Meet Henok…

Playing the violin taught me perseverance and the art of playing different varieties of music.

Incarcerated: 16 years

Inside SQ live interview between RayRay and Henok

Ray Ray: How long have you been in prison?
Henok: I’ve been in prison for 16 years. I committed my crime when I was 24, but I wasn’t arrested until I was 28.
Ray Ray: What can you tell me about this picture?
Henok: I have waited a long time for the opportunity to take a picture with my violin. Playing the violin taught me perseverance and the art of playing different varieties of music. I had to put in three hours a day of hard work for two years.
Ray Ray: Does your violin have a name?
Henok: I’ve been going back and forth for years trying to figure out a name. I wanted to name her after my first love, but I didn’t want to hold on to that. So, I named my violin Nebsay, which means ‘my heart’ in African.
Ray Ray: Does playing your violin take you to another place?
Henok: Yes, it’s a place to tell other people stories in hopes that we don’t feel alone.
Ray Ray: I want to thank you for taking my position at Humans of San Quentin as an admin assistant. What can you bring to the Humans of San Quentin?
Henok: I can bring perspective to the ways the incarcerated are dehumanized in the workplace. Also, I am good at conflict resolution. Here’s a quote by a philosopher, “Conflict is the spirit of a relationship seeking to deepen.”

1 Comment

  1. kathleen

    Henok: what lovely images of you and your violin, both in words and in your photo. It’s lovely to know that an instrument can teach us more than music; in your case the violin taught you perseverance. Although you don’t walk around with your violin on your should, its magic obviously is with you at all times. thank you for sharing your insights.


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