Kyrgyz president shows off his musical skills

Kyrgyzstan's president Almazbek Atambayev at an awards ceremony for Kyrgyz mothers Image copyright
Image caption Almazbek Atambayev celebrates Kyrgyz motherhood through an award ceremony, and then in song

Kyrgyzstan's president Almazbek Atambayev has released a pair of guitar ballads, backed up by professionally produced music videos.

The first, Enekem, is dedicated to his mother and was released in time for Mother's Day, along with a slick video produced by a local studio.

"In my life, my mother has played a special role. If not for my mother, I think I could have done a hundredth part of what I did," the singer-songwriter president said at a prize-giving ceremony for Kyrgyz mothers, Kyrtag news website reported.

Two days later, Mr Atambayev dropped a second song entitled "I love you", once again accompanied by a video by the Toptash studio. Like Enekem, it features the president playing the guitar and singing in the Kyrgyz language. Both songs have elicited positive reactions from viewers on YouTube.

"Well done Atambayev, you're not an ordinary man," says one YouTube viewer, while another gushes "This song has made a good mother weep."

Superstar DJs and wedding singers

These latest songs aren't the first released by the Kyrgyz leader, but they showed creditable skills on the guitar which rival those of his fellow regional leaders.

Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, among his many talents, has shown himself to be a DJ and stage performer; while the Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev has been spotted playing the country's national musical instrument, the dombra.

But not everybody has the gift, it appears. When Tajikistan president Emomali Rahmon was filmed singing at his son's wedding, his performance was notable more for volume than staying in tune; and Vladimir Putin's faltering performance of a Russian folk song before talks with China's Xi Jinping last week show he's more cut out for life as a politician than as a concert pianist.

Image copyright Turkmen TV
Image caption Superstar DJ: Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov lays down some beats during a New Year TV special

Reporting by Alistair Coleman

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