I’m not a huge fan of commotion. I’m more of a turning-back-on-and-leaving-place-with-sturdy-feet kindda girl. Which is why you won’t find me around when disaster strikes. Whether a car accident, a fire accident, or pick-pocket accident (although, in the first two incidents I may call 991 before hitting the exit button), I cover my bag with my hand and head for the horizon.
It’s not like I do not enjoy witnessing disaster as well as the next person. I do! But I would rather do it from a safe distance, where no harm could befall on my person. What can I say? I’m selfish. And it comes with a price. Because of my fear of standing-by as a witness for disaster, I’ve missed out on most of the huge happenings Addis sponsored in my adult life: the long anticipated & graceless entrance of EPRDF’s soldiers in Addis in 1987, all “great Ethiopian run”s and, regrettable of all, the new year eve celebration at the turn of the millennium! It’s lucky that I ain’t planning on having kids and living long enough to tell what the millennium was like to their children. I’d have been one old woman who lies out of her ass.
This is why it’s my firm belief that if I heard somebody screaming “Look! The Kingdom of Heaven!”, I’d go back to sleep grumbling how some of us has to go to work in the morning. Needless to say, therefore, the fate of a falling star (human or a ‘small solid body known as a meteoroid that enters a planet’s atmosphere from outer space and is raised to incandescence by the friction resulting from its rapid motion.’) would be the same. I don’t like seeing disaster because I don’t get a kick out of seeing people suffer, in any form. Must have something to do with my childhood, and the traumas in it. Always from bullies, young and old. On things I had no control over.
Now, I like Teddy Afro. Always have. That doesn’t mean I like everything about him. I don’t like his artificial, and rather patronizing.. for me atleast.. “Oh I’m too sweet and shy” smile (which has started reminding me of another celebrity whose smile I intensely dislike – Rachel Ray). I don’t find his ears adorable. And I get furious every time I heard his “Single Black Male” adverts.
But I like him. For the same reason, I think, all of Addis run behind “Kinjit” 3 years ago. Because he seems to embody the “Ethiopian” vision (in a reasonably cute way) that we all grew up having drilled into us!. Yet, unlike most of his fans, I knew what Teddy Afro represents was bigger than Teddy Afro the man (who loves, simply adores, referring to his young age on every occasion J). Just like what “Kinjit” represented was bigger than every one of it’s “central committee members” put together (who, I know nobody wants me reminding them, came to a huge self-evidencing mess).
So, even when he seems to be making all the wrong moves these past two years (once costing me a good 25 bucks for a non-CD he non-released), I stood by him (in my own insignificant way) claiming that he’s just a young lad we should cut a slack for. That if given time, he’d come back to his [true?] self and make us all sing hand-in-hand … again!. (Isn’t that what we wanted him for anyway? Just the way a wife looks out the door eagerly waiting for the elders to appear, take and reconcile her to her husband? With an elderly admonition of “Antem Tew, Anchim Tey”?! I think so!). After all, how many Teddy Afro’s do we have anyway?. Not many! There is Gigi, ofcourse. But she’s been off the scene for more than three years now (after she got married and bore children *wink* *wink*), and releasing an album that used an Amharic phrase translated literally for a title (a bad idea!) and a song that actually confused the name “Ethiopia” with “Utopia” (very bad idea). I respect her for backing out while she was still ahead. And have bigger hopes for her when she reappears, after dropping off her kids at school, or attending their graduation therefrom.
I do that because I am huge on second chances. On growing new leaves. On reincarnations (“rebirth”, “recreation” and re-embodiment. Of an idea?!). Teddy Afro has become an a-hole, sure, but who hasn’t been victim of the celebrity status?. You don’t kick a guy out and throw the remains, as Bertie Wooster would say, just because he made a mistake or two. Because, when you kick-out an idol, you are also kicking-out a vision, an idea, a dream bigger than his own ‘young’ person. You are atleast losing the unique gift you can get from him (yes, it’s a co-dependent relationship folks! We ‘scratch his back’, he scratch ours. Look where our blind devotions or unconditional loves got us? Does Mengistu Hailemariam ring a bell? Solomon Teka? Kinjit?!). Not because that gift has been endowed to him “before the beginning of the world” as the bible would have you believe, but because none of us went through what he went through; saw what he saw; been to where he’s been. And when we kick him out, we kick out a whole lot of another world we could have discovered through him. As all works of art should be, and as every other human being in the planet!
Yep, I’m a very practical fan! Takes more than little to offend me. But offended I would be when my “celebs” demand that I worship them without condition, or murmur. And when they get indignant at somebody that dared mention they have no right to treat me (and us) that way. THAT is the straw that would break this sister’s back. I draw the line and demand “I beg your pardon..?”. You don’t want to see me when I’m on my “IBYP” + mood. My ex boyfriend and my husband don’t refer to me as “Zinabwa” for nothing! J
Teddy Afro has made more than one mistake, and I’m not referring to them music videos I mentioned in 2006 (http://www.google.com.et/search?hl=am&q=abesheet+teddy+afro), which sounds pretty trifle right now. First mistake, he copied some music notes and passed them off as his own (as the folks at “Addis Neger” mentioned) ‘without giving credit to whom credit is due’. So what?!, you’d say, everybody does it! Second mistake, when Seifu Fantahun discovered and aired the theft, he got indignant and said he’d take him to court and sue him for defamation. THAT isn’t something everybody does! If he had had the humility to apologize, or atleast, give Seifu Fantahun the deaf ear and let it slide, no one would have given the theft a 2nd thought. But having probably started to see himself with the burning mirror of love and devotion (and borderline worship) his fans see him with (and would continue seeing him with “an’d sewna an’d be’er eskiqer’; that of Teddy’s no doubt J), he kept on being indignant. In a pretty much “the wrath of God” way, I would like to think, making one amusedly wonder what damages our beloved icon would have done if equipped with a thunder storm, or two! Perhaps then Meles Zenawi wouldn’t look so bad? J (Yes, I exaggerate)
So ..Teddy Afro lied!. Tried to cover it up!. This being neither the times in which the gods roamed the earth looking for mortals to do mischief on, or “Zemene Derg” where an attempt to get a few more bucks can have you shot there and then, some people decided to look into the matter and re-affirmed the theft. Then, ofcourse, things flamed up. The flame didn’t stop by threatening to eat Seifu Fantahun’s good reputation, or Addis Neger and their budding reputation, but anybody’s who dared associate Teddy Afro’s name with stealing. Now, I don’t know the exact process by which shooting stars fall (or if our Prime Minister would give a “reportage” at the parliament and a news conference at the news conference room about the development on “the Teddy Afro front” one of these days. Their opinion would no doubt be on the “good riddance” side J). But this certainly feels like the beginning of a falling of one.
Like I said repeatedly, I don’t like witnessing stars fall! I love my sleep;. I hate the feeling of loss when the dust finally clears; And it’s heart-breaking, seeing another hope dashed for my fellow Addis Ababaians (even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye on them hopes). But I’ve always enjoyed seeing somebody decide to teach a bully a lesson. So the bully could come down to earth, realize there were bigger powers than him, leave the weak little boy alone, go home, cry his eyes out making the ugliest of indignant bully noises and promise to try and be good from now on.
Viva Seifu Fantahun!
Viva “Addis Neger”!.
Beware Teddy Afro!. First rule they teach you at Celebrity 101: Bullying people ain’t cool! Or *shaking index finger threateningly* no more bra-throwing, tit-for-autograph-baring chics for you!
Most of the “smart” sayings in the above post were taken from books I read. English isn’t my first language.