Tewodros Kassahun (Teddy Afro) | Childhood, Family & Music

Tewodros Kassahun (Teddy Afro) | Childhood, Family & Music

December 27, 2022

Tewodros Kassahun, better known as Teddy Afro, is an Ethiopian popular singer and songwriter. Tewodros is one of the greatest artists in Ethiopian musical history and arguably the best singer in contemporary Ethiopia. Teddy Afro is a great inspiration and model to many emerging youth artists in the Ethiopian music industry. Teddy is well known for his reggae and Ethiopian pop music. More importantly, he gained fame due to the powerful messages he conveys in his songs. From patriotism to politics, Teddy addresses his uplifting and influential sentiments to his listeners. In his political songs, Teddy brutally criticized and critiqued the leading government in his country for political suppression and corruption.

Teddy Afro (Tewodros Kassahun) - Known Ethiopian Musician

Besides his dominance in his native country’s music industry, Teddy has also gained international fame as his fifth album broke record sales by topping the Billboard World Albums chart in May 2017. Moreover, Teddy’s music is well celebrated among the 2 million diaspora Ethiopians living abroad.

Furthermore, owing to his frequent use of roots-reggae rhythms, many Ethiopians regard Tewodros as the Ethiopian Bob Marley. Amplifying the assertion, Tewodros appeared at the 60th-anniversary concert for Bob Marley and performed alongside the other Marleys.

Childhood & Early Life

Tewodros Kassahun Germamo was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 14 July 1976 to Kassahun Germamo and Tilaye Arage. He was the firstborn child of his parents. The patriotic pop singer Tewodros is of Amhara descent. His father, Kassahun Germamo, was a stage conductor, singer, and songwriter; while his mother, Tilaye Arage, was a professional dancer. Although the parents themselves were devoted to art, they discouraged Tewodros when he started to pursue his music career. But, Teddy, who grew up watching his mother dancing on television and his father’s entertaining character, was already in deep love with art. Even without his parent’s support, he wrote a whole exercise book of poetry. Moreover, Teddy as a young child sat on the knee of Hirut Bekele, a popular singer from the 60s and 70s, as she performed in small clubs in Addis Ababa.

However, as time passed, his parents came to accept their son’s outstanding talent. Teddy then began to please the heart of his mother and father with his singing. But, unfortunately, his father passed away before his child’s song became popular across the country.

Tewodros Kassahun Family

In 2012, Tewodros married an Ethiopian actress, model, and producer Amleset Muchie, in a wedding that took place at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa. Tewodros and the Miss World Ethiopia 2006, Amleset, are a perfect couple with no rumors of breaking up or issues between them. The duo is blessed with three children including Michael Tewodros and Yemariam Tewodros. No further information about their children is known since their parents have kept them away from the spotlight.

Tewodros with his family is currently residing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Career

Teddy Afro released his debut album Abugida in 2001. A year later, Teddy released his second album. Afterward, He released his third album Yasteseryal, a controversial album with divisive and political messages.

This album’s political content together with the 2005 Ethiopian post-election crackdown had caused the former Ethiopian government to restrict four of this album’s songs from being played on Ethiopian media outlets. In spite of this, the album sold more than a million copies within a few months after its release. But, owing to the current government, the ban was raised and Teddy got the chance to perform these songs in Meskel Square, Addis Ababa.

After this influential album, Teddy release his fourth album, Tikur Sew, on 14 April 2012. This album involves in Emperor Menelik II and the Battle of Adwa. In addition to, this 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 of a sale.

After on, Teddy came up with his fifth album, Ethiopia on 2 May 2017. Gaining a wide acceptance, this album reached the top of the Billboard World Albums with more than 600,000 units being sold.

Aside from his albums, Teddy has also released astonishing single songs. Be 70 Dereja and Demo Be Abay are some of the outstanding songs he has made.

MAR ESKE TUAF

  • Artist: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Released: 2017
  • Music Arrangement: Abel Paulos
  • Director: Amleset Muchie
  • Producer: Maya Film Production | Teddy Afro
  • Description: With his song, Teddy paid tribute to Haddis Alemayehu, a timeless Ethiopian author. He changed one of the author’s literary works to a heartwarming melody, and later a visual rendition of substance.
  • Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2inQ1WeaFs

YASTESERIYAL

  • Artist: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Nahom Records
  • Executive Producer: Elias Fikru
  • Description: In this song Teddy Afro praised Haileselassie, who is the last emperor of Ethiopia.
  • Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvSYB9tAWZY

TIKUR SEW

  • Artist: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Released: 2012
  • Music Arrangement: Abegazu Kibrewerk
  • Director: Tamirat Mekonen
  • Producer: Sabisa Films
  • Record label: AdikaRecords
  • Description: In this song, Teddy Afro gives tribute to Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, the first African leader who defeated the Italian colonial forces at the Battle of Adwa in 1896, securing Ethiopia’s independence. Moreover, the song praises Empress Taytu Betul, the wife of Emperor Minilik for her role in the battle of Adwa.
  • Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKrw9LIkAeU

LAMBADINA

ETHIOPIA

  • Artist: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Released: 2017
  • Music Arrangement – Abel Paulos
  • Description: In this song, Teddy firmly voiced ‘Ethiopia’ as ‘mother land’ for its people. Besides, he discoursed the historical and natural heritage of the country as well as the patriotism sacrificed to preserve these heritages. Moreover, Teddy advocated for unity and love of ‘mother land’ to assure its sovereignty.
  • Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VsrL9Rz-A5A

KENA BEL

  • Artist: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Released: 2021
  • Music Arrangement – Maru Alemayehu
  • Description: It is one of his songs about his country Ethiopia. In the song, Teddy pleads for his country’s unity and renaissance.
  • Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkOstq4GuLk

DEMO BE ABAY

NA’ET ናዕት (እያመመው ቁጥር ፪)

  • Artist: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Released: 2022
  • Music Arrangement: Bereket Tesfazigi
  • Director: Not Available
  • Producer: Not Available
  • Description:

Teddy Afro, the prominent Ethiopian musician and singer, has released a new single called “ናዕት” or “Na’et.”  The title of the song, “Na’et,” refers to the unleavened bread similar to what was prepared and eaten by the Israelites during Passover. The song is a powerful and moving anthem that speaks directly to those suffering in Ethiopia. The track has somehow mysterious yet powerful lyrics that focus on the current state of affairs in Ethiopia, ranging from ethnic conflict to political unrest. Teddy Afro implicitly criticizes the Ethiopian government by expressing his hopes for a unified nation. Throughout the song, Teddy seems to be expressing his grief and sadness towards the government for its inability to bridge the divide between the various ethnic groups and do its part in protecting its citizens.

The much-anticipated new single “Na’et” has a music arrangement that creates an emotional atmosphere that instantly captivates the listener and pushes them to delve deeper into the stories Teddy tells through his music. Teddy uses difficult language to express himself in his song. He sang an emotive chorus that consisted of him repeating the phrase “Eyamemew Metaa,” which means “His pain got worse.” He concluded the song with a plea for his community to unite and remember their “shared history, culture, and religion” rather than focus on what divides them, calling for everyone to come together in peace.

Tedi’s music, along with the praise, also received criticism from those who felt that his messages were not genuine and that his message was nothing more than a shallow attempt to capitalize on the suffering of his people.

Overall, the track will undoubtedly be one of many excellent releases from this incredible artist in 2022. 

Award

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

Controversy & Allegations Regarding Teddy Afro

As much as Tewodros is admired and loved, he is also loathed for his veneration of Ethiopia’s past rulers in his songs. Teddy is as controversial as he is a well-liked artist. To this consequence, many strong critiques are thrown at him. Many of the critics of Teddy are the results of his historically inspired albums like Tikur sew. On his album Tikur sew, Teddy, in the mind of honoring Ethiopian heroes, praised and exalted Emperor Minilik for his role in the Battle of Adwa.

Following this, Ethiopians are split into two, regarding the narration of this album on Menelik. To some, the emperor is a hero for uniting the country and resisting European colonialism. While for others, Minilik is accused and intensely detested for the conquest and subjugation of other ethnic groups. As a result, the admiration of Minilik by Teddy Afro is not liked by many. Even more, some Oromo nationalists see him as a promotor of nostalgic Amhara.

Equivalently, Teddy in his 2005 album Yasteseryal, praised Haileselassie, whom many Ethiopians accused him of repressing ethnic sentiments for self-determination.

In addition, in 2006, Tewodros was brought to trial for manslaughter as he was allegedly accused of killing a homeless boy with his BMW in a hit and run. Although he denied committing the crime, he was sentenced to six years in prison and was fined 18000 birr ($1,755). However, Teddy Afro was released in August 2009 only after spending 16 months in jail for showing good behavior in his jail time.

Whatsoever, Tewodros, has either positively, negatively or both, has largely influenced the music industry of Ethiopia.

Social Media Presence of Tewodros Kassahun

Quick Facts on Teddy Afro

Bio

  • Full Name: Tewodros Kassahun
  • Gender: male
  • Nationality: Ethiopian
  • Religion: Orthodox Tewhedo Christianity
  • Sexuality: Straight
  • Occupation: Singer, Songwriter

Birthday

  • Born: 14 July 1976
  • Birthday: July 14
  • Place of Birth: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Age: 45 (as of 2022)
  • Zodiac Sign: Cancer

Physical Status & Body Measurement

  • Eye Color: Not Available
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Height: Not Available
  • Weight: Not Available

Family

  • Father: Kassahun Germamo
  • Mother: Tilaye Arage

Relationship Status

  • Married/Single: Married
  • Wife: Amleset Muchie
  • Children: 3

Teddy Afro’s Net Worth

  • Net Worth: $1 Million – $5 Million
  • Source of income: Music Singing

Frequently Asked Questions about Teddy Afro

  • Who is Tewodros Kassahun? Tewodros Kassahun, better known as Teddy Afro, is an Ethiopian popular singer and songwriter.
  • When is the birthday of Tewodros Kassahun? Tewodros Kassahun celebrates his birthday on July 14 every year.
  • Who is the wife of Tewodros Kassahun? Tewodros’s wife is known as Amleset Muche.
  • What is the birthplace of Tewodros Kassahun? Tewodros was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Written by Sophonias Woldu

Sophonias Woldu is an Ethiopian author with an outstanding skill for crafting unique and captivating articles that explore different aspects of life. He had an inquisitive mind from a young age and was always fascinated by the power of language and words. He writes articles about philosophy, theology, his native Ethiopia, and basically anything and everything else. Before embarking on a writing career, he had already begun a successful career in the electromechanical engineering field, having earned his degree from Addis Ababa Science and Technology University. In addition to being a prolific writer, Sophonias is also a public speaker and tech enthusiast who believes in harnessing technology to improve the lives of Ethiopians. Currently, Sophonias writes articles for www.typicalethiopian.com on a part-time basis.

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