“It is impossible to divide and stop us “Teddy Afro – By Tamiru Geda and ethioguardian.com

December 28th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Artist Tewedros Kashun, also known as Teddy Afro, one of Ethiopia’s most popular and talented singers, gave a spectacular concert in England last Saturday. (more…)

Artist Tewedros Kashun, also known as Teddy Afro, one of Ethiopia’s most popular and talented singers, gave a spectacular concert in England last Saturday. He rocked the crowd. He told his fans that nobody could divide people who share common values.

In London, the last stop on his 2009 European tour, Teddy Afro expressed gratitude and respect for his fans, who stood beside him while he was in prison. The young Ethiopian super singer looked full of confidence and fit to carry on his concerts, beyond Europe to cross the Atlantic and go to his fans in the USA. He received a warm welcome from his fans in London, who showed their love and admiration by queuing up for more than 2.30 hrs amidst London’s chilly weather.

While he was on his way to sing his popular song Dahlak layyee neww Bette (my home belong to Dahlak Island), one of his crew members approached him on the stage and whispered to his ear. Teddy immediately ordered his colleagues to stop playing their instruments for a few seconds and said …“Believe it or not a divided generation by it predecessor would be reunited by its successor .The previous generation divided us, because there was no harmony among them. Now we love each other, because we got to understand each other”. Cheers followed his speech. He went on saying, “Nobody would stop us; nobody could ban us! Love is victorious”. Then Teddy introduced his five colleagues: Ermias, bass guitar player, Amanuel, keyboard player, and Abera, lead guitar player from Ethiopia, the remaining two: Rufale (drum player) and Yared (keyboard player) from Eritrea. Their combination impressed lots of fans…”What else is missing?” Teddy asked the audience…“is there anything missing?” The audience answered saying “Nothing!” Teddy went on asking the audience whether there is anything that could divide the nation or not. The “No!” answer was heard again from his admirers. Then the hall started dancing to his music, music full of melody, inspiration and entertainment. Many fans suggested that his song Dahilak layyee neww Bettee was a compensation for his JAH Yasatesrial song, since the last was thought to be a national song by many. Unfortunately, Teddy didn’t comment on this matter, instead he told the audience that God, Love and Truth are always winners.

Mixed reactions were expressed about the coordination of the concert. Abel Mekasha, 21 from Chelsea, said that he and his friends, who reached the hall early in the evening, were not lucky enough to get their tickets in time, because of some fans whom he blamed of making some disturbance, jumping their queues and attempting to enter into the hall. “If it hadn’t been for the failure of the organizers, who should have blocked those bad guys, we wouldn’t have been stacked in the cold weather for more than two hours”Abel said. In his view, the door supervisors didn’t seem professional employees; instead they behaved in a confrontational way. According to Security Industry Act SIA (2002) all door Supervisors should wear their security licenses in a visible place on their body while they are on duty, and are also appreciated to have good customer service. Most of the private security personnel didn’t abide by the law.

Meza Shiferaw, from Wales reached London one day before the concert. She claimed to be one of the few ladies who turned up. She said: “After queuing for long hours, we were able to get into the hall. Initially, I was very angry and disappointed, but when I start listening to Teddy’s songs, those bad feeling went away from my mind immediately. It made my day. That is the power of music and singers like Teddy”. Meza also appreciated Teddy’s ability to sense his audiences and drive them to a more friendly and enjoyable environment, without problems. She further noticed that Teddy has gained lots of moral strength after his release from prison -accused of a hit and run crime, in a controversial trial in 2007. Teddy is not only rich in fortune but also in his faith. Unlike Teddy, if it was Zenawi, who had gone through the same path, he, Meles, wouldn’t have rehabilitated so easily. When I saw him thanking his fans by kneeling down to earth, I realized that he thoroughly understood that those people stood by his side in those bad times of his life, Meza commented.

Bruk Kifle, a Londoner, says that failure to be punctual has become part and parcel of the Ethiopian culture. “The organizers announced the concert would start at 10:00 pm and finishes at 4:00 am, whereas Teddy didn’t start singing before 1:00 am. Teddy commenced his act after midnight and finished few minutes before the schedule. I found it is sad to see that our money and time lost acknowledgement; there should always be mutual understanding among us”, Bruk said angrily. Several emotional fans were forced to go to near by Habesha restaurants because they thought time was against them to see Teddy on his Saturday’s show.

Regarding to time management, it is said that the owners of the hall would charge organizers more than 1000 pound per hour, which seems unaffordable for many, especially during this recession period. According to Ephram Fantaye, Teddy’s sponsor, the concert attracted more than 1300 fans and completed peacefully. “I’m very happy that everything went peacefully and everyone enjoyed it too. Most people have been waiting for this day to see and to express their love for Teddy and his work.” He said that he had no clue what happened outside the hall.

On Sunday a similar concert was held in Leeds, where a huge crowd of fans from the north and west midlands gathered to meet the singer. Journalist Zewedu Menigiste told this writer that Teddy talked about the necessity of unity and the responsibility of the current generation on implementing it. Young fans were seen jumping on the stage to show their sympathy to Teddy

Attempts to conduct an interview with Teddy about relevant issues and fans’ reactions on his recent tour in Sweden, Norway, Germany, Italy and Holland were vain. Despite several promises that were given, Teddy failed to give one clear interview to clarify points. Teddy is expected to travel to North America on this Tuesday, before his return back home the first weeks of January 2010.

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