I sat there and listened to those who paved the way and introduced the beauty of artistic talent to the forefront of the nation in this confused era. I listened as they discussed back and forth the history and the evolution of poetry citing writers such as Lord Byron. Even with my immense love for poetry and writing, I can’t even begin to tell you that I have the slightest idea who that is but fear not, for google is with me. Lord Byron’s history and accomplishments can literally be at my fingertips through a few clicks. The power of technology...it remains a growing mystery.
I was in awe as they spoke so proudly and managed to get through several decades and seasons of events in the few hours that were allocated for the event. It evidently moved their hearts deeply and that energy moved through the audience, encouraging us to indulge the freedom that is expression and having a voice. As
the audience walked out, you could tell that they yearned for more time to bask in the promising future that is the arts in South Sudan.
It was an honour and a privilege to be among some of the greatest and well known poets and writers that this country has seen. Being in a room as they warmly and graciously welcomed the new dawn of talent that was rising in the country; the latter let themselves in before the uncles and aunties and were blessed.
Apuk Ayuel’s Kindred and No More Betrayals poetry books launch got me thinking of how we need to advocate more for spaces where these young talents can be
nurtured. It is our wish as the youth to deliver a thought-provoking present and future for our nation as we are the ones who are now holding the brush at a time when colours are hard to find apart from black, white and grey. You can’t find joy, laughter, happiness and emotion in the vague world of black, white and grey.
The past few months have shown what this soil has brought up and how much hunger there is for expression, so we need to maximise on that. Building a child’s
confidence from foundation will ensure that they carry it on as they grow in the depths of the world. Nurturing young talents means that they have a chance to grow into these beautiful butterflies that sing, dance, recite and even advertise in the best ways that they know how. Every day, we get to see more people come to the forefront to display their precious God-given gifts and I can’t help but smile as I see their passion and hard-work radiate through their pieces.
Let’s create more spaces and cheer each other on so that no talent goes unheard and no person feels left out. We have to demand what may seem pushed under the rug by the same people who are supposed to be leading and teaching us. A lot has changed over the past few years as we see this new dawn with movements like ANATABAN (I’m tired) that has been such an inspiration for the young people of this great nation. I must also mention Crown the Woman (Women and Girls), Riya William, Ade (a poet), Wakil and VIP (comedians) and many more.
A new dawn is coming through and we should all embrace it.
I feel that it is my duty to join my fellows hand in hand to ensure that we are doing the best that we can in this moment and leave the future for those who will come then. I believe in creating a path and walking the distance to the goal.
This is definitely a call to action, so go ahead and call a few other people. Question and challenge your friend, neighbour and even cousin; ask them what are you
doing now to ensure that we are bringing colour into these dark and confusing times, and that this colour grows into the possibility of turning bright neon?
If you have had the slightest opportunity to learn a thing or two then pass it on to your friend, neighbour, cousin or even a complete stranger (how about that for
a challenge). You can brighten someone’s day or even life with the smallest piece of information or advice and just like that, we move several steps forward.