Teddy Afro, a popular singer in Ethiopia, tied the knot with his fiance Amleset Muchie in Addis today. Their wedding ceremony must have been planned to coincide with the annual religious holiday Meskel.
A lot has been said about their relationship, both good and bad, and the two lovebirds have successfully moved on beyond the gossips.
She is taller than him; she dwarfs him. He is shorter. She is more beautiful. He is a sensational singer. He is more popular. He has money. He deserves her. No, no, she is too beautiful for him. He is after her because she is a model. He doesn’t deserve her. He is handsome, but he is not sexy. No, no, she is after him because he is famous and has money. She doesn’t deserve him. She is this. He is that.
The above statements are products of the social media conversations that I read regarding the couple before their wedding. Statements mostly focused on superficial values. I read little about what really bonded the newlyweds, which I believe is love, more than the fame, beauty, or money.
It is sad when people focus too much on the less important, MATERIAL STUFF, as if that is the primary source of happiness. Happiness exists in the simplest form. But often we don’t see it since we are searching for material fulfillment or for something that may not even exist, something that is only a pure fantasy.
When you think about it, a shorter man getting married with a tall, elegant, beautiful woman can be a fairy tale by itself. One should not ask for more fantasy story. Sure, Teddy Afro may not be as “tall and sexy” as Hollywood men with whom the commenters compare. But he is not terribly short (and what if he is? His physical appearance obviously didn’t bother Amleset, for she has decided to marry him). And he is destined to be legendary in his own way—by stealing his fans’ hearts.
In any case, the superficial value is not really that important when it comes to marriage or relationship. It is only there for decoration purpose. The personal achievement, the physical beauty, and the wealth can all be lost, but love is what remains in the end. If the bond is not based on love, it will soon or later get broken.
Many young Ethiopians consider Teddy Afro as their role model when it comes to self-discipline in public or private settings. As an Ethiopian celebrity, he mostly presents himself politely in public and he is quite discreet in his private life, though some may disagree with that assessment and may say he is nothing but an arrogant, opportunist commercial artist. In my opinion, as a popular singer, he lives, more or less, a clean lifestyle. I think he is humbler than some of the Ethiopian celebrities I know who appear more pompous with less talent.
One thing certain is that Teddy’s fans are crazy about him and love his songs, and his lyrics are meaningful and political. Many observers say if it were not for the political songs, Teddy would not be this popular, and his fans would not tolerate the “arrogance” his critics mention. His political songs, however, are controversial for many reasons. Some think he exploits public emotions to boost his career. But his supporters appreciate him for including political subjects in his songs, a trade that only few other singers can compete against. Some see him as business savvy who understands the business of commercial music—thus, smartly avoiding the path of “a starving or struggling artist” by singing what people want to hear.
But Teddy Afro’s both supporters and critics can agree that he is one of the few talented singers and song writers who are active in Ethiopia’s music scene today.
The fact Teddy Afro is now married to his girlfriend, instead of going through relationship scandals as most musicians, that sends a positive message to the Ethiopian youth about commitment. But of course it is often easy to give a false image in public while self-indulging in hypocritical adventures behind the curtain—who knew Bob Marley, for example, had seven mistresses (His wife knew, though, but interestingly she tolerated him and remained his official wife. Watch the documentary about his life). So it is up to Teddy to remain true to himself and his fans.
I don’t know much about Amleset, except she is a professional model, to give any reasonable comment. But I would like to believe that Teddy chose her (or she chose him) more for the inner beauty than the outer part everyone is talking about.
The real challenge for both Teddy and Amleset will be surviving the heat of marriage as much as enjoying its blessings. Will he remain committed? Will she remain committed? We shall see!
I wish them both a happy marriage!
A wedding song in Amharic: