Awesome Tikur Sew video
Last week was the premiere of the music video for Teddy Afro’s title track, Tikur Sew, which revolves around the Battle of Adwa, one of the pivotal moments in the country’s history in which an Ethiopian army under the leadership of Emperor Menelik decisively defeated the Italians. Showing such an important historical theme in a music video format could seem ambitious and a little ostentatious. Yet Tikur Sew is no ordinary video. It is ten minutes long, and it features 420 actors, 25 horses and riders, dozens of costume changes, dozens of extras. Well, the black-and-white video makes for a great watch, thanks to well-executed production, creative editing, good quality sound, and high definition images. One week after its release, it has already been watched by more than 60,000 people on the video-sharing site and it has inspired countless copycats. Directed by the New-York based cinematographer, Tamirat Mekonen, the video was shot in four locations around Addis, mainly in Yerer hills, in a horse ranch in Mekanisa and Teddy Afro’s house.
(Teddy Afro dressed as an idealized warrior rider and an Austrialian tourist who acted as a soldier in the video)
The video artistically shows us how Emperor Menelik who inspired a unity in the country came to confront the European colonial power and how his determined army, with the firepower at its disposal, stabbed and killed the enemy forces (whose role played by European and Australian tourists). The fighting scene was coordinated very well, considering real weapons were used for the production. Some wonderful performances, -in particular Samuel Tesfaye who played the part of Emperor Menelik, Menen Mulatu who played Empress Taytu Bitul- add to the high energy. Teshome Ayele (Balageru) who played the part of Balcha Aba Nefeso is the spitting image of the historical figure.
(Teshome Ayele who plays the part of Balcha Aba Nefeso and Samuel Tesfaye who played the part of Emperor Menelik)
This wakens a sense of patriotism in us that little else can. The music video is so uniquely Ethiopian and so sonically vivid, that it expresses what our forefathers stand for and what they believe in better than any set of short films we know. It lends weight to the song that it accompanies. Let us have some more awesome music videos like this.
(Photos taken at a lunch party in Taitu Hotel hosted by Teddy Afro to present certificates of appreciation to the people who participated in the video.)