Teddy Afro

Teddy Afro
Teddy Afro performing in Melbourne, Australia, June 2011
Teddy Afro performing in Melbourne, Australia, June 2011
Background information
Birth nameTewodros Kassahun Germamo
Born (1976-07-14) 14 July 1976 (age 45)
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
OriginAddis Ababa, Ethiopia
Years active2001–present
LabelsNahom Records

Tewodros Kassahun Germamo (Amharic: ቴዎድሮስ ካሳሁን ገርማሞ; born 14 July 1976), known professionally as Teddy Afro, is an Ethiopian singer-songwriter. Known by his revolutionary songs and political dissent sentiment, Teddy is considered one of the most significant Ethiopian artists of all time.[1] Teddy has had a huge cultural impact on the Ethiopian music industry and has been a big influence on many young artists.

Life and career

1976–2001: Early years

Tewodros Kassahun Germamo was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 14 July 1976 to a singer and songwriter Kassahun Germamo and dancer Tilaye Arage. Tewodros is of ethnic Amhara descent.[2] Despite involving with the entertainment industry, his parents discouraged him to pursue his music career.[3]

2001–2007: Abugida, Teddy and Yasteseryal

Teddy Afro made his debut in 2001 with the album Abugida, quickly establishing himself as a prominent voice in his native country. Mixing reggae, traditional Ethiopian styles, and pop music, his sophomore LP, 2005's Yastesereyal yielded a major hit in its controversial title track, which criticized corruption in the country's government. The song "Hab Dahlak" talks about the division of Ethiopia and Eritrea in terms of couples separating. Four of the album's songs were subsequently banned from media outlets, though "Yastesereyal" sales and influence remained controversial.

His second album Teddy was done in 2000 but released in 2002.

His third album, Yasteseryal was released in 2005. This album was one of the most influential and controversial. Teddy's lyrical sentiments and the release of this album coincided with the elevated political tension in Ethiopia surrounding the 2005 Ethiopian general election. The government banned four of his songs including "Yasteseryal" from playing on Ethiopian media outlets. This restriction was put to rest after the governing party was thrown out of power in 2017. He has since performed these songs in Addis Ababa Meskel Square concerts.[4] Nonetheless, the album sold more than a million copies within a few months after its release.[5]

2012–2017: Tikur Sew and Ethiopia

After his breakthrough, Teddy released his fourth album, Tikur Sew on 14 April 2012. The album Tikur Sew (black person) is dedicated to Emperor Menelik II and the Battle of Adwa, the war of colonial resistance between the Ethiopian forces and the Italian Empire in 1896. The album was the most expensive and most widely sold album in Ethiopia after his fifth album Ethiopia. The album saw huge sales via music markets. According to AdikaRecords' producer Ashenafi Zeleke, the music markets required 500,000 CDs and 200,000 cassettes and the album was in process for sale.[6]

On 22 August 2014, Teddy released "Be 70 Dereja", with 9.1 million views on YouTube within two years. The music video set in 1970s-themed black-and-white scenarios in Ethiopia, including several monuments and places.[7]

Teddy's fifth album, Ethiopia was officially released on 2 May 2017, reached the top of the Billboard World Albums chart in that month, at which time more than 600,000 units had been sold.[8][9]

2020–present: "Demo Be Abay" and upcoming projects

Kassahun held the Adwa! Wede Fikir Guzo concert on 22 February 2020 to a record-breaking crowd in Addis Ababa Meskel Square.[10]

On 3 August 2020, Teddy released "Demo Be Abay", a song dedicated to the Abbay river, known in English as the Blue Nile River.[11] The song is a critique of Egyptian attitudes, or "Egypt's shamelessness", in regard to its claims over the waters of the river Nile; Egypt had claimed that the filling of the reservoir for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam would endanger its water supply.[12]

Personal life

Teddy lives in Addis Ababa. He has been married to Ethiopian actress, model, and producer Amleset Muchie on 27 September 2012.[13] They have three children.[14]

On 6 December 2006[failed verification], Teddy was jailed for four years in connection with an alleged hit-and-run incident during the 2005 Ethiopian general election. He was accused with driving under the influence when he rammed a 40 years old homeless man. The government sentenced him to six years in prison, and fined with 18000 birr ($1,755). With good behavior, Teddy was released in August 2009.[15][16]


Teddy's earlier work was solely based on reggae fusion but gradually turned with Ethiopian music employing traditional vibrato vocals, and itchy triplet of "Amhara sound".[17]


In 2021, Teddy received an honorary degree from Gondar University.[18]


Studio albums

Albums list with singles
Abugida (Abo Geeda)
  • Released: 2001
  • Record label: Nahom Records and Massinko Entertainment
  • Singles:
    • "Lijinet Alat"
    • "Leman Lemash"
    • "Mona Lisa"
    • "Abugida (Abo Geeda)"
    • "Lela Alawkim"
    • "Ayne Hul Gize"
    • "Haile Haile"
    • "Baygermish"
    • "Birabiro"
    • "Haile Selassie"
    • "Hewan Endewaza"
  • Released: 2002
  • Record Label: AIT Records
  • Singles:
    • "Lebbo"
    • "Wazendiro"
    • "Shegnehush"
    • "Guadegna"
    • "Gud Serachign"
    • "Tizibt"
    • "Hagere"
    • "Wub Aleme"
    • "Lame Bora"
    • "Qezebiye"
    • "Tsigereda"
Tarik Tesera
  • Released: 2004
  • Record label: Evangadi Production
  • Singles:
    • "Tarik Tesera (Anbessa)"
  • Released: 2005
  • Record label: Nahom Records and Electra Music Shop (in Ethiopia)
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru and Nathenael Gemechu (Nahom Records)
  • Singles:
    • "Yasteseryal"
    • "Bel Sitegne"
    • "Lambadina"
    • "Promise"
    • "Alamin"
Yasteseryal Edition 2
  • Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Singles:
    • "Yasteseryal"
    • "Bel Sitegne"
    • "Lambadina"
    • "Promise"
    • "Alamin"
    • "Seleme"
    • "Kier Yhon"
    • "Shemendafer"
    • "Balderesu"
    • "Semie Lelieleh Afe"
    • "Lemn Yhon"
    • "Tizita"
    • "Hab Dahlak"
    • "Itegie"
    • "Nigeregne Kalshima"
Best Collection – Nahom Volume 14
  • Released: 2006
  • Record label: Nahom Records
  • Singles:
    • "Menta Wedije"
    • "Yregal"
    • "Lamie Bora"
    • "Wede Hagere Bet"
Gizzie Lekuluu
  • Released: 2007
  • Singles:
    • "Gizzie Lekulu"
Tikur Sew
  • Released: 14 April 2012
  • Record label: AdikaRecords
  • Singles:
    • "Tikur Sew"
    • "Tenanekegn"
    • "O Africaye"
    • "Ayzenegas Libe"
    • "Sile Fikir"
    • "Chewatash"
    • "Kelal Yihonal"
    • "Tsebaye Senay"
    • "Hilim Ayidegemim"
    • "Des Yemil Sikay"
    • "Fiyorina"
  • Released: 2 May 2017
  • Singles:
    • "Ethiopia"
    • "Sembere"
    • "Mar Eske Tuaf"
    • "Anna Nyaatu"
    • "Mematsene"
    • "Tamolshal"
    • "Yamral"
    • "Atse Tewodros"
    • "Emma Zend Yider"
    • "Marakiye"
    • "Amen"
    • "Adey"
    • "Nat Baro"
    • "Olan Yizo"

Non-album singles

Non-album singles
  • Released: 2009
  • Released: 2013
" Be 70 Dereja"
  • Released: 22 August 2014
"Korkuma Africa"
  • "Korkuma Africa"
  • "Korkuma Africa (Reggae Mix)"
  • "Alhed Ahe"
  • Released: 2015
"Demo Be Abay"
  • Released: 3 August 2020


DVDs list with singles
Tarik Tesera
  • Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Singles:
    • "Tarik Tesera (Anbessa)"
  • Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Singles:
    • "Yasteseryal"
    • "Promise"
    • "Anbessa"
    • "Seleme"
  • Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Bruke Films and Admass Advertising
  • Producer: Bruke M. Abaynhe
  • Director: Zeresenay Berhane Mehari
  • Singles:
    • "Lambadina"
    • "Semie Lelileh Afe"
    • "Negeren Kalash"
    • "Alamn Alena"
Inya Sinewaded (Concert)DVD
  • Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru


  1. ^ Orgeret, Kristin Skare (2008). "When will the Daybreak Come?". Nordicom Review. 29 (2): 231–244. doi:10.1515/nor-2017-0188. ISSN 2001-5119.
  2. ^ Van Beemen, Olivier (2019). Heineken in Africa: A Multinational Unleashed. Oxford University Press. p. 6. ISBN 9781849049023.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". www.durame.com. Archived from the original on 5 July 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Login • Ethiopian News Forum". www.ethiopianreview.com.
  5. ^ "When will the daybreak come? Popular music and political processes in Ethiopia". www.ethiomedia.com.
  6. ^ "Teddy Afro's Album "Tikur sew" Hit a New Record in Ethiopian Music Industry - Misrak Link". www.misraklink.com. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  7. ^ "Addisfortune- The Largest English Weekly in Ethiopia!". addisfortune.net. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  8. ^ "World Music: Top World Albums the week of May 20, 2017". Billboard. Eldridge. 20 May 2017. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  9. ^ Elias Meseret (13 May 2017). "Ethiopia's star singer Teddy Afro makes plea for openness". The Washington Post. AP. ISSN 0190-8286.
  10. ^ "Adwa! Wode Fikir Concert on Feb 22nd, 2020 | TEDDYAFRO &". 21 February 2020. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Teddy Afro: "Demo Be Abay". Borkena Ethiopian News. 3 August 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  12. ^ Yibeltal, Kalkidan (21 August 2020). "Nile dam row: Ethiopia's pop stars hit out". BBC News.
  13. ^ "Teddy Afro and Amleset Muchie get married". Addis Journal. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Teddy Afro and Amleset Muche dancing with Teddy's New song, Tewodros". Awramba Times. 6 May 2017. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  15. ^ "Ethiopia: Teddy Afro's prison term reduced by 4 years".
  16. ^ "Teddy Afro's Biography". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  17. ^ Teddy Afro, Ethiopia's biggest pop star: 'Because of our government, our country is divided', 14 July 2017
  18. ^ Teddy Afro gets Gondar University Honoris Causa , thousands graduate, 1 August 2021

External links