Teddy Afro, Joyous Event in a Fray

The artist Tewdros Kasahun, or Teddy Afro to his fans, and Joyous Event & Promotion, producers of his last Album ‘Ethiopia’, are embroiled in a tense dispute following an alleged breach of contract by the popular singer.

Joyous Event claims that it should get priority to organise his upcoming concert, warning Teddy Afro that the case could end up in court if the company is not made part of the of the artist’s planned September 15th concert at Millennium Hall. The concert is organized in collaboration between the artist and Plus Events & Promotions.

Teddy Afro and Joyous entered into an agreement in June 2016, where Joyous became the producer of the ‘Ethiopia’ album paying the musician five million Birr, and managed the exclusive distribution of the 500,000 copies of the album that sold worldwide in 2017. Teddy Afro released ‘Abugida‘ in 2001, ‘Yasteseryal‘ in 2005 and ‘TikurSew’ in 2012.

Joyous Event is entitled to the revenue from the sale of the latest album. The album was manufactured by Kolya Manufacturing S.C, the first DVD manufacturer in the country. Teddy Afro amassed additional revenues from an online sale of the album which topped the Billboard “world album” chart, becoming the second singer to achieve the ranking after Aster Aweke’s Kabu.

“We spent a total of 15 million Br to produce the album,” said Fikru Kebede, general manager of Joyous Events, a business that was founded by a collection of business personalities in Merkato.

The contractual agreement between the two stipulates that Joyous has priority rights to host all upcoming concerts of the artist. Previous attempts to host shows in the capital failed due to permit denials by the city administration. Eventually, a concert was organised in Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara Regional State, this year.

The current dispute is not the first for Teddy Afro, who had the same experience with Adika Communications & Events Plc.  After the release of his album ‘Tikur Sew’ in 2012. Disagreements arose between the parties as to the number of copies published and distributed by Adika. Teddy Afro claimed more copies had been published than was agreed upon. He was paid four million Birr for 280,000 copies but no less than 100,000 copies remained unsold, a former staffer of Adika confirmed to Fortune last year.

Joyous had expressed its discontent with the online release of the Ethiopia album ahead of the CD distribution in 2017.

“We were left with 300,000 copies of unsold CDs, and incurred a loss amounting to 10 million Br,” Fikru said.

Managers of Joyous Events claim that they were hoping to recover their losses with the revenues generated from concerts that were never realised.

Getachew Manguday, the artist’s manager claims that they are dissatisfied with Joyous’ performance at the Bahir Dar concert, and cites their displeasure as a cause for deciding to plan the new concert at the Millenium Hall with a different promoter, Plus Events & Promotions.

“Joyous did not deliver good service at Bahir Dar’s concert,” Getachew told Fortune. “We also have outstanding payment claims against them.”

This dispute triggered the two parties to sit down for negotiations, which eventually failed.

“If we are not made part of the upcoming concert, we will be taking the matter to court,” Fikru said. “And we will be requesting an injunction to halt the concert.”

Though courts are on recess, a case can be instigated under some circumstances, according to Kumelachewu Dagne, a legal practitioner with close to two decades of experience.

“Joyous can initiate a claim if it can prove the damage it would potentially sustain if the concert was held, and the damage is irreversible,” Kumelachewu told Fortune.


Published on Sep 08,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 958]



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