Over the last few years Afro Teddy was the darling of the Ethiopian music scene with hit record after hit record. Today one of Ethiopia’s most popular musicians is languishing in jail facing the prospect of up to six years behind bars. The singer whose real name is Tewodros Kassahun is facing the fate over a hit and run accident in Addis Ababa which left an 18 year old homeless man Degu Yibelte dead.
Afro Teddy’s saga began in November 2006 when he was arrested for fleeing the scene of a fatal accident. The victim Yibelte was hit by a car on the night of November 2, 2006. A witness statement gave the number of BMW which was said to have been involved in the incident and police traced the car to Afro Teddy.
Afro Teddy’s Supporters have claimed that the charges are politically motivated and retaliation for the popularity of his songs, especially his third album Yateseryal, which was popular with the opposition during Ethiopia’s elections in 2005.
On hearing the sentence the singer himself remained defiant, as he left court Afro gave a thumbs-up sign to supporters and told journalists: “I never killed anyone; I didn’t get justice from this court.”