South Sudanese musician uses song to educate on social media’s shortcomings



Gift Friday


Through her songs, a South Sudanese musician from Gbudue State is educating youth and parents on the shortcomings of social media.

Joy Enosa Mbaraza, or “Sweet J,” said that social media has negatively affected traditional ways of living. She said most parents no longer have time for their children and families, and students and pupils are poorly performing in schools because they spend most of their time using social media.

Joy mentioned that there is a need for the use of social media to be regulated so that people return to their African ways of living.

That song is entitled ‘Facebook‘ and says the social media platform has changed the traditions of the good old days; family love and togetherness of those days no longer there” Joy explains more about her song.

“I sat down and saw the social media how its spoiling some of our parents and kids, our social life that we used to have is no more, I said no it’s better I tell people we have to control the use of social media, you can see now children are lacking parental love, people have no time for their children anymore, in many schools children are not performing well, because of the social media things, even in church people are not listening to the word of God,” she said.

Joy said, these days, school girls are failing their examinations because they spend much of their time browsing facebook instead of studying.

She added that many young girls using facebook post what she calls ‘nude’ pictures and selfies which she says runs counter to South Sudanese traditions. She stated also that hate speech is evident on facebook, which she said whips up ethnic hatred among South Sudanese communities.

The 27-year old musician said she has recorded 36 songs in Arabic, English and her native Zande—the latest two songs are ‘Facebook‘ and a song that decries the suffering of women and children in South Sudan.

Joy lamented that musicians have a role to play in building a better society; “With music we can pass the message to everybody, and through music peace will come very quickly to South Sudan because music can go everywhere, you can sleep with music, in your own bedroom. If we preach peace through our songs as South Sudanese artists, peace will come because everybody will hear the message of peace through our songs.”

Joy said musicians can use their craft to be activists for peace. “In my recent music I sung about the situation back home in South Sudan, I sat down and saw how women and children are suffering from the ongoing conflict.”

But she said being an artist in South Sudan is not without difficulties; “We don’t have a nice recording studio back home, we don’t market our songs though we are singing, we are lacking promoters, people who can back us up to another level. We don’t have peace to perform our songs, to present what we have or the talents we have because of the security situation,” added Joy.

Joy stated that a big challenge musicians face in South Sudan is that the country does not have copyright laws. She says without copyrights an artist cannot protect their work from thieves who want to steal it and make money out of it.

Joy said the government should put laws in place to prevent theft and should also encourage artists and use them to send a message of peace throughout the country.

“I am appealing to our government to consider the talents their artists have as we are the voice for the voiceless. Through us they can talk to many people, they can talk to their citizens, through us as musicians. We should work hand in hand with them to bring peace and  stability in our country.”

Joy is a student of Cavendish University Uganda pursuing Social Works and Social Administration in her first year. Hate speech amongst the communities is imminent and fuelling South Sudan’s four year war.






Gift Friday

Freelance Journalist from South Sudan, based in Kampala.


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