Ethiopian Singing sensation, Tewodros Kassahun, popularly known as Teddy Afro, is to perform his first public concert since his release from Kality Prison at Addis Ababa Stadium on October 11. At his first press conference since his release three weeks ago, Teddy said that the profit from the concert will contribute to a project to eliminate begging and street living from the country being undertaken by Elshaday Relief and Development Association, a local NGO.
The singer served 18 months for the hit and run manslaughter of a homeless man. The deceased was drunk and asleep in the middle of the street when the vehicle Teddy was driving ran him over.
Teddy Afro said that he is keen to participate in this kind of events and promised that he will continue to engage with charitable projects.
Part of the show will be a memorial program for Tilahun Gesesse, legend of Ethiopian modern music, who died four months ago when Teddy was in jail. Last Sunday, Teddy performed several Tilahun songs at Hilton Hotel at the celebrations for what would have been the singer's 68th birthday.
The show next Sunday is being organised by Adika Tour and Travel Agent and MG Promotion. The two companies are responsible for finding sponsors and stage facilities.
"We expect sponsors will cover the total costs of the program, while I will cover the costs of the band members that come from Seattle and Chicago," Teddy told local and international journalists. "I would like to take this opportunity to call sponsors to support the event," he added.
Awade Mohamed, manager and owner of Adika, told Capital that the cost for the program, including stage coordination, light and sound systems, is estimated at up to 800,000 birr.
Teddy told Capital a day after he was freed from the Kaliti prison on Thursday August 14, after serving 18 months of a two-year sentence, he will begin a world tour after two months off. However, he will perform the first part in his motherland to an expected audience of more than
40,000 for a fair price. According to Teddy, the minimum ticket price is to be 10 birr. "Currently, we have not decided the maximum amount for entrance, but we will announce it when the time comes," he said.
His biggest and most successful show was performed to more than 10,000 people who paid 400 birr to see the show in Ghion Garden, Addis Ababa with his Abugida band in late November 2007.
Teddy's fans Capital interviewed said they are eager to see Teddy on stage after a two year absence.
The 31-year old singer and stage performer entered the Ethiopian music scene in 2001 with his
Abogida album, and has made four albums since and a number of singles.
He found popularity due to his mixture of styles and his powerful self-penned lyrics.
Elshaday is working on resettling street people to suitable areas or their hometowns.
So far, the NGO has resettled around 28,000 people to their former hometowns over the last year. Half of the 200, 000 beggars in the country are located in Addis Ababa, and on average they collect 100 birr per day, according to an Elshaday and Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs study.