NPR: Ethiopian Singer May Be Jailed Because Of Music

By Gwen Thompkins
Monday, August 03, 2009

Teddy Afro is one of Ethiopia’s most popular singers. Afro, whom fans call Ethiopia’s Bob Marley, is in prison. Many are convinced that his legal troubles are related to his music. Some of Afro’s songs seem critical of Ethiopia’s government.

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Cover Photo: Teddy Afro performing at the Rosewater Hall in
San Jose, California on January 20th, 2007 during his last U.S.
(Photo by D.J. Fitsum).

More photos from San Jose courtesy of D.J. Fitsum










Ethiopia: Teddy Afro’s prison term reduced by 4 years

3 Responses to “NPR: Ethiopian Singer May Be Jailed Because Of Music”

  1. 1 DONT BUY IT Aug 4th, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Teddy’s legal troubles are self inflicted. He killed another person in a car accident and he is doing his time for his recklessness. Not because of his music or the government or all other excuses the media comes up with. Teddy afro is not above the law.

  2. 2 eph Aug 4th, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    first off, big shout-outs to Gwen for this excellent report. it is a blunt criticism of the so called democracy in Ethiopia!! as gwen reports, it is a democracy that limits even the basic rights of humanity, such as the right free speech!! Ethiopians around the globe well know that Tedy’s anguish and imprisonment is unequivocally due to his boldness to challenge our current system of “sham democracy” through this music. and the government has dealt him a blow for that! the larger point the government is trying to underscore by arresting teddy and other prominent figures, such as birtukan Medeksa, is this: “if you dare stand to fight for justice or criticize us, just look at teddy and Birtukan! No one is immune, and the consequence will be harsh!” however, what they dont seem to understand is how many of us could they silence, imprison, threaten, and bribe if millions of us stood up for the greater good of this and future generations and ask for what is our God-given right – Freedom!! what can’t you Ethiopians from all walk of life, ethnic back ground, and religious stripe recognize this and stand up for what is ultimately right. why do always find yourself fighting for power, ethnic domination, and name. why not figt for the good of unity, peace justice, and most of all for a prosperous Ethiopia, where we are no longer recognized as the land of the impoverished but as a beckon of hope for AFRICA, just as we were many times in our history. So, what does it take to mobilize us, to get us to unite and stand up aganist oppression. I urge u all, especially those in the diaspora who diligently are working hard toward a common future, – namely Obango Metho, Professor Alemyahu Gebremaria, the Editor of ethiomedia and the countless others – to come together and put a face on this leadership. mobilize this people, speak to their future, aspiration, and dreams, and get them to stand up for justice. one such occasion would be the march that obango metho is trying to organize in D.C. next fall. i ask of all of us – newspaper editiors, Ethiopians all across the north America, and all the different parties and organization that seek change things in ethiopia – to support, orgnaize, and march in D.C., and let Washington understand that we Ethiopian-americans no longer condone the backing of a dictator by america. That is simply against the values of what this country has stood for! if do come together and march in the thousand, possibly to anywhere to 50 to 100 thousand people, our roar and cries for justice will be to loud for Washington and the world to ignore. we will achieve, by coming together, the means for ethiopia to once again be free. And then, maybe then, the suffering of our martyrs, dead and alive, wont be in vain. Ethiopians please come together for this occasion!!! let all come together and say never again!!!!!!!

  1. 1 Ethiopia: Teddy Afro Released Early From Jail at Tadias Magazine Pingback on Aug 13th, 2009 at 3:07 pm
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