Home | News    Thursday 10 March 2011

Young South Sudanese artists: abandoning traditions?

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By Philip Thon Aleu

March 8, 2011 (KAMPALA) – As western music takes the place of the traditional arts in South Sudan, family names are too being lost in the process. The young men and women exploiting the emerging entertainment industry choose western influenced songs and aliases such Dan Joyling or 40 J as their preferred names.

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Artist ‘Dan Joyling’ (left) explains to the ST’s Philip Thon (right) why young South Sudanese musicians use aliases. Kampala, Uganda. March 8, 2011 (ST)

“Our fathers didn’t give us this chance to be in music,” said Jol Garang Jol, alias Dan Joyling, the head of the South Sudanese musicians association in Uganda.

“They say that if you are an artist, perhaps you are somebody who is spoiled….and afterwards, when you become known, then the family will like what you are doing,” he added.

In an interview with the Sudan Tribune, Joyling said he is no longer concerned about telling his family about his career choice, now that he is succeeding.

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South Sudanese artist Jol Garang Jol, AKA {Dan Joyling}

When an elder criticised local artists’ preference for western or foreign names during a function on 4 and 5 March in Kampala, a young musician, identified as 40 J publically supported his fellow musicians.

“Put on track number four,” he yelled. As the audience patiently waited for the DJ to click on the number, 40 J interrupted: “We use international names. Not local names and that is how we make it.” There were cheers and whistling in the room before his track ensued.

All members of the South Sudan music association are students, according to their leader. The group, “with many members” as their president put it, concentrates on studies during week and entertains fans on special arrangement.

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South Sudanese artist Jol Garang Jol, AKA {Dan Joyling}

The young artist defended South Sudanese artists, saying that they are in touch with good traditional beliefs and there is nothing to suggest that they are “spoiled.”

“People used to move around naked in those days of the past, and it was a culture. But today, nobody can do that, unless they are mad,” he said when asked what he thought about perceptions of South Sudanese artists and changes in South Sudanese culture.

(ST)

Listen to the interview and Dan Joyling singing his song ’Miss Malaika’ by clicking on the Audioboo clip below.

Listen!
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  • 10 March 2011 05:02, by Hero

    I see nothing wrong about their naming.So let them pursues their goal without distraction.

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    • 10 March 2011 06:17, by Omoni Atari

      guys, nothing wrong here,this is about human freedom,choose whatever you think is good for you.
      whoever report this news must out of his mind.

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      • 10 March 2011 07:39, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

        Some are confues so far and event given themself names gangster and acting violantly here in UK and forgotten where they came from and this attitudes are now affecting sudanse everywhere in the west.

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