We issued a press release on May 31,2014 regarding our position on the unwarranted prevention of the release of the Ethiopian Version of the World Cup Anthem.
So far, Coca Cola or its Agent, Manadala TV, have not given us any response although we have brought the issue to their attention before we decided to publish the press release on our website. No surprise, this pattern of conduct has been consistent over the past several months.
Much to our surprise, we now have come across a statement issued by Coca Cola on June 7, 2014, posted on “Tadias Megazine,” and although we have not yet received the statement directly, in the interest of our esteemed fans, we deemed it appropriate to clarify and expose issues in the statement that have no contractual, factual or legal basis.
The statement begins by explaining how and for what goal Teddy Afro came in contact with Coca Cola. “Teddy Afro was brought into our Coke Studio in Africa to record a version of the Coca-Cola FIFA World Cup song, ‘The World is Ours’ with the goal of capturing the unique genre of Ethiopian music,” the statement reads.
The statement however, does not indicate or reveal who “brought” him and made the selection. As we explained in our press release, Mr. Misikir Mulugeta approached us and took the initiative to make the selection for the Coke project and further “brought” us in touch with Coke Studio, signed the contract with Mandala TV, the agent for Coca Cola, Central, East and West Africa Limited.
Notwithstanding the employment and agent-principal legal relationship between Coca Cola, Mr. Misikir and Mandala TV respectively, the statement categorically denied any relationship whatsoever and even went much further as to dissociate the link by emphasizing that “the contract with Teddy Afro was executed by a 3rd party, Mandala Limited, a production House based Nairobi.” (Italic ours.)
A 3rd party is one who is not a party to…agreement or other transactions… and sometimes termed as outside party. This means that according to the statement, Mr. Misikir Mulugeta, Brand Manager for Ethiopia and Eritrea, and Manadala TV, the agent that provides various services for the production and launch of a music property called COKE STUDIO, are strangers that have nothing to do with the agreement or any transaction with Coca Cola as well as what has been plainly described in the statement as “Our Coke Studio.”
Mr. Misikir as an employee and Manadala TV as the agent who have been contracted to carry out various musical property services and acted for and on behalf of Coca Cola Central, East and West Africa, in the same legal capacity and effect as the representative of Coca Cola, headquartered in Atlanta that issued the statement.
This factual and legal nexus between the employee and the agent with Coca Cola has been entirely rejected by replacing the relationship, in the statement issued, with an entirely irrelevant term of “third party” in an attempt to distance any attachment with Coca Cola. It is quite reminiscent of Pilate’s biblical quote: “I wash my hands off!”
This is a degrading and disrespectful statement that challenges and defies the wisdom, mind and understanding of humanity, all of our fans and even Coca Cola’s Customers. It is also an act against the supposed corporate ethical principles of integrity, honesty, public trust and confidence.
If Coca Cola does not have any relationship with Teddy Afro, then why did it feel the need to issue the statement in general and its emphasis and confirmation, among others, on Teddy’s compensation “in full for his efforts,” and that “the produced track become the property of Coca-Cola CEWA?”
Regrettably, over the past months we have been receiving similar reactions and sustaining gruesome damages in most verbal and written correspondences with Coca Cola and Manadala TV. We do not believe such acts to be the result of good faith or lack of knowledge, but rather acts of utter and wanton disregard or corporate arrogance at best.
With patience, humility and honour befitting all self-respecting Ethiopians, we nevertheless await the highly anticipated release of the anthem or the disclosure of the reason for its non-release until the last second of the opening ceremony of the World Cup.