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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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