The Economist 1843 Features Ethiopia's Biggest Pop Star Teddy Afro In Its August /September Issue

August 7, 2017

London, England ( Little Ethiopia )-The Economist Group featured the Nigerian singer Wizkid in the August/September cover star of The Economist’s culture series ‘What The World Is Listening To’ that also featured Sound and Fury from Venezuela; Acrush, a boyband made up of girls, from China; Teddy Afro, a popular Ethiopian singer, among others.

Past perfect

Teddy Afro is the most popular singer in Ethiopia’s history; his recent fifth album, “Ethiopia”, smashed almost every national record. But Teddy is less saccharine than his cheerful pop anthems might suggest. In 2005 his outspoken lyrics landed him in prison. The authorities may have cause for concern again with “Atse Tewodros II”, a song on “Ethiopia” dedicated to a 19th-century warrior-king, which revisits a recurring theme in his oeuvre: the glory of Ethiopia’s imperial past. His nostalgic message resonates with many, but it makes the government nervous. Young Ethiopians have no memory of the empire; they know well the frustrations of today. A cheerleader for the past is not helpful.

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