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  • Journalist Biruk refutes rumor about Teddy Afro’s reward

    (Dire Tube News, Addis Ababa)-  Recently, journalist Biruk Endale has resigned from EBC by his own will for the “moral damage” he suffered after his interview with Teddy Afro on EBC was cancelled.


    After a couple of days his official resignation, even his announcement on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/birukendale), rumors claimed that “Biruk left EBC because Teddy Afro contributed 50 thousand Birr to him”.


    Requested by Entertainment show on Bisrat FM radio, however, Biruk refuted that the claim as “a false and baseless rumor”. “There’s no money I received from anyone,” he said.


    “I just left from EBC with my own decision and that’s all,” he concluded.


    Earlier Biruk noted that, “Cancelation of Teddy Afro’s interview is not just a rejection of an artist, rather, it’s a contempt of journalism, a great profession many were sacrificed for it”.


    After Biruk resigned from the state owned media that has been severely criticized by many for censorship and not accommodating different opinions of the public.


    To the contrary, Biruk was appreciated by many with a few dislikes of his action on the social media.

     

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  • Messi's Spanish jail sentence for tax fraud to stand

     

    A 21-month jail term handed down last year to Barcelona and Argentina footballer Lionel Messi has been confirmed by Spain's Supreme Court, but he is unlikely to go to prison.

    Messi and his father Jorge, who manages his finances, were both convicted in 2016 of defrauding Spain of €4.1m (£3.5m; $4.6m) in taxes.

     

    Jorge Messi's jail term was reduced because he paid some of the taxes.


    In Spain, prison terms of under two years can be served under probation.


    The case will now return to the court in Barcelona that handed down the original judgement.


    Lionel Messi, a five-time world footballer of the year, has denied any involvement and told his trial in June 2016: "I only worried about playing football."


    But in its decision on Wednesday, the court said: "It defies logic to concede that someone who earns a large income does not know that he must pay taxes on it."


    Both men were originally convicted of three counts of fraud, for using tax havens in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009, and were also given heavy fines.

     

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  • Teddy Afro’s “Ethiopia” translated into English

    Ethiopian Professor Alemayehu Gebremariam, a Lecturer of Political Science at California State University, San Bernardino, has translated Teddy Afro’s much beloved “Ethiopia” song into English aiming for those native Ethiopians, who have born and raised abroad.


    He wrote on his commentaries blog that, “I have prepared this translation for two reasons”. And, his reasons are;


    Firstly, said Professor Alemayehu, to help young Ethiopians in the Diaspora who do not speak or understand Amharic get a glimpse of the musical genius of Teddy Afro, and;


    Secondly, to acquaint them with the metaphysics of “Ethiopiawinet”, a state of being and consciousness, a philosophy and way of life, a system of beliefs and praxis of being Ethiopian. I do not believe there is anyone today who can explain Ethiopiawinet (“Ethiopianity”) better than Tewdros Kassahun.


    Certainly, no one better to communicate it to the younger generation. I also hope to introduce this musical legend to my global readership so that they too may appreciate and enjoy his music as millions have come to appreciate Ethiopian cuisine throughout the world. “If music be the food of love, play on,” wrote Shakespeare.


    Here you can find Professor Alemayehu’s English version poem for Teddy Afro’s Ethiopia:-


    “Ethiopia”
    Even if I pass [die] away
    My motherland [Ethiopia]
    She [remains] is my honor
    Indeed, [she is] my [mother] country.

    So many have died
    Guarding your [her] honor
    Against those who have crossed seas
    To dishonor you [her].

    You are the land of heroes
    [Land] Where Adam left his footprints
    The fountainhead of Ghion [river mentioned in Ch. 2, Genesis]
    [From where] your name is called out.

    Not only those who see your flag waving in the SKY
    Even those who hear the name “Ethiopia” [dare] keep quiet
    Not only those who see your flag waving in the sky
    Even those who hear the name “Ethiopia” [dare] keep quiet.

    With your rainbow [shining]
    The sky draped with your flag
    Your symbol is imprinted on the palm of the world
    And known [even] to Aryam [Ge’ez: sky above all skies, heaven].

    Mountain [ranges] of high peaks
    Have stood guard over you
    [From] The peak of mountains
    That citadel of Axum, Ethiopia.

    You are the gate to Creation
    The [beginning] chapter for the round world
    If [rainbow] colors are seen across the SKY
    It is hers [Ethiopia’s] and no one else’s.

    Even though the world calls her [Ethiopia] backward today
    She will be the front runner of the coming age
    Just let me repeat her name over and over
    Isn’t Ethiopia my own name?

    If there is less food [injera] on the table [Ethiopia is poor]
    Is it possible to TRADE one’s [poor] mother for anything else
    I will hold tight on her skirt
    And never give up hope in my mother.

    Before [I] finish paying her [Ethiopia] for all her favors
    Should not people say [shout out] “Unity” when they hear [the name] Ethiopia
    Ethiopia! Ethiopia! My country!
    Isn’t my honor because of you?

    You are the seed of Solomon
    Tears of the holy ones from which your leaf sprouted
    It should be nothing new [not be surprised] today to those
    Who touched [provoked] you to be burned by the fire they lit.

    Without any limitation to your glory
    In the book of your heritage with the history of the spirit of the ages [written]
    The prophets saw you from afar and wrote in their books:
    “Don’t touch Ethiopia!”

    In the north
    In the south
    In the east and in the west
    May your bounty be full!

    Begone hardship [misery] from the land [Ethiopia]
    Let your bounty be full!
    Begone hardship [misery] from your land [Ethiopia]
    Let your bounty be full!

     

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  • Teddy afro - more than a singer


    The music world has witnessed something strange this month. The Billboard World Albums Chart placed Teddy Afro’s latest album, ‘Ethiopia’ on top of the list and the album has so far sold more than 600,000 copies. Teddy is a talented yet controversial singer as his songs speak louder by going beyond cliché themes and passing messages often interpreted as being political. Teddy uses art as a weapon to advance his message and is a solid figure of his generation who talks about Ethiopian identity and consistently speaks of Ethiopian pride.


    So what is new about Teddy’s latest album? I give particular importance to the way the lyrics are structured. His songs entitled – ‘Mar Eske Tuaf’ and ‘Atse Tewodros’ – with respective beats appealing to traditional Gojam and Gondar singing styles, brought something unprecedented to the Ethiopian music scene – turning a book into a song. Specifically, ‘Mar Eske Tuaf’ summarized the 552-page Amharic masterpiece novel by Haddis Alemayehu, entitled ‘Fiker Eske Mekabir’ (roughly translated as ‘Love unto Crypt’), in seven minutes and twenty seven seconds.


    What makes ‘Mar Eske Tuaf’ special is the idea of turning such a monumental novel in modern Amharic literature into an amazing song. Another astonishing thing about ‘Mar Eske Tuaf’ is that its lyrics are structure in such a way that it is expressive of the novel along with its major characters. Another thing worth mentioning is how Teddy artistically mentioned the names of key figures associated with the novel like the author, Haddis Alemayehu, and Wogayehu Nigatu, who is celebrated for breathing more life to the novel in his narration which repeatedly aired in the 1980s 1990s on the Ethiopian National Radio Service to attract millions of listeners.


    When carefully observing Teddy’s music career it can be noticed that he preaches about unity, love, brotherhood and peace for all Ethiopians. Teddy’s plea for political openness is both timely and appealing. In his recent blog, an Ethiopian academic and social scientist, Fikre Tolossa (Prof.), wrote about Teddy’s musical fame, and concluded that Teddy’s wide-ranging approval came because his songs call for ‘unity of Ethiopians’. Still, the hypothesis of the professor would require further in-depth inquiry or study.


    In his recent interview with the Associated Press (AP), Teddy talked about the political landscape of Ethiopia in the past, present and future. Asked by AP regarding the present Ethiopian political vibe, Teddy Afro replied: “The tendency nowadays in Ethiopia is to mobilize along ethnic lines, not ideas”. What can be taken from of this view is one – a political stand calling for individual freedom. As vivid as we are witnessing today, such a political view has been fading since the year 2005, with some prominent opposition political parties warning that it has been weakening since the past two decades or so. Teddy’s assessment has substance. Many are responding to and/or commenting their inferences in their own ways. The core issue for me is how contradictory or complementary is Teddy’s view to the political goals of the ruling regime, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

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  • EBC Journalist Resigned over Teddy Afro's Interview

    (DireTube News - Addis Ababa) Almost a week after the cancellation of Teddy Afro’s interview, expected to be broadcasted on Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporate (EBC), Journalist Biruk Endale has officially announced his resignation from the state-owned media.

    “I have officially resigned from EBC,” he wrote on his Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/birukendale). “I and EBC were together for the past four years, with different ups and downs,” wrote Biruk, adding, “But, I was struggling with my conscious mind, especially, following the cancellation of Teddy Afro’s interview”. “And I can’t tolerate that anymore”. Biruk went on saying that, “Cancelation of Teddy Afro’s interview is not just a rejection of an artist, rather, it’s a contempt of journalism, a great profession that many were sacrificed for it”.

    Biruk went on saying that, “Cancelation of Teddy Afro’s interview is not just a rejection of an artist, rather, it’s a contempt of journalism, a great profession that many were sacrificed for it”.

    “I, therefore, resigned to give a respect to the profession,” he firmly announced. He finally thanked all beside of him in different times.

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  • Politics Through Entertainment

    Music is entertainment on the main. However, it is also a powerful medium through which different messages can be conveyed. In the Ethiopian tradition, we also have musical works (songs) with double-edged puns accompanied by Masinko, a traditional Ethiopian single-stringed bowed lute.

    Masinko is skillfully operated by five fingers in a measured length alternating while the other hand keeps on moving the little bow back and forth, straight or at a slanted angle, to adjust the sound to fit the singer’s (male) melody or the chorus repeated by a lady who dances to the tune accordingly.

    Yes, music entertains, and it is food for the soul. Soloists the likes of Alemayehu Fanta, Getamesay Abebe, and their counterparts were well-known entertainers. They had been playing to cheer up the nobility including the heads of state and the Royal family.

    Songs and musical puns, particularly those nationalistic ones, can inspire and mobilise people to defend their nation from foreign aggressors, which was often evident in our history. Such songs are also promoters of and means for instilling a love of nation in the hearts of citizens.

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