Inspirational Malaysian: Hezekiah Asim

“Since young, I have always been passionate about nature and music. Among other instruments, I was drawn to the Sape, especially after it captivated my heart and gave me great peace. Knowing not many youngsters appreciated the sape, I took the challenge to learn this ‘near extinct’ instrument of Borneo from the age of 21. Thus began my journey in learning the art with sape masters in Ulu Baram and Asap.

After weeks of learning how to play the sape in the Kayan and Kenyah villages, I returned to Miri to learn the modern contemporary techniques. I have always motivated myself to succeed in this traditional art, especially when I cannot grow myself in western instruments like the guitar, piano or violin.

Being involved in sape music over the past 11 years, I now see the increase in interest for the art among the younger generation. I’m glad I have inspired many of these younger sape players to better themselves and raise the standard of their performance.” – Hezekiah Asim, musician

Performing the Sape in both traditional and contemporary style, Hezekiah Asim has produced a couple of gospel and instrumental albums. He has also collaborated with local artistes and musicians. After spending ten years in Sabah performing and teaching the sape, he has now moved back to Sarawak to share and inspire the younger generations to do the same. One of his prized students is Hallan Hashim of Sada Borneo, who recently competed in Asia’s Got Talent.

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