Home | News    Saturday 24 June 2006

Nubians use hip-hop to preserve culture

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

June 23, 2006 (NAIROBI) — On a recent night in downtown Nairobi, beneath a nightclub’s orange neon lights and spinning disco ball, dozens of descendants of Africa’s ancient Nubian tribe gathered in full regalia to perform traditional music.

But the crowd, who turned out in force for Nubian Night, was not there just for a glimpse into the past. About an hour into the concert, the vibe switched from plaintive drumming and chanting to loud, explosive hip-hop.

The concert was designed for Nubians in Kenya — there are believed to be 200,000 of them here — to keep their traditions alive and relevant by fusing them with modern sensibilities.

"In every community, the culture is getting lost," said Yousouph Noah, a 26-year-old rapper who helped organize the concert. "I grew up in this community so I have the knowledge of traditional music. But I just combined it with the music of the younger people, hip-hop."

Nubians came to Kenya from Egypt and Sudan after serving with the British Army in the King’s African Rifles regiment during World War I. The British then settled them in what is now a sprawling Nairobi slum, Kibera, a maze of dwellings topped by rusting iron roofs. Noah lives in Kibera.

"I am using my popularity. All the youth, they listen to me," said Noah, who goes by the name Refigah, the Nubian word for friend, and performs in Arabic with a bit of Swahili.

Many reminders of the ancient civilization of Nubia — located in today’s Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan — were nearly lost with the construction of Egypt’s Aswan High Dam, which was completed in 1971 about 425 miles south of Cairo. The dam forced tens of thousands of Nubians to leave the land that now lies under the dam’s huge reservoir.

Incorporating traditional beliefs into modern music isn’t new - Beninoise singer Angelique Kidjo has been incorporating traditional African sounds into her music for years, and Muslim musicians such as the group Native Deen from the Washington, D.C., area, or Capital D from Chicago have espoused traditional Islamic messages.

The Nubian Night performers, some of whom were Muslim, didn’t carry a religious message — the concert was held at a bar with free-flowing alcohol, which is forbidden under Islam, and one performer was trailed by three scantily clad women while audience members hooted and handed him money.

Noah is Muslim, but knows not all Nubians are, and said the raucous atmosphere of Nubian Night was just part of melding old and new traditions. "I don’t drink alcohol and all that, but I don’t have any problem with" performing in a bar, he said.

(AP)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Completion of 2nd GERD’s filling necessitates a shift in trilateral negotiations 2021-07-20 19:55:28 By A.Tesfaye Abera The completion of the second-year filling of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) instigates polarized views between Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. Mainly Egypt sees it as (...)

South Sudan legislators should be cautious about the oath they will take 2021-07-15 07:04:56 By Roger Alfred Yoron Modi It is a fact that the legislators of South Sudan’s incoming Reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) are appointees of the parties to the (...)

What they said about Sudanese John Garang 2021-07-12 05:49:37 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This article of a compilation of related topics comes against the backdrop of a number of issues relating to the Republic of South Sudan that was declared its inauguration (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


S. Korea supports UN communities building resilience project in Sudan’s Blue Nile 2019-09-09 09:26:41 UNDP Sudan September 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An agreement was signed on 5th of September between the Korean Ambassador, His Excellency. Lee Ki-Seong and Dr. Selva Ramachandran, Resident (...)

Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2021 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.