Thursday, March 31, 2011

Participation to Build a Nation

While in Africa the world’s eyes are focused on Libya, further down the continent South Sudan is working through the process of formally separating from North Sudan to become the world’s newest nation. After years of civil war there are still strong tensions between the two states, but it was great to discover how the South chose a song in readiness to celebrate its entry to the world.

The South Sudanese national anthem was selected through an X Factor style talent show in a baking hot concert hall, according to the BBC. The audience went crazy at the end of each anthem as different singers shared their heartfelt renditions of the nation’s struggle and triumph. In a spirit of hope entrants abandoned the military-style march of the existing Sudanese national anthem. The brief was for something serious. Everyone was passionate. People had tears in their eyes. The winning lyrics came from a group of no fewer than 49 poets.

Participation to build a nation. What a great foundation for a future.