retiring in 1980s. She was amongst the very few ladies who actually dared to step in the industry and managed to win the hearts of millions of Cinema goers in Ethiopia. Despite the fact of her being among the very first female actresses, she was still more popular in Ethiopia for her music and Kirar for the last fifty years. Mary Armede and Asnakech to this day are the only female singers to get national attention for their Kirar guided music.

Asnakech died at the age of 76 on September 14th 2011 ending her incredible journey of music and theater. Asnakech Worku took her last breath at the Bete Zata Hospital in Addis Ababa. Many government officials, her family, friends and various Ethiopian celebrities attended her funeral ceremony held on 16th September 2011 in Addis Ababa at the St. Trinity Cathedral. She will be missed.

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