Permit denied for Teddy Afro concert
A planned concert by Ethiopia’s biggest pop star, Teddy Afro on Ethiopian New Year’s eve has been denied permit, according to the radio show Ethiopicalink.
The September 10 concert in Addis Ababa’s Millennium Hall was expected to draw more than ten thousand people and the artist was reportedly to be paid around 1.8 million birr.
Although a permit application was presented to the mayor’s office on early July, organizers were told last week that it was rejected because another ruling party’s affiliated musical event would be held on the same evening, bringing Prime Minister Hailemarim Desalegn as one of the attendants, Ethiopicalink announced on Saturday night.
The entertainment company organizing the event, Joy Events and Promotion PLC said that the concert would be postponed to a date yet to be announced.
This is not the first time that Teddy Afro, whose real name is Tewodros Kassahun, has been denied permit for such events. His planned gig for same time last year and the year before had been banned by authorities. Even his interview with the state owned television had been abruptly cancelled few months ago, resulting in the resignation of the journalist.
Teddy’s fifth studio album “Ethiopia,” released in May was the fastest-selling record in the country’s history, and topped Billboard’s world albums chart.
The Ethiopian music star first made his name on the local music scene in 2001 with his mix of reggae and pop.
He became renowned for songs paying tribute to the late Emperor Haile Selassie as well as athletics hero Haile Gebrselassie. His third album, Yasteseryal, was released in 2005, the year of disputed national elections that saw a wave of anti-government protests quashed violently by security forces. One of Teddy’s songs accused the government of failing to deliver on promises of change, and his music was the anthem of the anti-government protesters.