Ethiopia: Launch of Teddy Afro’s new album
The name Ethiopians give for themselves seems to revolve around pride. It is also a fact that most Ethiopians are not star-struck or there is no celebrity culture like the ones in Hollywood which includes asking for an autograph, cheering and the paparazzi.
But with regards to Teddy Afro this seems to have changed where even his personal life seems to be highly publicized on social media like Facebook while some people tweet about his life on twitter. After the release of his highly anticipated album, ‘Tikur sew,’ a music video of the song ‘Tikur Sew’ was officially released on Tuesday at Addis Ababa Hilton Hotel.
On that specific day around 6 pm a lot of cars were crowding around Hilton Hotel and in the compound big posters of the sponsors and producers of this album, Adika Events and Communication, Belema entertainment were hung.
The corridor of Hilton Hotel is not decorated with red carpet. Rather it was unexpectedly strewed with grass, which is used on Ethiopian culture in different occasions and religions holidays.
Trying to make the event have an Ethiopian touch the invitation letter was written in a manner that portrayed Emperor Menelik’s campaign for the battle of Adwa. The invitation was wrapped inside a bamboo stick and paraphrased his call for war.
Inside the Hilton lobby area many invited guests were crowding, waiting in line and there were a lot of people who were attired in traditional cloth.
Since there were many people around the security area, there were few who chose to sit on the coffee area around the lobby, enjoying the traditional coffee ceremony and sipping their drink.
Everyone in the lobby area or the coffee place area seems to be engaged in their business where nobody seems to notice a short guy wearing a red shirt featured by a couple of entourages passing the lobby area. And when he was close to the elevator a girl who was sitting at the stool suddenly noticed him and instantly she just got up from her seat and said “Teddy Afro” But it was too late, he just got into the elevator. The women started murmuring to each other by saying: “It does not look like him, I just saw him when he got closer.”
There was some kind of a hustle around the entrance since some people did not have the invitation card. Also inside the hall there were arguments regarding seating arrangements where the organizer comes and says: “This is reserved for his family,” and told a couple of guests to find other seats.
The hall was packed with a lot of people, almost 1,000 people attended this event and as it was observed that quite a number of people were standing and hundreds of people who had the invitation returned.
The program that was supposed to start at 6 pm did not start until 8 pm. There were some rumors from close sources on how Teddy Afro was not happy with the Meta beer logo and posters that were hang in the hall.
After a while the dinner program was started by old patriots, decorated with their medals. Finally the master of ceremonies of the night, Tesfaye Gessese, appeared on stage and started announcing who is going to start the program.
Attired in the traditional white clothes, wearing a netela around his waist Sileshi Demissie, a.k.a Gash Abera Molla, entertained the audience with his kirar. With his entertaining style, unique story-telling he sang about Abay, which was composed 25 years ago.
After the cheering of the crowd Teferi Alemu came on stage and read Menelik’s famous call to war for the battle of Adwa.
The cheering and applauding moved the hall. Programs continued before the coming of Teddy Afro. With a graceful, glamorous stage appearance, Abebe Balcha controlled the stage when he read Tsegay Gebremedhin’s poem Adwa. The way he presented himself and did the show was one of the highlights of the show.
A short documentary biography of Teddy Afro entitled ‘ Yeteddy Tiwustawoch’, which depicts how he got into music; his journey and the issues that inspired him to sing was also part of the launching program.
Apart from that, the documentary showed that he tried copying renowned artistes from the weekly variety show, Hibre Tret program on ETV.
A moment that made an impression on his life is the Olympics and the musician who made an impact in fighting for freedom, Bob Marley, were also portrayed in the documentary.
According to him, one of his life-changing experiences was the prison where he learned a lot in the process; changing his perspective in life. His latest album ‘Tikur Sew’ is a legacy of the patriots and is also appreciation for those people who sacrificed their life. According to him, Adwa is not only for Ethiopians but also an avatar for all the oppressed peoples in the world.
The video clip of Tikur Sew, which was directed by Tamirat Mekonnen, featured around 250 actors.
This clip, which was filmed around Yerer, looks like the terrain of Adwa Mountain. Warriors wearing the gofer, trekking their horse, the battalion running forcefully, Emperor Menlik with his entourages and the Ark of St George, which, according to legend, is believed to have helped in the war are all included in the video clip.
Ethiopians fighting heroically, jumping from the horse, facing the barrel of a gun with their sword and spears are also part of the black and white video clip. Apart from Tikur Sew there was a new track included at the end of the video clip.
One surprising thing is the crowd which was present cheering and shouting at the screening of the video clip. Right after the screening of the video clip the actors who were part of the video clip came doing the shellela and fukera to the stage. For some time the hall was filled with noises, movements and patriotism.
In the middle, a sound which looks coming from the video clip started to be heard but it was the highly anticipated Teddy singing live. Wearing reddish ejetebab, black shirt, the coming of Teddy on the stage made everyone rush to the stage and take some pictures.
Half of the people were standing close to the stage. So people who were seated could not see him. The first song he sang was the new song that is also included in the video clip. With a catchy phrase, Dagmawi Menilik, the audience started to sing along. Featured by the band Mehari brothers the song continued for sometime. There was a lot of commotion on the stage where the actors who played Menelik and Taitu were sitting on the stage with their entourages, and there were a couple of actually drunk audiences who were taking pictures with Menelik and Taitu in the background.
The other actors in the video clip were standing, crowding the whole stage behind Teddy Afro singing along with him.
They were attired in the Ethiopian nations, and nationalities outfit representing Ethiopia.
Since the Ethiopian patriots were present at the ceremony they went to the stage after Teddy’s song. They were so emotional that they started doing the shellela and the fukera instantly.
Since ‘Tikur Sew’ was a tribute to warriors like Dejazmach Balcha Aba Nefso and Fitawrari Habtegiorgis Dinegde their families were also part of this ceremony. The families during their speech talked about their pride and appreciation of Teddy Afro. One of the highlights of the show was Teddy Afro’s speech, which took many by surprise. Many people were saying it sounded like preaching and in the middle of the speech there was a shouting from among the audience “Hallelujah.” The speech he made revolved around “yehualawu kelele yelem yefit” which is roughly translated as we should look to the past to know the future. To have a true reconciliation, Ethiopians should take good things from the past to move forward, he said.
When he expressed what being an Ethiopian means, the example he used was a man who is driving and a guy who is trying to cross the street soaked by the rain.
“If I do not give priority to the guy who is walking in the rain, being Ethiopian stops there,” Teddy stated.
In this speech he praised God many times and also mentioned God a lot of times. He also expressed his music journey as a donkey that has a lot of carriage. He also put Ethiopia as the cradle of humanity and civilization so in a way people from Ethiopia represent people all over the world. Cheering and applause interrupted his speech.
During the event the master of ceremonies announced that the dispute that arose between Teddy and Adika Events and Communication has been resolved. The final program was an award ceremony where his mother and his fiancé came to the stage but Teddy was nowhere to be found.
The mater of ceremonies lost patience and was even saying, “Your mother is here.” Finally, Teddy came back to the stage. The award program looked like a wedding ceremony where he gave a bracelet to his fiancé and his mother and some people stood on the stage to give him a picture of his fiancé and himself signed by a lot of people. Source: