Top 12 Famous South Sudanese Artists of All Time

Posted: April 20, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan

By Athian Kuol Malith, Harare, Zimbabwe

museveni's quote on leadership

April 20, 2018 (SSB) — This research will highlight the best Musicians during and before war struggle against the Sudanese regime and how their music inspired the entire population to excel from the total debilitation to final emancipation into peaceful tranquillity state. The effort taken by them inspired and paved the way to south Sudanese and gave optimism in their struggle.

However, some of them were threatened, killed by Sudanese government whilst some seek asylum in foreign countries due to domestic masses they engaged in music about the suffering of southern Sudanese (now South Sudan). The contribution they had exhausted gained south Sudanese soldiers momentum to perpetually fighting for their freedom.

Most of them sing in their mother tongues though it was hard for other tribes to understand the language and the message. It takes a lot for an artist to truly register in the popular imagination and earn a reputation for being famous, becomes veteran and etc.  (Though that designation is applied far more casually in the art world itself).

The truth is, to be renowned as an artist (veteran) means that your work has stood the test of time, boldly and rationally without fear in most times needed, and that’s true for the figures mentioned here.

Here is the list below

  1. Nyankol Mathiang, the Queen of Abyei

Commonly known as Theresa Nyankol Mathiang Dut .A native born South Sudanese from Abyei who started her music in late 60s. Nyankol started recording four songs in Dinka in 1960s and that was her first appearance in music Industry with her friend Anok who later killed in bloodshed by Sudanese government. “She was a freedom fighter using her music talent to educate people of South Sudan politically and culturally as early as 1960s. She first recorded her first song in Radio Juba and Omdurman in Khartoum. Her songs became popular revolutionary’s songs in SPLA frontlines in southern Sudan. She is educated both Arabic and English before being taken to Canada by Late Dr. John Garang. She has a beautiful voice with song title” why Abyei Left out”? She finally died on 24 Sept 2012 in Juba.

  1. Emanuel Kembe, the King of Reggae

Emanuel Kembe is outstanding south Sudanese from Wau who sing in both English and Arabic languages. His music is very popular country wide and his known of being one of the best musician of all times with his 2011 song title” Let’s us Celebrates”. Nevertheless Kembe music will go down in History with inspiration to the youth and dedications to all the heroes and heroines whose blood has cemented in our national foundation.

  1. John Kudusay, Don’t Say IT

Yet, this man commonly known on state as John Kudsay but his real name is Ngong Longar Mou from former Northern Bhar El ghazal .He started his music career in 1980s and a SPLA soldier at the same time. John Kudsay is undisputed artist whose voice attracted every audience and revolutionaries artist who’s his songs in early 2000s predict what just happened currently in south Sudan. Among his songs was the song title” if we don’t work we shall be moving with money on hands and nowhere to buy food” and the song also in Dinka Language was” if the leadership is given to weak leader then the nation would fall into ocean” however, I’m thinking what does he really mean in his second song in regard to current situation.

  1. Emanuel Jal, the Child Soldier

Born in a Nuer family in the village of Tony Warrap state in the Bahr el Ghazal region of Sudan (now South Sudan), Jal was a young child when the Second Sudanese Civil War broke out. Jal spent several years fighting with the SPLA in Ethiopia, until war broke out there too and the child soldiers were forced back into Sudan by the fighting and joined the SPLA’s efforts to fight the government in the town of Juba. “Many kids there were so bitter, they wanted to know what happened to them. And we all wanted revenge. Through his music, Jal counts on the unity of the citizens to overcome ethnic and religious division and motivate the youth in Sudan. After escaping to Kenya, he fell in love with hip hop in the way that it identified issues being faced by the neighbourhood, which he was able to identify with in a unique manner. Although he lacked any music background or knowledge of its history, he felt that hip hop could provide the easiest and most effective vehicle to express his story and lobby for political change.

  1. Akut Kuei, the 5th Column of the SPLM/A

Bol Deng and his friend combine in what was so called Akuei which means “ Group of Eagles” this two guys sings oral song in Dinka Language and it was one of the courageous, dedicating song of all times in the history of Sudan. Their Motivation support to SPLA/M kept them momentum and struggle to continue fighting against Sudanese government boldly, they advised many south Sudanese in Khartoum to turn out and support their brothers and sisters in the front rather than sitting with enemy in Khartoum. Many people would question how Akut Kuei made it in to top five but the reality is that, their contribution made a great impact to south Sudan liberation struggle musically.

  1. Gordon Kong, the Kuormedit

This is the guy who shocks everybody with his natural gift talent despite being disabled of his eye sight .However he is able to sing in English and Arabic but to my surprised is how he learned these two international languages with his disability. He is a naath (Nuer) born from unity state. His music inspired many people and he will be remembered for his double gift talent.

  1. Franco, the soldier of Panthou

“Yala ya wathan” this song goes crazy during the war of panthou between Sudan and South Sudan in 2011 about the border disputes and this song was the main strong hold that fought war and they were overwhelm by the song and this Put Franco among the top best veteran musicians of all time.

  1. Nyanchan, the Queen of Malakal

Nyanchan is Shilluk born lady from Malakal and she began her music some decade back and she was one of the best singers of good quality music with her sweet voice attraction. Nyanchan portrayed and lectured many south Sudanese not to forget their wherever they go as it is the sign of human roots.

  1. Johnson Jok Lal, the MAN

Johnson Jok is a Dinka Padang from Upper Nile who started his music early 1993 in his town Kourflous. Jok Lal was inspired by his grandfather and uncles who sings traditional cattle songs in his child time. Upon his grown up Jok Got interest in Music and he has been outstanding for long time. He won the best artist last year in 2017 in Uganda.

  1. Andro Bol Deng, the Red Army

“Nyandit Rot wany Karem” meaning girls who bleaches themselves with cream. This undisputed musician of 1980s which criticized many south Sudanese who abandoned their culture and adapt to new culture of bleaching and ignore their natural skin colour and marketed black colour of being bad colour. This guy played significance roles during those days in Khartoum and hence yields great impact to south Sudanese culture.
10. Larson Angok Garang, the fighter of corruption

The Aweilian born talent singer who has boldly stood in his feet to tell leaders who promoted corruption and remained unchanged always. Larson Started his music Careers in 1989. His stunning voice with meaningful songs that has held support from masses and this prompted him to be one of the best veteran artists of all time.

  1. Malok Kuac Kuot, the great son of Tonydit

Very romantic and unique voice with song title” Panda Tonydit/ Kalkuel” this is one the veteran musician who just lost his Music career yet his song remained unforgettable in those days of 90s when he was still active in music industry using Thum or Guitar in English. Malok is unforgettable musician who played important role in south Sudanese regime struggle with his talent.

  1. Marko Piol Majok, the golden boy of Aweil

Marko Piol is one the outstanding south Sudanese Musician with stunning voice who started his music career in 1990s before the initiation of comprehensive peace agreement and he continued to shows his talent through music and heavily engaged in campaigning against Sudanese regime about the dismaying people of Southern Sudan. He is from Greater Aweil Born Talent from Lol State in Majak Baai County.

In conclusion, Some might negate, criticize the research how I come up with this finding without categorically understand the different between “Best and Veteran” however this made list is investigated for a very long time without tribal cognitive attached nor favouritism in the place. I took time to study them simply because they are our references whose talent and dedication will go down in history.

The researcher is a south Sudanese Student pursuing Bachelor of Science honours degree in statistics and operations research at Great Zimbabwe University.


  1. Mr. Yaram says:

    Mr. Malith,
    You left out some great artists such as Dinganyai, Garang Ateny, Aluong Majok Mach, Emanuel Reech and so forth.


  2. Yusip says:

    You people are so dump ,
    How can you pretend you are a drive when you didn’t….sure you did nothing in that awareness eg wrong informations,wrong order,favouritism and many more.

    Wake up


  3. Thank you for the research you made.but keeping editing and monitoring johnson jok lal should take number one bt don.t hesitate to add legend dinganyai ke who sing kalam dollar as one of his hate song thank you by Akech madut koch


  4. Dok Jal Gai says:

    The sellection of the national artists needs all the citizens of the country to be involved in the discussion.


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