Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five Nyankol Mathiang Videos (South Sudanese vocalist)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases five videos of South Sudanese vocalist Nyankol Mathiang. This post also includes an excerpt of a tribute to commemorate the life and music of Nyankol Mathiang. This long excerpt is quoted as a way of celebrating some of Nyankol Mathiang's music for those who already know this artist. That excerpt is also presented as a way of introducing other people -including me- to this vocalist who I've learned (even from the little bit of information in English that I've found online) was beloved in South Sudan and elsewhere.

A rendition of a Nyankol Mathiang song performed by other vocalists is presented in the Addendum to this post.

The content of this post are presented for cultural and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Nyankol Mathiang for her musical legacy. Thanks also to Regina Akok and all others those who are quoted in this post, and thanks to the video producers and publishers of these videos on YouTube.

Tribute To Nyankol Mathiang By Regina Akok
Posted: September 24, 2012 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan
"...the veteran artist, the woman, the embodiment of resilience, gallantry, wisdom, and love, Mrs. Teresa Nyankol Mathiang Dut has gone so soon.

I grew up listening to her songs, admiring her voice, loving her lyrics, words of inspiration and hope. Her voice and music stood out to me as a candid and straightforward form of art. Good art supposed to uplift us and that is exactly how I feel every time I play the CD and listen to Kadaan cook luel oak Anok, Kadan cook luel oak mathdi... I can only say about the song – no matter how I translate the words from Thongjieng to English or Arabic and even how competent I might be in all these languages, I will never give the song its fullest justice, it will remain a subjective interpretation –it is a magnificent poem about friendship. ... good art does not emerge from vagueness because it supposed to inspire us and that is exactly what Mrs Nyankol, the woman, did when she sang this phrase: Abeyien don Athong ka Abeyienda. It is an ultimate expression of our long yearning to connect as South Sudanese friends, communities and diverse tribes...Abyei is used allegorically which also literally an Abyei tree to connect all of us in its refuge. A shadow of a tree has served different purposes in our lives, both private and political...

Yes, good art does not tear us apart, and cause us pain but empowers us and gives us hope especially when we feel rusty and can’t do it anymore. It keeps us going despite the difficulties and helps us believe in ourselves and that’s exactly what Riel Puou Raan Col gave me when I first heard it. It is another powerful song about our resilience as black people of South Sudan and other black nations who endured sufferings like us. I see that as an indirect reference to historical experiences of oppression, slavery and colonization. The artist wants us to draw on those moments in our history. When things seemed totally out of control and totally gloomy, we were able to find the resistant spirit in us and rose quickly and recreated hope instead of despair. Again good art supposed to punch us and reprimand us when we forget our alphabets and I hear that in the powerful song of Dong Abyei wei Kada, she wonders as an artist how did we miss Abyei in the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement? How did that happen? As an artist, she courageously engages everybody in unfinished conversations about peace, recovery and reconciliation. It is an honest dialogue with our leadership. The few songs I selected here were taken from a long list of several inspiring and refreshing songs. ...

I am experiencing mixed feelings right now. My heart is so heavy with vague and gloom, and so sadden but, yet I can still count on your true voice. It was a pleasure to have known you Mrs Nyankol as an artist and that was just a little part of your short journey and what a life worth living! I’m glad you lived to see our independence as a nation. I promise we will not forget your insights for a better South Sudan. I know for sure that the world is a better place because you left your footprints on its soil. It is a great story to tell our children and generations to come. I’m definitely proud to spell my name a WOMAN of South Sudan because you were not afraid to give your best. Nothing could stop you – being a wife did not stop you; motherhood did not stop you; being a grandmother did not stop you. In fact, all these roles had shaped your music and the fighter and strong woman you were. You were clear and quick to spread the message of love. Nyankol the woman, your legacy is alive for generations to come! I love you and rest in peace Austaza Nyankol Mathiang Dut, a daughter of Abyei region but a true daughter of South Sudan, the queen of words."

These videos are presented in chronological order with the oldest dated video given first.
If you have any information about these songs including an English translation of their titles, please share that information in the video's YouTube comment section and/or in the comment section of this post. Thanks!

Example 1: Nyankol Mathiang

Aweil1985, Uploaded on Feb 21, 2011

Example #2: Nyankol Mathiang Dut Singing during the Abiem election office in Calgary (Australia)

William Akuei, Uploaded on Feb 12, 2012

Example #3: South Sudan Mama Nyankol Mathiang Dut Ting Ee Dhieth xen YouTube

Junub Jamil, Published on Sep 30, 2012

Example #4: Nyankol Mathiang---Doot Ku Bai (Promo Music Video)

Deng Alith, Published on May 30, 2013

Example #5: Nyankol Mathiang----Abyuok Reil Piou (PROMO Music Video)

Deng Alith, Published on May 30, 2013

Nyankol Mathiang Song-[Track: Anuk] by Alnour Achoung Deng

FRANCIS N, Published on Feb 22, 2013

In memory of South Sudan Music Legend Mama Nyankol Mathiang.
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
Samuel Atem, 2014
"Where is the original video of this song? This song was everywhere in the 1980s in Sudan? I search it everywhere on the internet today but I couldn’t find it. Please if someone has it; then let them post it online; I missed Nyankol and this song very much."

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  1. There's an appreciation of her life at

    1. Thanks, slam2011 for letting us know about 2007 that article.

      Here's the hyperlink to that article and excepts from it:

      "TEREZA Mathiang Dut is said to be the best-known singer in Sudan....

      She wrote a song in her tribal language, Dinka, called Forgiveness. She is still singing it on her Australian tour.

      The song became a hit throughout Sudan, even in the north, where the other side in the civil war is based...

      For most of the last decade, she has lived in Canada...

      Around 2 million people are said to have died in the Sudanese civil war and a further 4 million have been displaced from their homes. She left Sudan on May 20, 1998....

      In a song she wrote about her home town of Abeyi, she names the leaders of both sides of the civil war, asking each in turn what he is going to do to heal the wound. She told me she had written a new song to sing at Christmas. It is about love never ending.

      At some level, the Sudanese who go to other countries, including this one, carry the civil war with them. Nowadays, she tours Sudanese communities in countries around the world. In one of her Australian concerts, she sang about the Awiel, a tribe other than her own, and their tradition of generosity. The people up on the stage, dancing as she sang, were Awiel people.

      Ordinarily, says Zachariah Marko [the sound manager on her Australian tour], a lot of the people in the hall for that concert would not come together but they did because of Tereza or Nyankol, as she is also known.

      She explains that Nyankol is the deep hole in the river that still has water when the rest of the river is dry"...
      The complete article is an interesting & informative read.