Concert organisers for Tedros Kassahun a.k.a. Teddy Afro, are appealing to the Federal Government’s Communication Affairs Office, after waiting for over a month for approval from Mayor’s Office for yet another concert by popular singer-songwriter.
Habesha Weekly Promotion Plc, the event organiser, sent a letter to the Communication Office, copied to the Addis Abeba and the Federal Police commissions, on February 25, 2016.
This will be the third time in a relatively short period this Ethiopian year, that a Teddy Afro concert has fails to get the nod from the authorities. Three other concerts, including one by Jamaican artist Jah Cure scheduled for February 27, were able to get the official go-ahead.
Habesha Weekly applied to the Mayor’s Office on January 26, 2016, for permission to hold the event. But they received no clear answer coming from Asseged Getachew, head of the office.
The first concert that failed to get permission was co-organised by Ballers Lounge and AZ Entertainment for the Ethiopian New Year’s Eve,2015. It was postponed to coincide with the Mesqel holiday on September 28. That, too, failed to get permission.
Concert organisers are not legally required to seek permission for events, said Gedion Timotios (PhD), assistant professor at Addis Abeba University’s School of Law, in an interview on this issue in September.
“Though there is no legal requirement to seek permission to organise a concert, it is mandatory to notify various agencies in the city – such as traffic, police, emergency services and the Mayor’s Office,” he added.
Habesha Weekly has agreed to pay Teddy 1.3 million Br for the concert, which it expects to cost a total of three million Birr to organise, said a source close to the issue. Teddy, known to sprinkle politics and history into this songs, will perform for his diehard fans at the Ghion Hotel on March 5, 2016, if the organisers manage to get the permission they need.
Habesha Weekly Promotion Plc, established in 2009, had organised the New Year Trade Fair & Bazaar at the Addis Abeba Exhibition Centre & Market Development Enterprise. It is currently bidding for airtime on Ethiopian Broadcast Corporation (EBC) to produce television programmes.
Teddy Afro has posted the event poster on his Facebook page, which has half a million ‘likes’.
“All my dear fans, I can’t wait to be back on the stage! See you soon,” the post read.
The source, who asked not to be named, indicated that the event could be postponed to a week after Easter if permission is not granted by Monday February 29. Fortune sought comment from the head of the Mayor’s Office, but he was not available for comment because of a week-long cabinet meeting. Director of Cabinet Affairs, Feleke Negash, was also not available for similar reasons.