Getayawkal Girmay & Bruktawit Assefa

Both Getayawkal Girmay and his wife Bruktawit Assefa were born in Addis Ababa in 1962, respectively 1961. Getayawkal grew up singing and playing the mandolin with the family choir run by his father, renowned musician Girmay Hadgu, and his mother, Tirunesh Yimer, whose songs were included in the hymnal of the Mekane Yesus Church.

Bruktawit and Getayawkal sang in the Sunday School Choir of Addis Ababa Mekane Yesus congregation since their childhood and learned to play musical instruments and to harmonize their songs. Getayawkal also played music for the “A” Choir of the congregation. At that time, Addis Ababa Mekane Yesus congregation had several organists and musicians, and many church members knew to sing the Scandinavian music from notes.

Getayawkal and Bruktawit began singing as a duet early in the 1980s. Duet singing had been introduced to the evangelicals of Ethiopia by Endalkachew Kidanewold and Meseret Tsige from Gore Mekane Yesus Church (Illubabor Bethel Synod, Oromia) in the 1960s. Eventually, the opportunity for ministry widened for Getayawkal and Bruktawit, and they went on to present gospel songs in other congregations that were not closed by the atheist regime, such as Entoto, Urael, Bethel and Lideta Mekane Yesus congregation. They also sang in various underground churches and at mournings. Tents were pitched in the neighbourhood for people who came to comfort the bereaved. Believers used the occasion to organize gatherings for spiritual edification during the mourning (which could be from three to seven days). They often invited Bruktawit and Getayawkal to sing during the evening program.

The couple continued to be the most memorable duets in the Ethiopian evangelical churches. Their unique way of singing has inspired many young singers who followed suit ever since. Bruktawit and Getayawkal started a fellowship of solo singers and also gathered other Christian musicians for group consultation. For many years the couple served the evangelical community in Addis Ababa and various other cities in the country. They even travelled to India to minister to Ethiopian students there for half a year. Other countries where they served as gospel singers include Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Great Britain, the Scandinavian countries, Australia and the USA. 

Bruktawit and Getayawkal have been known for their giftedness in composing thematic songs and albums. Children, young people and newlywed couples are especially close to their hearts. The duo released about ten own albums, five of them before the turn of the millennium. They also provided musical accompaniment and background singing to many solo singers and choirs before 2010. At present, Getayawkal and Bruktawit serve the Ethiopian diaspora globally through their media ministry based in Shamburg, Illinois. 

Albums

(1) በነጻ ልቀቋት (‘Let it free’ [referring to the Messiah’s donkey in Mk 11]). Individual cassette, released by Mekane Yesus Cassette Ministry, Addis Ababa 1987.

(2) ምን ተስኖት (‘Nothing is impossible with Him’). Individual cassette, released by Mekane Yesus Cassette Ministry, Addis Ababa 1987.

[Q: was no 4 -> 1997?]

(3) የሕይወት ምንጭ የሱስ (‘Jesus, the Fountain of Life’). Individual cassette, released by Mekane Yesus Cassette Ministry, Addis Ababa 1989.

(4) አፌን ሳቅ ሞልቶታል (‘He filled my mouth with laughter’). Individual cassette, released by Mekane Yesus Cassette Ministry, Addis Ababa 1991.

(5) እግዚአብሔር ሰውን ይፈልጋል (Egziabhier sewn yefelegal; ‘God looks for someone to work with’). Individual cassette, released by Mekane Yesus Cassette Ministry, Addis Ababa 1998.

» Read lyrics of a selected song on WikiMezmur.org

(6) ምድር አለፈላት (Meder alefelat; ‘The earth now rejoices’). Individual cassette, released by Neftalem Bookshop, Addis Ababa, 2002.

» Read lyrics on WikiMezmur.org

(n ?) ለዘለዓለም አመሰግንሃለሁ (Lezelealem amesegenehalehu; ’20 Years in Ministry Songs, vol. 1′). _ _ _ 2005.

(Source: WikiMezmur.org)

(n?)  የ፲፩ኛው ሰዓት የጸሎት ጥሪ (Ye11gnaw seat yetselot teri; ‘The 11th Hour Prayer Calling’). _ _ _ 2006.

» Read lyrics on WikiMezmur.org

(Source: WikiMezmur.org)

(n ?) ባርኮቴን ልቁጠረው (Barkotien lequterew; ‘I Will Count My Blessing’). _ _ _ 2008.

» Read lyrics on WikiMezmur.org

(Source: WikiMezmur.org)

(aa) እንኳን ደስ አላችሁ (Enkuan des alachehu; ‘Special Wedding Song’). _ _ _ .

» Read lyrics on WikiMezmur.org

(Source: WikiMezmur.org)

(bb) ህጻናት ወደ እኔ ይምጡ (Hetsanat wede enie yemtu; ‘_ _ _’). _ _ _.

» Read lyrics of selected songs on WikiMezmur.org

(cc) ሽሽ ወጣቱ ሽሽ (Shesh wetatu shesh; ‘_ _ _’). _ _ _,

» Read lyrics of selected songs on WikiMezmur.org

(dd) _ _ _ (‘Praise and Worship Songs, vol. 2). _ _

(ee) _ _ _ (‘Sebhat Leamlak Song Collection, Vol. 1’). _ _

(ff) _ _ _ (‘Children Songs’) _ _

Songs in hymn book

Any?

Mekane Yesus Book of Liturgy and Worship

Getayawkal composed together with other musicians liturgical canticles for the 3rd edition of the Amharic EECMY Book of Liturgy and Worship (2008).

Social networking

» Visit Getayawkal & Biruktawit Ministries’ YouTube channel

» Follow Getayawkal & Biruktawit Ministries on Facebook

Audio (commercial and freemium)

» Check Getayawkal & Bruktawit’s tracks on Amazon Music, Apple Music and Deezer

Audio (free)

Wongelnet.com

ባርኮቴን ልቁጠረው (Barkotien Lequterew, 2008)

እግዚአብሔር ሰውን ይፈልጋል (Egziabhier Sewn Yefelegal, n.d.)

ምድር አለፈላት (Meder Alefelat, 2002)

Video

One of the first gospel song videos produced in Ethiopia

For other video clips with reviews of the music ministry of Birkutawit and Getayawkal visit the website of G & B Ministry.

Pictures

Q: year?

Dinku Lamessa