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Sounds of the world: Music & Revolution, “Ana Afriki, Ana Sudani”

The 2018-2019 Sudanese revolution saw the ousting of Omar al-Bashir after 30 years as president of the country. As with most revolutions, the Sudanese revolution was characterized by mass rallies of citizens singing patriotic songs, most of which ended up being shared on social media platforms. The revolution saw the resurrection of the song Ana Afriki, Ana Sudani, (I am African, I am Sudani) by Ibrahim Al Kashif.


Ibrahim Al Kashif was the most popular Sudanese musician in the post world war two period and credited with developing the Haqeebah Music style. His innovative use of poetic and patriotic lyrics and the integration of Western instruments in his compositions earned him the title of the “Father of Modern Singing in Sudan”.

With the onset of the Sudanese revolution, Ana Afriki, Ana Sudani became a symbol of revolution, with its lyrics being a constant reminder of the true identity of the Sudanese people. Thanks to the song’s new-found significance and popularity, a group of Sudanese musicians re-recorded the song in 2019 with a colorful music video referencing the identity and beauty of the Sudanese people, culture and country. 


In addition, the events of the Sudanese revolution also inspired the creation of new songs by artists in Sudan. Among the popular songs inspired by the revolution was Ahmed Amin’s song, Civil, Freedom & Peace. The emotional song reflects on the pain inflicted on Sudanese society by the Khartoum massacre which occurred on June 19, 2019 during the last day of Ramadan.


The singer Alsarah also pays hommage to the Soudanese revolution and the losses of the Kartoum Massacrein in her song Men Ana. The video clip was directed by Mai Elgizouli.  Born in Kartoum, the singer Alsarah is also an ethnomusicologist, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY. With her band the Nubatones, Alsarah mixes East-African heritage with modern pop.


Matalib by Sammany is another important song that was inspired by the revolution. The title of the song, Matalib, translates to Demands : the lyrics sum up the demands of the revolution. The song inspired other musicians to produce their own versions of the song in the #MatalibChallenge.


Even though the world lost Ibrahim Al Kashif over fifty years ago, his message of patriotism and love for one’s true self still lives on through his music and that of others he inspired.


the author :

Alex Muriu is a Kenyan student at Sciences Po. He is in the undergraduate Europe-Africa Programme majoring in Economics and Society. An amateur bass guitarist, he is very passionate about music and its use in societies around the world.


photo : Men Ana video clip - Alsarah & the Nubatones


Cet article en anglais est le résultat d’un projet collaboratif entre #AuxSons et Alejandro Abbud Torres Torija, professeur à Sciences Po Paris Campus Reims, et contributeur régulier d’#AuxSons. Dans le cadre du cours “Sons du monde : la musique comme miroir de l’intime et du collectif” des étudiants internationaux de Sciences Po Paris Campus Reims se sont penchés sur les liens entre musiques des quatre coins du monde et enjeux sociopolitiques. 

This article is a result of a collaborative project between #AuxSons and Alejandro Abbud Torres Torija, lecturer at Sciences Po Paris Campus Reims, and regular contributor to #AuxSons. As part of the class “Sounds of the world : Music as mirror of the intimate and the collective”, international students from Sciences Po Paris Campus Reims prepared articles presenting contemporary music from different parts of the world in connection with recent socio-political events.

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