Tuesday, March 28, 2006

ቴዲ መቸ አፍሮ

Yup. That's his middle name. From butt shakin’ to belly piercing, hip wining, MJ’s “Thriller” ripping action in his videos , Teddy A(la)fro is paving new grounds in the Ethiopian music video scene. There are at least four of his videos at Habesha Hookups (በነገራችን ላይ I thought when they said ‘hookups’ that they meant …you know. . . ንትን ሲሉ . . . ምናምን. “Hookup video” ብሎ ለላ? Annnnnnyway!) You may have to skip over some other videos in between. Alternatively, some of the vidos in between were interesting, too. There is a rap song, primarily in English but with Amharic chorus, that sounded kind of cool.

Much like western music videos, these ones also flaunted their share of women (to a little more than what I’m used to) by habesha standards. Some focus on the back side (Yo, there’s this woman shakkkking it ነው የሚባለው!), pierced belly, etc. The one thing that was decidedly missing was the bust area. Ha ha! ገና ዛ … አልደረስንም? ደንባራ prepubescent camera - አደናቅፎት ከፊትዋ ተንከባሎ ሆድዋ ላይ ኣረፈ. Somebody once said how for Ethiopians, beauty still starts and ends with ፊት/መልክ. The rest are accessories.

In Lampadina, there was something about the way he was smiling that reminded me of Jamie Fox’s depiction of Ray Charles.

UPDATE: Somebody commented that they couldn't see Teddy Afro's stuff on the link provided above, and it seems like they rotate the videos. So the only one I can see now by Teddy Afro is "Promise", the one about Bob Marley. Instead, though, I saw some disturbing shit! I don't like Miss Whatever competitions, as it is. "Miss Ethiopia North America"? First of all, WTF was that?? Couldn't the video possibly have been just a lil'more flattering? There were some shots in there fittting a prelude to a porn video. Secondly, call me ... whatever you like, but if you've to strut it on stage, it ain't worth it.


Anonymous said...

I know I am a week late, but I had to simmer for a while. What is up with teddy continuously genuflecting to " our brothers from Asmara " ...his words, not mine. I talked to a couple of ppl who have attended his last gigs and that is what he is saying in his banters. Remember the Alamo.. I mean Muhammed Ahmed and his ill advised comments...Teddy, stop bending over....

Tobian said...

:-) bending overrrrr? ማ? ቴዲ?

From your mention of only what he says at his gigs, I imagine you've never to paid attention to the song "ካብ ዳህላክ" from the ያስተስርያል album, which is about an everlasting love between an Eritrean man and an Ethiopian woman. The song goes:

ዳህላክ ላይ ልስራ በቴን
ቁርት ሆነኣል መለየቴ
ነጠለኝ ከምዋዳት ባለበቴ

There are some lines in there which make overt political statements, like

ወይ ኣልመጣ ነገር ኣቋ ርጨ ዱሩን
ዝሆኖች ተጣልተው ስበሩት ድንበሩን

Then again, the song could be about the countries themselves.

I imagine a lot of people I know would be of your opinion. Personally, I like the song … simply as a song. I also happen to like the message it carries.

These days I say there’s only one war I would be willing to take part in as far as the Eritreans are concerned: if there was ever any mention of them coming back (thank god there’s too little chance of that!). Don’t get me wrong. I do not … dislike Eritreans. It just seems that we all need some space, some time. I think, much like the Ethiopian people, Eritreans were agitated into the state they’re in. I also believe the Eritreans in Eritrea don’t like what their country has now become. Hell, they’re damned with that Issayas fool. I’d pity them, except I don’t think they care much for that, either. Besides, we’re not faring much better. So I’ve simply zoned off the space north of Ethiopia. I have nothing good of bad left to say.

When people like Teddy come by, and they still have energy to preach about love and peace, I give them … 10 thumbs up. That’s the spirit, man. That’s the Ethiopia my parents painted in my mind. Separate the man from his religion. Separate the man from his ethnicity. And one day we shall separate the man from his politics, too.

We don’t have to be the same nation for Ethiopians to maintain our sense of brotherhood. Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” pretty much put me to sleep (Had already read the book. ;-) I am looking forward to the squeal, though. ) The one useful lesson I took from it was a quote from Jesus. The gist of the quote was that there was no challenge in loving your friend. So the question is, do you ever truly put an effort to love at all? (I’m not religious, so you’ve to understand, this is really bending me out of shape).

I know I rambled on. I guess what I'm trying to say can be summed up to
a) we've to keep the love alive.
b) we shall not be forced to hate.

And if one’s got love to preach, I say preach on, brother! Preach on!

p.s. also, note that if a popular musician said similar things in Eritrea, the gov’t would have his head for dinner. Even with all the broiling anger that has gripped the Ethiopian nation, isn’t it nice that he can say all this and people still love him? Isn’t that …beautiful?