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.”