Ethiopia police stop singer Tewodros Kassahun’s album launch

Ethiopian singer Tewodros Kassahun, popularly known as Teddy Afro
Ethiopian singer Tewodros Kassahun, popularly known as Teddy Afro

Authorities in Ethiopia have stopped singer Tewodros Kassahun, popularly known as Teddy Afro, from launching his much-acclaimed album, Ethiopia.

On his Facebook Page, Teddy Afro says police asked him to have a permit for the launch that was to be held at a hotel in the capital, Addis Ababa, a demand he has termed as ridiculous.

A BBC reporter, who was attending the launch, says federal police showed up at the hotel hours before the launch and prevented Teddy’s sound team from setting up equipment for the gig.

His manager said that they are yet to get official reasons as to why the launch was cancelled.

His concert scheduled for the eve of Ethiopian New Year, which falls on 11 September, has also been cancelled in unclear circumstances.

Teddy’s 15-track album has made history as the quickest selling album since its release in May this year and for weeks topped the Billboard World Albums chart.

The Significance of ‘Teddy Afro’

Teddy enjoys almost cult like following and his latest album – his fifth – has elevated him to legendary status.

The album is like a history lesson, with references to Emperor Tewodros II, who is seen as the father of modern day Ethiopia, and it also calls for unity among Ethiopians.

Teddy is no stranger to controversy though.

In 2008, he was jailed for a hit-and-run accident. He has always maintained that the case against him was politically motivated.

But he still enjoys massive following among Ethiopians who adore and revere him.

Months after his album was released, his music is still being blasted out on public transport, in pubs, local shops and homes.

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