Teddy Afro hailed for hosting Temesgen for luncheon in his residence
Teddy Afro, Ethiopia’s most popular music star and a philanthropist on his own right too, and Temesgen Desalegne have something in common besides being Ethiopian. They both endured notorious prison terms in a very hash conditions including solitary confinement in a dark and dusty cell.
Teddy Afro was thrown to prison with tramped up charges of hit and run – something Teddy Afro would never do, he argued back then to the nod of many Ethiopians. Apparently, “hit and run” charge was politically motivated attack by the regime. The cause? Ideological difference. Teddy Afro is nostalgic of the Ethiopia when unity and love was more valued and pronounced and has made “Fikir yashenfal” ( love wins) the motto of his work. And that sounded like a threat to the ideology of the ruling elites of Tigray People’s Liberation Front and their henchmen. Ironically, Teddy Afro’s one man campaign resonates well with millions of Ethiopians.
Temesgen Desalegne is a journalist by profession and has exploited his profession to advocate for the cause of Ethiopia ; unity, justice and democracy. Just like Teddy Afro, Temesgen Desalegne has a strong appeal to members of his generation and for the older generation that payed dearly for the cause of Ethiopia but is now helplessly seeing Ethiopia consumed by ethnic division entrenched by TPLF rulers. It took a few articles he wrote on his own newspaper for TPLF leaders to incriminate Temesgen with charges of “terrorism” and “inciting violence against the constitutional order” and throw him first to Qilinto and then to Zeway prison, South of the capital Addis Ababa, where he spent three good years without parole.
Temesgen made news headline in Ethiopian media once again when he was released last month after enduring solitary confinement and all sorts of physical abuse which left him excruciating back pain and what not. Ethiopians felt relived not just for Temesgen but for his mother as well who suffered emotionally for three years.
This weekend, Teddy Afro invited Temesgen to his residence for lunch. It became not just news but went viral among Ethiopians in social media. If one is to go through facebook timeline, chances are at least three out of five Ethiopians have posted status update just to express excitement about the news.
Sharing the pictures of Teddy Afro and Temesgen Desalegne, Ledet wrote on her facebook page :
- “This brought tears to my eyes. So much respect for Teddy Afro!!! Renowned Ethiopian artist hosting a recently released Journalist at his house. This used to be our culture until it was destroyed by greed. People only want to do what makes them rich and what makes them popular. Teddy is a great example of being successful and standing up for what is right. May God bless you more!!!!”
Picture of the day! God bless both TeddyAfro & Temesgen. Temesgen & all prisoners of conscience deserve at most respect, support from every conscious human being!https://t.co/aFPXdG1TMK
ጆሮ ያለው ይስማ pic.twitter.com/LKxccjveT6
— Liya'ና Tefferi (@LiyanaTefferi) November 11, 2017
Siyane Aniley proclaimed journalist Temesgen and pop singer Teddy Afro, “The Braves” :
ሁለቱ ጀግኖች !!!
አርቲስት ቴዎድሮስ ካሳሁን/ቴዲ አፍሮ ዛሬ ለጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን ደሳለኝ በቤቱ ግብዣ አደረገለት።
Source: Tariku Desalegn pic.twitter.com/svWB6OPDpL
— Siyane Aniley (@EthioPhenomenal) November 11, 2017
The last two months witnessed violent and large scale ethnic violence in different parts of Ethiopia and many Ethiopians believe, rightly, as a matter of fact, that what unfolded is an outcome of ethnic political ideology that the regime introduced and trying to push down the throats of Ethiopians virtually at a point of gun. The regime has set its records, among reputable human rights organization, as one of the worst human rights violator in the continent.
The problem with the regime in power is not that it installed and propagate ethnic based political ideology. The problem is that it is persecuting Ethiopians who rather espouse a different view of Ethiopia. Teddy Afro and Temsgen Desalegne are only two of the victims. There are still many Ethiopians, journalists and opposition party members and leaders, who are thrown to jail just because they are proponents of Ethiopian unity and opponents of ethnic politics.
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