Athieng Kureng & Nyagai Awuou: The Elegant Beauty of ‘Arekic Songs’ in Dinka Society

Posted: January 22, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Mabior Atem Kuir, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Appreciating the importance of ‘Arekic Songs’ in Dinka: Encouraging Athieng (Mamour) Kureng Agok & Nyagai Awuou Ader in Australia

 By David Mabior Atem Kuir, Winnipeg, Canada

January 22, 2018 (SSB) — The beauty of living in a globalized world (technology) has landed me an opportunity of accessing and listening to their songs called ‘arekic songs’ in Dinka composed by Athieng Kureng Agok and her friend Nyagai Awuou Ader. For non-Dinkas readers, “arekic songs” are songs composed and sung by the individuals that teamed up as friends to sings together.

When they are singing, each person has their own song and there are instances where singers sing together and instances where they sing individually depending on the course of each ‘arekic song’. The meanings of their songs; (lyrics) tones, tunes, a position of arms and eyes contact, were all coordinated, inspired and impressed to capture the moods of viewers and listeners. They are excellent singers! Their songs are well-composed and well-presented to meet the intended audiences. Very creative and talented singers! They have got it all.

As an adult that grew up in the Dinka culture, I am knowledgeable of what it means to compose arekic songs that the singers have articulated in their songs. However, in Dinka cultures, there are only a few women engaged in a process of composing arekic songs compared to men. Therein, it is worth praising and asking to keep it up and move it to the next level in order to educate the next generation as a way of sharing their talents.

The reason that I am taking a few minutes of my time to pen this simple note and richness in its origin are viewed by three points; a). Encourage my sister, Athieng Kureng Agok with her friend to begin thinking about how to document their excellent voices if their social-cultural and personal responsibilities allow; b). Educate the public specifically non-Dinka readers and younger generations that know nothing about arekic songs but contemporary music; c). Calling upon Australia Dinka radio of Ajak Deng who is already doing excellent work when it comes to promoting of cultures to takes note of these God-gifted and talented ladies to give them a chance to platform their arekic songs as a way to introduce and inspire younger generations.

David Mabior Atem Kuir

David Mabior Atem Kuir

However, shaping a society through singing can be achieved in different forms. One of the ways is to induce and encourage younger ones to take up the challenge of composing their own songs (arekic songs) and bygone some of the sub-section communities’ songs that were composed many years ago. Your show (radio) is a vehicle for that needed change and on the other hand, you are the driver (reporter) of that “needed change” to promote the concept of arekic songs within the context of current socio-economic.

It is about giving them an opportunity to educate and explain the techniques on how to come up with arekic songs in Dinka. One of the questions deemed pressing is, what makes them take the route of arekic songs while the world of their communal is moving toward a ‘sort of contemporary music’?

In short, I had enjoyed your creativity; confidence, (lyrics) tones and tunes; the songs were all excellent! You have captured the moods of viewers and listeners. Arekic were well-composed, well-presented and met the intended audiences. Very talented and confident singers! A special thank you goes to Mr. Majok Majuch who recorded and posted 4 minutes and 34 seconds YouTube.

Last but not least, in the past, I had contributed many articles, presses, open letters and conference papers on a different subject. I would like to confess that it is a first to take an interest in a matter related to arekic songs in Dinka. Never know, I may add it to my area of focuses.

David Mabior Atem Kuir is the Founder and Chair of Dialogue on South Sudan/Sudan Forum (Canada), Policy Analyst (PA) and Distinguished Prairies Research Associated Panelist (PRA). Featured at The University of Winnipeg 50th and Impact 50 that coincided with the Canadian 150th Anniversary celebration in 2017. Awards recipient of MSC Distinguished Alumni Award (convocation 2017) and Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness (convocation 2014) etc. Awarded for excellence in community services and academics programming. He had joined the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at St. Paul’s College at The University of Manitoba in September 2016. He is a recognized educator in the affairs of South Sudan and community, in areas of public policy, social justice, community economic development, peace and reconciliation, human rights, and peace-building and state-building. He can be reached at

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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