Woyanne sentences Teddy Afro to six years in jail – By Barry Malone(Reuters)

December 5th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

ADDIS ABABA, Dec 5 (Reuters Life!) – Ethiopia’s best-known pop star, Teddy Afro, was sentenced to six years in jail on Friday for killing a homeless man when driving his BMW in the capital Addis Ababa. (more…)

ADDIS ABABA, Dec 5 (Reuters Life!) – Ethiopia’s best-known pop star, Teddy Afro, was sentenced to six years in jail on Friday for killing a homeless man when driving his BMW in the capital Addis Ababa.

The 31-year-old singer, whose real name is Tewodros Kassahun, was found guilty of manslaughter earlier this week for the death of 18-year-old Degu Yibelte in a hit-and-run incident late last year.

Afro denied the charge and said he was out with friends on the night the man died.

Many Ethiopians believe the charges were politically motivated. Last month’s Great Ethiopian Run — a road race for more than 30,000 people through the capital — was marked by constant shouts from the crowd of “Free Teddy”.

The singer is hugely popular among young Ethiopians and sings mainly in the local Amharic language. Hundreds protested outside the court when Afro’s trial began in April — an unusual event in a country where dissent is extremely rare.

Afro’s last album, Yasteseryal (Redemption), coincided with Ethiopia’s 2005 election that led to violent protests and the jailing of opposition leaders.

Some of his lyrics were construed as critical of the government and his songs were used as protest anthems by opposition supporters who took to the streets.

“This court will not hand out a sentence based on a vendetta but based on fairness and justice,” Judge Leul Gebremariam said before sending Afro to jail and fining him $1,800.

On streets nearby young Ethiopians gathered in small groups to discuss the sentencing.

“All Ethiopians will be sad today,” said Mikias Sisay, a 23-year-old student. “Many people have accidents but are not sent to prison like this. It is because of politics.”

A defiant Afro — wearing his trademark black sunglasses — raised one finger in the air to a smattering of applause from friends and family when he walked from the courtroom.

“I feel free,” he said to reporters as he was led away by police.

(Editing by David Clarke and Michael Roddy)

  1. lema
    | #1

    Congratulation to Aiga and Ethiopiafirst editors!

  2. | #2

    I feel sorry for Teddy Afro. He is grate singer and every ethiopian people loved him exepet Melles Zenalew. I am still angry about this stupied thing that happen to him.Teddy take is easy ok.Itis better than 15 years in jaill ok.i will prey for you ok. palses contact me by my e amil ok

    your fan addis

  3. Tariku
    | #3

    Yes – Teddy is free. Those who are in the bigger jail of the territory under the tyrant’s control are not free. Lets free ourselfs like Tedy did.

  4. Binyam
    | #4

    Teddy is a patriotic Ethiopian doing just what an Ethiopian has to do. I am proud of him as he is a true, courageous Ethiopian. I hope the so called leaders of the opposition, who submitted to the authoritarian government in just 20 months time prison learn from this young man. He an amazing human being with a bright future. Think of the future, Teddy Afro running for president of Ethiopia against who ever, I see him standing TALL!! I feel sad for those who put him in prison as their future is uncertain.

  5. zeleke belay
    | #5

    I am very sorry for all ethiopian people who are suffering punishmnent without crime. too many people died by accident everyday in ethiopia, but why Teddy;s case is special for the current government.If he is guilty for the crime, the law shouldn’t apply only for Teddy.finally for Teddy, living without freedom in your own country is same like staying in prision. Ethiopia is one of the largest prison camp in the world.

  6. lnd
    | #6

    Congradulation for Tgrians

    Because of your aim become true, Teddy Afor found guilty by Tgrians.So I’m sure all Tgrians are happy now.

  7. sele
    | #7

    it is funny,only six years,this show me that the charge was political motivated,becoues if he really killed they not gonna give him only six years,too funneyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

  8. MIKI
    | #8


  9. SEBLE
    | #9


  10. Almaz
    | #10

    Sad news! I heard on of Melesse officials was telling to people that they will get him one day and this is the day.Imprisonment and killing is nothing for them.Shame on us to let this vagabonds lead the country.

  11. atuba dolla
    | #11

    For sure, the barefoot bandits will suffer the consequence of their wicked and dispecable actions against Ethiopians.

    Early in their lives they made bad history and soon after they came into Ethiopia barefoot and broke, but carried a lot of guns and bullets to rob and steal Ethiopians,and now 19 years into their invasion of the country of millions of citizens, they became the most wanted criminals in the history of the land.

    The house of the crimefamily shall crumble to ground!!!

    During their impoverished years while in Nakfa cave,the enemies of Ethiopia collaborated with historically known enemies of Ethiopia and somehow managed to invade millions of Ethiopians and their sacred lands and turned the entire country into the house of crimefamily business. by far or so far, there has never been such a wicked and odd thing that these bandits rule millions of people as a regime and familymafia and collected and robbed millions of dollar worth materials and now are the richest crimefamily in the continent and around the world.

    Ethiopians no longer puzzled!!

    The purpose behind this injustice is to harm millions of Ethiopians. Despite the devils’ act, Ethiopians shall get rid of the invaders and make free millions of Ethiopians and Ethiopia.Amen.

  12. Belaye Zeleke
    | #12


    On this day, the day of the TPLF “judicial system” having sentenced innocent citizen to a six years confinement, once again TPLF has proven its objectives as a ruthless and anti- Ethiopian element and Teddy Afro has proven that he is a new model for courage, decency and a symbol of resistance for this generation and a generation to come.

    No artist throughout the history of Ethiopia in such a young and vibrant age has screamed louder for the unity of Ethiopians and stood his ground on the basic principles for the country and the people he loved so much more than Teddy Afro.

    Teddy Afro was famously known for his golden voice and poetic talent; today he has proven that he is a brave young man who gave in all the comfort and lavish lifestyle he has righteously earned for the country and the people he loved dearly. In comparison, I only wish the rest of us specifically the opposition political leaders some who are useless feudals who are behind time and some educated power mongers who are a talking machine could have a minute portion of the courage and decency of this young man -Teddy Afro.

    Today, the elites amongst the TPLF ruling circle who carefully fabricated the infamous
    “Hit –and-Run” proceedings and Sheik Alamudin who has a personal Vedanta and determination to destroy the legacy of Teddy Afro may rejoice. But tomorrow is a different day! Tomorrow will bring justice, fairness and equality for the common people.

    Just as the leadership of Nazi Germany was brought to justice during the 1945 Nuremberg trial, Ethiopia will have its African Nuremberg trial day and all the TPLF mercenaries and criminal elements who have incarcerated innocent citizens for vendetta, destroyed the livelihood of millions, divided the Nation and the people into ethnical narrow caves, robbed the nation’s economy for the past 17 years will be brought to justice. YES –WE CAN!

    Nevertheless, my country is impoverished and the people have endured so much misery by dictators and outlaw nomadic leaders. I am proud to be Ethiopian for my country has given birth to many heroes and herons from Emperor Minilik, Empress Taytu Betul, Abebe Bikela, Zeraye Derese, Abdissa Aga, and Belay Zeleke, Teodros (Meysaw Kassa) and the millions who are the unsung heroes our Nation :the poor , the street beggars and homeless kids whose nightly shelter is heavenly sky , the homemaker mothers, the laborers and the farmer whose sole resource is his bare hands, and the students who marched bravely on the streets of the capital for a better Ethiopia paid the ultimate price. Thus proving that the TPLF outlaw political “geniuses” has failed to understand a key component of Ethiopian people; they can incarcerate, torcher and kill Ethiopians but they will never destroy or defeat the spirit of Ethiopians! No need to look farther than Teddy Afro a brave solider in the land of TPLF jungle.

    Salute To The Brave Solider- Tewodros Kassahun!

  13. AYE
    | #13

    Gobez sewuneten telahu. ethiopiawineten amerere regemku. kehadi , gentay, asgentay mebalu albeka beluachew ahun degmo ke gileseb ga gib gib yazu eko. ethiopiawinet min lirebagni, sew eko maseb sichil new sew emibalew. ahunes TPLF tegemamu. shitachew gelema. yegna sewu yewahu zimbilo derge min aderege yilal. yezarew gin ketarik weta yale wedehula meshinat new. aferku zares. bekagni !!!!

  14. AYE
    | #14


  15. Emebet
    | #15

    I feel really bad about what has happened to Teddy. He is a talented young artist; no one can deny that really, even his enemies. He is not a mare singer; rather he is a patriotic artist who has done so much for his country and his people – preaching love and peace, tolerance and forgivingness and above all harmony and coexistence!! Coexistence!! With out one compromising his identity to be accepted by the other, Coexistence!! With one respecting others belief and vice versa. What a great artist Tedy!!!!!!

    But, the big but though is that he had allegedly committed an offence. Has he really committed the offence? Or has the government set him up? I can tell one thing for sure about the respectful Tedy – he is incapable of doing the alleged offence intentionally.

    Nevertheless, I appreciate the government for doing its duty. The mighty Marathon Olympic hero Mamo Wolde, (who has laid the foundation of the trend of inheriting and preserving the glory of the work of seniors by succeeding grand Bikila, just like Bekele did that of Gebre silase’s as depicted spectacularly by the very Tedy afro’s librettos,) was arrested on the accusation that he participated in a Red Terror execution during the regime of the dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam. No one could possibly believes that Mamo was accused by this same government (though at different time) because of his counter belief. This raises lot of questions again. Is Teddy’s case different? Or has the government changed its attitude?

    In any case, if Tedy has done the mistake he should only receive the minimum penalty possible for the particular kind of mistake, considering his invaluable gifts he has bestowed the great nation Ethiopia.

    | #16

    Now we can say TEDI has become the youngest “Ethiopian Mandela”, the difference is that Teddy will not stay for 27 years in prison because the downfall of the tyranny is not so far!
    I believe Ethiopia shall prevail!

  17. pepe
    | #17

    ONLY JAH KNOWS 1 love

  18. | #18

    Eventhough this bad news form i proud of my hero Teddy Afro.You must stand infront of your enemy untill the day you die.Don’t beg weyane,don’t expose your self.

  19. Raza
    | #19

    So, what and till when are we waiting filling our bulky belly ?
    Ethiopians Shame on us.
    Common stop talking or backbiting. Needs action.


  20. | #20

    Teddy’s imprisonment is the other weapon of weyane as to how distroy this beautiful and ancient land; remeber weyane are distroying Ethiopia through several ways but the main things are, 1- guns, 2- lies, 3- killing or imprisonment. Legesse and his stooges have formulated so many ways to kill all Ethiopians through out the world.

    | #21

    go and hung your dumen slfe my comment NEVER been insults or bad words why you always tell me as if my comment is awaiting moderetion? is it b/s I support EPRDF OR WHAT? shame on you.
    there are a lot of ppl who insult to the whole ppl of tigray you Never delet that comment why?
    again shame on you be free website like nazret.com ohh my god whats wrong with you?;

  22. | #22


  23. Woleyew
    | #23

    We should be mindful of Woyane strategy to destroy any thing Ethiopian, Teddy is not only a symbol of Ethiopiawinet but brings out the hidden feeling out of all. His message is the exact opposite of the Woyane Bandits who at one time trashed Ethiopawinet. The popular Artist is known for one and all but the biggest damage of Woyane is doing is to those true ordinary Ethiopians in our communities.

    Be in the look out, Woyane with its accomplice killed Ethiopia it is now drilling in the soul of Ethiopiawinet. Teddy is the grand price for the Badits. For those who do not understand the history of Woyane go back and read. Woyane sounds its history started 1998 but the whole story of Woyane reviles it is the most dangerous mercenary ever assembled to destroy Ethiopia since the fascist attempted.

    it is unfortunate he is using the people of Tigriy to accomplish its mission.

    Any thing Woyane must and should be rejected

  24. nameless
    | #24

    I have no words…..i am really sad but i beleive God will help Teddy.

  25. nameless
    | #25

    I think the graphic image of Meles swallowing Teddy on the top of this page is so hillarious……..ha ha ha it is so funny whoever thought of that was a genius…long live Tewodros Kassahun……..1 love

Comments are closed.