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  • Ethiopia’s star singer Teddy Afro makes plea for openness

    Teddy Afro, Ethiopia’s superstar singer, is topping the Billboard world albums chart with “Ethiopia,” which less than two weeks after its release has sold nearly 600,000 copies, a feat no other artist here has achieved.

    Known for the political statements he makes in his music, an infectious mix of reggae and Ethiopian pop, the 40-year-old Tewodros Kassahun told The Associated Press that raising political issues should not be a sin.

    Open debate “should be encouraged,” he said. “No one can be outside the influence of politics and political decisions.”

    Ethiopia is an unlikely place for an outspoken singer to thrive. The government is accused of being heavy-handed on opposing voices.

    During a visit this month, U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein expressed concern about the state of emergency imposed in October after months of deadly anti-government protests demanding wider freedoms. Opposition and human rights groups blame security forces for hundreds of deaths, but the government says they largely used “proportionate” measures.

    The human rights chief also criticized Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism laws, saying an “excessively broad” definition of terrorism may be misused against journalists and opposition members.


    In “Ethiopia,” the songs highlight the diversity of the country’s 100 million people while encouraging national unity. Pointing to Ethiopia’s formative role in launching the African Union continental body in 1963, Teddy said his country should find more cohesiveness at home.

    “A country that tried to bring Africans together is now unable to have a unified force and voice,” he said. “The tendency nowadays here in Ethiopia is to mobilize in ethnic lines, not ideas.”

    In his new album, Teddy sings mainly in Amharic but incorporates other local languages, which has been well-received by Ethiopians as a call for national unity.

    At the same time, some of his songs have been interpreted as carrying political messages against Ethiopia’s ruling elites, leading some fans to say his outspokenness has made him a target.

    In 2008, the singer was sentenced to two years in prison for a hit-and-run manslaughter but was released after 18 months in jail. He said he was never inside the car, and his fans suggested it was a politically motivated harassment by the ruling party. Hundreds of Ethiopians protested outside the court during his trial in the capital, Addis Ababa.

    Authorities also have frequently cancelled his concerts without explanation. “We have sustained a lot of damages. This is not right,” he said.

    Asked if he has any political ambitions, the singer said: “Let me continue doing what I’m doing now and we will see what the future holds for other things.”



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  • Meet the artist behind Beyonce's pregnancy photo

    Beyonce's pregnancy announcement portrait is now the most liked Instagram post of all time. But who is the artist behind the image?

    The photo of Beyonce wearing a veil and cradling her stomach has now been liked over eight million times.

    This might not be a big deal for the 35-year-old singer. But it's a huge accomplishment for Awol Erizku, the artist who took the famous photo - and the entire series of pregnancy photos that Beyonce has since uploaded to her website.

    Here are five things you should know about him

    Who is he?

    Born in Ethiopia, 28-year-old Awol grew up in the South Bronx area of New York.

    In 2014, he graduated from Yale University with a masters in fine art and his work often fuses photography, video installations and sculpture.

    And while he's now responsible for the most liked picture on Instagram, A

    He has a strange way of using social media to share his work

    If you've tried to find more of his work on Instagram after seeing his portrait of Beyonce, you probably know already that his page is closed for business.

    The 28-year-old treats his Instagram account like an art gallery, where he hosts Instagram-only art shows.

    For example, his account has detail about "gallery" opening hours: timings for when his feed is opened up for public viewing.

    He combines his art with music

    With each of his exhibitions, Awol has released what he calls a conceptual mixtape.

    Think of this as a kind of soundtrack to the artist's latest creations.

    One of Awol's most played mixes was released alongside a film and photo project called Serendipity, which was a response to the Black Lives Matter movement in America.

    wol has a humble following on his own social media accounts.

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  • Britain Gives £5 Million To The Ethiopian Spice Girls...

    UK taxpayers have picked up a new £5.2million bill to fund a talk show for Ethiopia's own Spice Girls.

    Yegna, a five-strong pop group, has been awarded a contract to develop its 'branded media platform', which also includes a radio drama and music.

    The foreign aid cash - which will keep the band going until at least 2018 - comes despite officials warning it may be a waste of money.

    Yegna's aim is to empower young women in the African country through music.

    In 2013 a Mail investigation from Ethiopia, which is one of the biggest recipients of British aid, revealed a UK-funded project named Girl Hub had provided £4million to help fund the group.

    Ethiopian critics at the time said it was enough money to run the Yegna initiative for 154 years.

    Then last year the Independent Commission on Aid Impact watchdog warned ministers to halt the project unless managers could show it was working.

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  • Henok & Mehari Brothers, Best Artist/Duo/Group African RnB On All Africa Music Awards 2016

    The All Africa Music Awards, Afrima happened yesterday and various artistes were awarded in Lagos, Nigeri, it took place at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Various celebrities who were nominated represented in the house as the event was on.

    From all the list of winners through different categories and countries, Henok & Mehari Brothers were awarded for Best Artist/Duo/Group African RnB from Ethiopia.

    The winners were awarded a trophy that is in the form of a djembe drum and a microphone. According to the Bamana people of Mali, the djembe comes from saying “Anke dje, anke” which translates to: “Everyone gather together in peace”.

    “The common thread that runs in the culture and the very being as Africans is music. Although different in beat and in rhythm, depending on the region, we love music.

    It uplifts us during challenging times, it inspires us, it motivates us and unites us.

    AFRIMA strives to pull Africans together using a medium to which we are inherently dispositioned and use it to bring about peace on our continent.

    As part of our mission we aim to promote and preserve Africa’s biggest exports; our culture, music. We will do this through workshops and summits that will highlight issues such as intellectual property and treating music as a career and business.” stated the Afrimaobjective.



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  • Top 10 Cheapest African Countries to Live or Retire

    Have you been thinking of making a move to Africa for business, family, or for leisure?

    Using four key affordability metrics, Go Banking Rates has tiered cheapest nations across the world. Here are the top ten African nations you should consider to live or retire:

    10. Ethiopia

    For more than a decade now, Ethiopia has grown at a rate of 8-11 percent, making it the fifth-fastest growing economy among the 188 IMF member countries.

    The growth is majorly contributed by the country’s agriculture (which employs about 80 percent of Ethiopians) and service sectors. Despite the high growth rate, the country is still struggling with poverty due to rapid population growth and drought.

    Ethiopia’s service industry led by Ethiopian airlines contributes to the country’s export earnings. Coffee remains the largest foreign exchange earner, but lately, the country is diversifying its exports and commodities such as gold, sesame, khat, livestock and horticulture products.

    Ethiopia remains a one-party state with a planned economy. In the fall of 2015, the government finalized and published the current 2016-2020 five-year plan, known as the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II). GTP II emphasizes developing manufactures in sectors where Ethiopia has a comparative advantage in exporting, including textiles and garments, leather goods, and processed agricultural products. New infrastructure projects are to include power production and distribution, roads, rails, airports and industrial parks.

    Rent costs about $45 a month. Food and other amenities are also affordable for anyone who wants to live in the country.

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  • WATCH: Zuma falls asleep during Gordhan's mid-term budget speech

    All eyes were on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday when he delivered his mid-term budget speech in Parliament.

    The speech said as much about SA’s politics as it did about the state of the public purse.

    An hour and 14 minutes into Gordhan’s speech, Parliament’s cameras caught President Jacob Zuma sleeping.

    Everything continued as normal.

    Gordhan is due in court next week to face charges by the Hawks that have been described as politically motivated.

    See more here

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  • The Highest-Paid Dead Celebrities Of 2016

    They may have gone to the great beyond, but these celebrities are still raking it in. Topping Forbes' list of the highest-paid celebrities dead or alive is Michael Jackson, who raked in $825 million this year. The King of Pop's pre-tax windfall came largely thanks to his then-controversial purchase in 1985 of the music library containing Beatles songs. Jackson's half of the Sony/ATV catalog sold in March for $750 million (he paid $47.5 million). Prince and David Bowie, who died in 2016, made the list at No. 5 ($25 million) and No. 11 ($10.5 million), respectively. Rounding out the top 10 was pinup Bettie Page, who made millions from lingerie and handbag licensing deals before her death in 2008. Here is the full list:

    1. Michael Jackson, $825 million
    2. Charles Schultz, $48 million
    3. Arnold Palmer, $40 million
    4. Elvis Presley, $27 million
    5. Prince, $25 million
    6. Bob Marley, $21 million
    7. Theodor "Dr. Suess" Geisel, $20 million
    8. John Lennon, $12 million
    9. Albert Einstein, $11.5 million
    10. Bettie Page, $11 million



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