Music Opinion

Opinion: Naath Artists, Encircled By The Battle Of Mic.

“If music be the food of love, play on” – William Shakespeare,

By Tut Kuany Kok,

June 19, 2021 — When I was just a small boy, my childhood dream was for me to become a musician. My dream was to entertain people through songs whether composed by me or someone else’s songs. I remember vividly in the grazing field when we took our goats for grazing, I always entertained my friends with my local guitar that had only one string.

This motivation caught me after my father came from Khartoum with “Mathijil” Radio Cassette player, with cassette of Gordon Koang Duoth and many others. My father would say “I know my son, you are going to be a good musician someday” And I would smile.

In the evening hours, when we take heavy meal  if Gordon Koang’s cassette was not play, there was always commotion in the house and my father would intervene and say to my elder sisters and mother that “let the boy listen to Gordon Koang, remember I brought this Radio to him from Khartoum.”

One day in the grazing field, my friends encircled me as I played guitar for them. Some clapped and some were singing Gordon Koang’s songs along with me. After my throat got exhausted as well as my fingers, one of my friends said “Tut I like your creativity, determination and how you sounded like the real Gordon Koang, but your voice is like that of a retired donkey which serves its master for decade in Malakal Town and that of dying man.” We both burst into laughter, little did I know that tears streamed down my cheeks and how the guitar flew off my hand. This was funny.

Years later I decided to visit a certain studio in order to record a song for my childhood girlfriend. While in the studio, I recalled my friend who said that “I had a donkey’s voice.” I found that my voice is not as romantic as that of Mha chang, Lul Simon, Alijoma and Arizona JJ. However, in order to waste money on music, I decided to shift my dream to reading books. I may get my success here, but only God knows.

Hi, Before I forget, I’m not here to tell you my personal history but I’m here to give my opinion on what transpired amongst the Naath Artists who have no clue about how rich and valuable music is.

For a decade now, the upcoming musicians in the Naath Community seem like they don’t know what the music is all about and how it can change their lives if they use it effectively, instead of using it to go on another’s throat. For in their music journey, it lacks ethics and ethos. What they’re doing is a rush for fame which is very far from them, according to my understanding. Their hatred and jealousy for one another is too much. They like showing off when 99.7% of them are still begging for help from other people. How will these people help themselves if what they put in front is ceaseless criticism? I heard a good number of them saying to their fellow musicians “I’m better than you financially.  I’m dating several girls and women than you. I’m so much prettier than you’re. I’m a better rapper than you’re. I’m a better RnB artist than you’re. I’m living in an expensive house. I’m not from a poor family like you’re. I know how to dress well than you’re. I have many more viewers and subscribers on YouTube than you’re. I have many more followers on Facebook, instagram and twitter than you’re.” But when you see these musicians and do a little investigation, you would find out that 99.5% do not have 500$ in their bank account. They’re bragging on Social Media with clothes that they borrow from among themselves.

When you come to Tanzania where music has value and meaning, you would find out that a good number of musicians are helping one another, bringing up new artists, praying for one another. They’re not doing music to insult themselves but they’re doing it to convey a message to the masses and make money out of it.

My Nuer brothers immensely disappointed me. They can’t learn from other musicians in the world. Their minds get fixed on the things that won’t help them in future but to destroy their dignity. If you follow the likes of Alijoma Mabil, my favorite artist, Macco Bwoy, Silver X, Jacob Gai: the wonderful man, you would understand that these people are working hard to make their communities proud as well as make a living out of music. But my Nuer brothers are here and there relying on western women for support. There is no way you can succeed in music by scamming those innocent women in America, Europe, Australia and Canada. Those women have children to feed, families and relatives to cater for. Anything you give with sweating for it never brings good fortune instead it brings self-destruction at the end. Respect what those women in Western world are going through. And if they surrender to your sweet preaching and decide to help you in your music career, you shouldn’t use this opportunity to hate yourselves to death, tearing someone’s innocent family background to dust. This is not fair my brothers. It is unworthy than what you’re dreaming about in this life. Believe me, with this stupidity of yours, you won’t go anywhere, instead many will be making enemies at the end, which I believe is not what you expect in life.

Last week I followed Macco Bwoy’s live video. In his video he said “If South Sudanese Musicians come together and decide to promote one or two artists to international level, these two musicians can in return promote others to the international arena.” In fact, I’m impressed by this wisdom. It’s not difficult to achieve this if there is love, unity and brotherhood in the music arena. Apart from other South Sudanese Musicians, Nuer musicians can achieve this alone if there is love and cooperation among themselves. But unfortunately they’re investing in hatred, jealousy, division and many more.

However, I must therefore confess that the Nuer Community has a bunch of idiots in the name of “We’re artists or musicians.” Musicians my food when you can’t feed yourselves, buy clothes for yourselves, live in your own apartments, support your parents yet you’re carrying your heads high like notorious monkeys in abandoned villages. Why can’t you understand for once that for one to succeed in life he/she must love, give, forgive and forget. Can’t you see your Dinka brothers, they’re getting on well with their music. They don’t criticize. They don’t hate one another. They went ahead of you as far as supporting one another. There is a spirit of brotherhood in them.

Don’t forget that, the world is changing rapidly but you (Naath Artists) can’t see that. You’re glued to the things that will drag you backwards. I don’t blame you that much because most of you never completed their primary school let alone high school. You don’t know the value of music. You don’t know the quality of music. As a true brother to you as well as someone who loves you all, let me share this book title with you for free though many of you do not know how to read, I would advise you to read this book titled “All You Need To Know About Music Business.” By Donald S. Passman. When you read the book, you will rise above hatred, jealousy, showing off and what you gonna do is to entertain your fans and make a decent living at the end.

I’m writing this article with a heavy heart after listening to live videos and reading many posts from you guys  (damn bastards) and if any of you are gonna take this personally, I will be ready to wait for your response. I can’t keep quiet when I’m seeing my generation losing its mind. I can’t keep quiet when I learn that my generation doesn’t know what can change their lives. I can’t keep quiet when other communities are laughing at us because of how useless and wasted souls you’re.

Unfortunately, many of you fled for their dear life from Juba after the greatest genocide, and you can’t even think about your brothers in the bush who have been fighting the enemy for years. You can’t even think about encouraging them through your music. I know that some of the decent musicians encourage our young men in the bush to be strong whenever they listen to good music. The likes of Solomon Gatdet dedicated his songs to fortify our young men in the bush. Some went for days in the bush without food but anytime they listen to good songs, they feel happy and even forget about hunger. Why don’t you do something that will make your community proud? Instead of showing off, cursing one another to death.

Despite the fact that the Nuer of the 20th century isn’t the same as the Nuer of the 21st century, let us try to preserve and protect our dignity, love for one another and spirit of sharing. Let’s not expose our weakness to the enemy who may use it against us. Even though your music doesn’t make sense, try to respect one another, give a helping hand to one another, create a conducive environment for one another. And I promise that many will succeed if you follow what I’m trying to tell you. With this statement may God open your thick brains, show you the right path, open your eyes and your heart. But don’t be stupid.

The writer can be reach through this email tutkuany7@gmail.com 

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