Ethiopian rapper arrested for a music video critical of the government

Teddy Yo, an Ethiopian rapper who recently released a music video critical of the Ethiopian government and Addis Ababa administration, is arrested at his home.  EthioTimes learned from sources that Teddy Yo is detained in Sostegna Police station. Sources reported that he was detained by the federal police based on an order that came from the top level authority. 

Teddy Yo recently released a music video that expresses the frustration of the residents of Addis Ababa because of ethnically motivated discrimination and human right violations. In his lyrics, Teddy Yo artistically states that the residents are being discriminated and their rights are violated. He adds in his lyrics that the situation is getting worse under the current administration.  The music video includes contents that show torture and water boarding. The music video became popular among Ethiopians and it went viral in various social media platforms. Many in the social media have praised his courage to use art to express the voices of the residents.

Teddy Yo is a famous rapper and his previous music focuses on entertainment. We asked an Ethiopian political analyst – who wants to remain anonymous – and the analyst said that Teddy Yo’s shift to musical lyrics that criticize the government is a sign that the grievance of the residents is increasing. The analyst adds that the government has no value to pluralism, and is still committed to silence voices that are not inline with the administration’s narratives. 

Residents accuse Addis Ababa administration that it prioritizes the interest of Oromia region. The administration is also accused that it is working with the neighboring Oromia region to ensure the dominance of ethnic Oromos in the city. Recently, there was public ager against the administration that children are forced to sing Oromia region’s national anthem in schools.