Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Tewodros Kassahun Germamo alis Teddy Afro

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 is considered one of the most significant Ethiopian artists of all time. Teddy has had a huge cultural impact on the Ethiopian music industry and has been a big influence on many young artists.

Tewodros Kassahun Germamo was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 14 July 1976 to a singer and songwriter Kassahun Germamo and dancer Tilaye Arage. Tewodros is of ethnic Amhara descent. Despite involving with the entertainment industry, his parents discouraged him to pursue his music career.

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 “Hab 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 Teddy 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’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. This restriction was put to rest after the governing party was thrown out of power in 2017. He has since performed these songs in Addis Ababa Meskel Square concerts. Nonetheless, the album sold more than a million copies within a few months after its release.

After his breakthrough, Teddy released his fourth album, Tikur Sew on 14 April 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. The album saw huge sales via music markets. According to AdikaRecords’ producer Ashenafi Zeleke, the music markets required 500,000 CDs and 200,000 cassettes and the album was in process for sale.

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

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

On 3 August 2020, Teddy released “Demo Be Abay”, a song dedicated to the Abbay river, known in English as the Blue Nile River. 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. On 2 November 2021, he released “Armash”, which reflects the ongoing situation in Ethiopia especially the Tigray War and calls for unity of Ethiopians. On 21 June 2022, a song titled “Na’at” was released following a massacre of 600 Amharas in Gimbi district in West Wollega Zone of Oromia Region. “Na’at” was critical for Abiy Ahmed government over ongoing civil conflict in the country.

Teddy lives in Addis Ababa. He has been married to Ethiopian actress, model, and producer Amleset Muchie on 27 September 2012. They have three children.

On 6 December 2006, Teddy was jailed for four years in connection with an alleged hit-and-run incident during the 2005 Ethiopian general election. 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 was released in August 2009.

Teddy’s earlier work was solely based on reggae fusion but gradually turned with Ethiopian music employing traditional vibrato vocals, and itchy triplet of “Amhara sound”. In 2021, Teddy received an honorary degree from Gondar University.

Albums list with singles
Abugida (Abo Geeda)Released: 2001Record label: Nahom Records and Massinko EntertainmentSingles:”Lijinet Alat””Leman Lemash””Mona Lisa””Abugida (Abo Geeda)””Lela Alawkim””Ayne Hul Gize””Haile Haile””Baygermish””Birabiro””Haile Selassie””Hewan Endewaza”
TeddyReleased: 2002Record Label: AIT RecordsSingles:”Lebbo””Wazendiro””Shegnehush””Guadegna””Gud Serachign””Tizibt””Hagere””Wub Aleme””Lame Bora””Qezebiye””Tsigereda”
Tarik TeseraReleased: 2004Record label: Evangadi ProductionSingles:”Tarik Tesera (Anbessa)”
YasteseryalReleased: 2005Record label: Nahom Records and Electra Music Shop (in Ethiopia)Executive Producer: Elias Fikru and Nathenael Gemechu (Nahom Records)Singles:”Yasteseryal””Bel Sitegne””Lambadina””Promise””Alamin”
Yasteseryal Edition 2Released: 2005Record Label: Nahom RecordsExecutive Producer: Elias FikruSingles:”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 14Released: 2006Record label: Nahom RecordsSingles:”Menta Wedije””Yregal””Lamie Bora””Wede Hagere Bet”
Gizzie LekuluuReleased: 2007Singles:”Gizzie Lekulu”
Tikur SewReleased: 14 April 2012Record label: AdikaRecordsSingles:”Tikur Sew””Tenanekegn””O Africaye””Ayzenegas Libe””Sile Fikir””Chewatash””Kelal Yihonal””Tsebaye Senay””Hilim Ayidegemim””Des Yemil Sikay””Fiyorina”
EthiopiaReleased: 2 May 2017Singles:”Ethiopia””Sembere””Mar Eske Tuaf””Anna Nyaatu””Mematsene””Tamolshal””Yamral””Atse Tewodros””Emma Zend Yider””Marakiye””Amen””Adey””Nat Baro””Olan Yizo”

Non-album singles

Non-album singles
“Afralehu”Released: 2009
“Kaba”Released: 2013
” Be 70 Dereja”Released: 22 August 2014
“Korkuma Africa””Korkuma Africa””Korkuma Africa (Reggae Mix)””Alhed Ahe”Released: 2015
“Demo Be Abay”Released: 3 August 2020
“Armash”Released: 2 November 2021
“Na’at” Released: 21 June 2022

DVDs

DVDs list with singles
Tarik TeseraReleased: 2004Record Label: Nahom RecordsExecutive Producer: Elias FikruSingles:”Tarik Tesera (Anbessa)”
Yasteseryal – DVDReleased: 2005Record Label: Nahom RecordsExecutive Producer: Elias FikruSingles:”Yasteseryal””Promise””Anbessa””Seleme”
Lambadina – DVDReleased: 2006Record Label: Bruke Films and Admass AdvertisingProducer: Bruke M. AbaynheDirector: Zeresenay Berhane MehariSingles:”Lambadina””Semie Lelileh Afe””Negeren Kalash””Alamn Alena”
Inya Sinewaded (Concert) – DVDReleased: 2007Record Label: Nahom RecordsExecutive Producer: Elias Fikru

Community Contribution the Artist

Equally important as his musical impact are his philanthropic contributions. A devout Christian, he has used his success to donate hundreds of thousands of Birr (Ethiopian Currency) to various non-profit organizations such as Abebech Gobena (a charity for homeless youth) and theEthiopian National Society for the Disabled, an organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of handicapped people in Ethiopia. Knowing that the progress of Ethiopia lays in the hands of the youth, Teddy visits schools along his touring routes and spends time with kids following his concerts.

Recognitions Awarded to the Artist

Teddy Afro new single – Na’et – New Ethiopian Music 

ew Ethiopian Music – Teddy Afro New single 

borkena

Ethiopia’s most prominent singer and songwriter, Tedros Kassahun (Teddy Afro) , released his latest single – Na’et.

It is already uploaded on his official YouTube channel. It already got well over 100K in less than an hour 

Sources: Wikipedia, https://teddyafro.info


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By Chala Dandessa

I am Lecturer, Researcher and Freelancer. I am the founder and Editor at ETHIOPIANS TODAY website. If you have any comment use caalaadd2@gmail.com as email contact. Additionally you can contact us through the contact page of www.ethiopianstoday.com.

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