When will the Daybreak Come?

Popular Music and Political Processes in Ethiopia

Kristin Skare Orgeret

Abstract

Popular musical expressions are important for discourses of citizenship and belonging. Focusing on popular music and political processes in Ethiopia today, this discussion uses Tewodros Kassahun aka Teddy Afro’s music as an example. Teddy Afro is a popular voice challenging the prevailing political discourse in Ethiopia. Several of Afro’s songs have been banned by the government on radio and television in Ethiopia, but are found to provide alternative sites of political and cultural resistance to the autocratic regime. Reasons for censorship are discussed as well as how music can provide alternative sites of resistance. The findings show that oppressing political expressions may not always kill the ideas, as they may find alternative arenas in the face of obstacles.

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