Selecting Person of the Year on every December 31st has been a tradition of Ethiopian Review for the past several years. The criteria used for the selection is: Who has contributed the most to the freedom of Ethiopians and the promotion of Ethiopia’s interest during the past 12 months? Based on this criteria, and after a careful and thoughtful consideration, Ethiopian Review has selected Teddy Afro as The 2013 Person of the Year.
Teddy Afro, the 37-year-old pop music star who is also known as Tewodros Kassahun, is the most popular Ethiopian musician of this generation. What made Teddy more popular and admired than all the other Ethiopian artists, however, is not just his musical talent. It is his integrity, social consciousness and genuine patriotism.
Teddy is among the few prominent Ethiopians who have been willing to stand up and be counted when it comes to promoting Ethiopian nationalism. While the Ethiopian elite has abdicated responsibility, Teddy has picked up the torch of our ancestors and is able to instill Ethiopian pride among the new generation of Ethiopians. Thanks to Teddy Afro, the legacy of great Ethiopian leaders of past generations, such as Emperor Menelik, is being remembered and appreciated by young Ethiopians through out the world. Tedy Afro’s recent hit song, Tikur Saw (Black Person), is just one example of his many works of art that are helping to keep Ethiopian patriotism alive. For many children, Teddy Afro is the only teacher of Ethiopianism, a shared value and source of pride that used to inspire all black people of the world.
Teddy Afro is also the first Ethiopian artist to emerge as a global music star. He has been selected by FIFA to perform at the upcoming World Cup in Brazil representing Africa.
While celebrating Teddy’s achievement today, we also remember and honor the sacrifices of all Ethiopians who have given their precious lives for the cause of freedom, and those prisoners of conscience who are currently languishing in Ethiopian jails, including Reyot Alemu, Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Woubshet Taye, Bekele Gerba, Abubekar Ahmed, Zerihun Gebregzihaber and many others. May God help us bring freedom and justice in the new year to these political prisoners and all Ethiopians who are living under the brutal dictatorship.