Teddy Afro

Tewodros Kassahun Germamo (Amharic: ቴዎድሮስ ካሳሁን ገርማሞ; born 14 July 1976), known professionally as Teddy Afro, is an Ethiopian singer-songwriter. Known by his revolutionary songs and political dissent sentiment, Teddy Afro is widely considered as the greatest artist of all time.[1] Teddy Afro has had a huge cultural impact on the Ethiopian music industry and has been a big influence on many young artists.

Teddy Afro
Teddy Afro performing in Melbourne, Australia, June 2011
Teddy Afro performing in Melbourne, Australia, June 2011
Background information
Birth nameTewodros Kassahun Germamo
Born (1976-07-14) 14 July 1976 (age 44)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
OriginAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Genres
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active2001–present
LabelsNahom Records
Websitewww.teddyafromuzika.com

Life and careerEdit

1976–2001: Early yearsEdit

Tewodros Kassahun was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 14 July 1976 to singer, songwriter Kassahun Germamo and Tilaye Arage, a dancer. Despite involving with the entertainment industry, his parents encouraged him to pursue his music career.[2]

2001–2007: Abugida, Lebbo and YasteseryalEdit

Teddy Afro made his debut in 2001 with the album Abugida, quickly establishing himself as a prominent voice in his native country. Mixing reggae, traditional Ethiopian styles, and pop music, his sophomore LP, 2005's Yastesereyal yielded a major hit in its controversial title track, which criticized corruption in the country's government. The song "Dahlak" talks about the division of Ethiopia and Eritrea in terms of couples separating. Four of the album's songs were subsequently banned from media outlets, though "Yastesereyal" sales and influence remained controversial.

His second album Lebo was done in 2000 but released in 2002.

His third album, Yasteseryal was released in 2005. This album was one of the most influential and controversial. Teddy Afro's lyrical sentiments and the release of this album coincided with the elevated political tension in Ethiopia surrounding the 2005 Ethiopian general election. The government banned four of his songs including "Yasteseryal" from playing on Ethiopian media outlets. On 6 December 2006, Teddy Afro was convicted of alleged hit-and-run incident during the 2005 Ethiopian general election.[3] Nonetheless, the album sold more than a million copies within a few months after its release.[4]

2012–present: Tikur Sew, Ethiopia and upcoming projectsEdit

After his breakthrough, Teddy Afro released fourth album, Tikur Sew in 2012. The album Tikur Sew (black person) is dedicated to Emperor Menelik II and the Battle of Adwa, the war of colonial resistance between the Ethiopian forces and the Italian Empire in 1896. The album was the most expensive and most widely sold album in Ethiopia after his fifth album Ethiopia.

On 22 August 2014, Teddy Afro released "Be 70 Dereja", with 9.1 million views in YouTube within two years. The music video set in 1970s-themed black-and-white scenarios in Ethiopia, including several monuments and places.[5]

Teddy Afro's fifth album, Ethiopia was officially released on 2 May 2017, reached the top of the Billboard World Albums chart in that month, at which time more than 600,000 units had been sold.[6][7]

Kassahun held the Adwa! Wede Fikir Guzo concert on 22 February 2020 to a record-breaking crowd in Addis Ababa Meskel Square.[8]

On 3 August 2020, Teddy Afro released "Demo Be Abay", a song dedicated to the Abbay river, known in English as the Blue Nile River.[9] The song is a critique of Egyptian attitudes, or "Egypt's shamelessness", in regard to its claims over the waters of the river Nile; Egypt had claimed that the filling of the reservoir for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would endanger its water supply.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Kassahun lives in Addis Ababa. He has been married to Ethiopian actress, model, and producer Amleset Muchie since 2012. They have two children.[11]

On 6 December 2006, Tewodros Kassahun was jailed for four years in connection with an alleged hit-and-run incident during 2005 Ethiopian general election. Some also believe that former political party TPLF made up the incident to put him in jail. He was accused with driving under the influence when he rammed a 40 years old homeless man. The government sentenced him to six years in prison, and fined with 18000 birr ($1,755). With good behavior, Teddy Afro was released in August 2009.[12][2]

DiscographyEdit

AlbumsEdit

Album Information
Abugida
  • Released: 2001
  • Record label: Nahom Records
  • Singles: "Lijinet Alat", "Leman Lemash", "Mona Lisa", "Abugida", "Lela Alawkim", "Ayne Hul Gize", "Haile Haile", "Baygermish", "Birabiro", "Haile Selassie", "Hewan Endewaza"
Lebbo
  • Released: 2002
  • Singles: "Lebbo", "Wazendiro", "Shegnehush", "Guadegna", "Gud Serachign", "Tizibt", "Hagere", "Wub Aleme", "Lame Bora", "Qezebiye", "Tsigereda"
Tarik Tesera
  • Released: 2004
  • Record label: Evangadi Production
  • Singles: "Tarik Tesera (Anbessa)"
Yasteseryal
  • Released: 2005
  • Record label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru and Nathenael Gemechu
  • Singles: "Yasteseryal", "Bel Sitegne", "Lambadina", "Promise", "Alamin"
Yasteseryal Edition 2
  • Released: 2005
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Singles: "Yasteseryal", "Bel Sitegne", "Lambadina", "Promise", "Alamin", "Seleme", "Kier Yhon", "Shemendafer", "Balderesu", "Semie Lelieleh Afe", "Lemn Yhon", "Tizita", "Hab Dahlak", "Itegie", "Nigeregne Kalshima"
Best Collection - Nahom Volume 14
  • Released: 2006
  • Record label: Nahom Records
  • Singles: "Menta Wedije", "Yregal", "Lamie Bora", "Wede Hagere Bet"
Gizzie Lekuluu
  • Released: 2007
  • Singles: "Gizzie Lekulu"
Tikur Sew
  • Released: 2012
  • Record label: AdikaRecords
  • Singles: "Tikur Sew", "Tenanekegn", "O Africaye", "Ayzenegas Libe", "Sile Fikir", "Chewatash", "Kelal Yihonal", "Tsebaye Senay", "Hilim Ayidegemim", "Des Yemil Sikay", "Fiyorina"
Ethiopia
  • Released: 2017
  • Singles: "Ethiopia" (ኢትዮጵያ), "Sembere" (ሠምበሬ), "Mar Eske Tuaf" (ማር እስከ ጧፍ), "Anna Nyaatu" (አና ኛቱ), "Mematsene" (መማፀኔ), "Tamolshal" (ታሞልሻል), "Yamral" (ያምራል), "Atse Tewodros" (አፄ ቴዎድሮስ), "Emma Zend Yider" (እማ ዘንድ ይደር), "Marakiye" (ማራኪዬ), "Amen" (አሜን), "Adey" (አደይ), "Nat Baro" (ናት ባሮ), "Olan Yizo" (ኦላን ይዞ)

DVDsEdit

DVD Information
Tarik Tesera
  • Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Singles: "Tarik Tesera (Anbessa)"
Yasteseryal - DVD
  • Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Singles: "Yasteseryal", "Promise", "Anbessa", "Seleme"

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Orgeret, Kristin Skare. "When will the Daybreak Come?". Nordicom Review. 29 (2): 231–244. doi:10.1515/nor-2017-0188. ISSN 2001-5119.
  2. ^ a b "Teddy Afro's Biography". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Login • Ethiopian News Forum". www.ethiopianreview.com.
  4. ^ "When will the daybreak come? Popular music and political processes in Ethiopia". www.ethiomedia.com.
  5. ^ "Addisfortune- The Largest English Weekly in Ethiopia!". addisfortune.net. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  6. ^ "World Music: Top World Albums the week of May 20, 2017". Billboard. Eldridge. 20 May 2017. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. ^ Elias Meseret (13 May 2017). "Ethiopia's star singer Teddy Afro makes plea for openness". The Washington Post. AP. ISSN 0190-8286.
  8. ^ "Adwa! Wode Fikir Concert on Feb 22nd, 2020 | TEDDYAFRO &". 21 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Teddy Afro: "Demo Be Abay". Borkena Ethiopian News. 3 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  10. ^ Yibeltal, Kalkidan (21 August 2020). "Nile dam row: Ethiopia's pop stars hit out". BBC News.
  11. ^ "Teddy Afro and Amleset Muche dancing with Teddy's New song, Tewodros". Awramba Times. 6 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Ethiopia: Teddy Afro's prison term reduced by 4 years".

External linksEdit