Ramciel Magazine Interviews Achuei Deng Ajing June 28, 2022, Washington. USA
RM: Hello, Achuei Deng Ajing. Welcome to America. ADA: Thank You. I am glad to be here.
R.M: Who is Achuei Deng Ajing? ADA: Achuei Deng Ajing is a South Sudanese musician residing in Juba. She is originally from Wunrok Adiang Payam, Twic Mayardit County of Warrap State, South Sudan.
R.M.: Is this your first time in the United States? ADA: Correct, this is the first I have ever visited the U.S.
R.M: What do you think of America? ADA: I love it. It is beautiful, and the people are lovely.
R.M.: How did it feel? ADA: Well, it felt fantastic. I enjoyed every moment. I’m in love with this beautiful
R.M: Who’s your favorite, influential artist among South Sudanese artists? ADA: The late Teresa Nyankol Mathiang.
R.M: From whom did you inherit your talent? ADA: My maternal grandmother. She was a great traditional singer in the Adiang-Mayom section of Twic Mayardit.
RM: Do you think South Sudanese culture maintains itself here in the USA? ADA: I was impressed with how our South Sudanese communities in America keep up with their traditional values, especially in their efforts to teach the youngest to keep up with their cultures.
R.M: What would you like people in the USA to know about what is happening in our homeland? ADA: Well, we are keeping it real in the Motherland, and want them to continue visiting home because there is nothing like home. So, keep up with your roots!
R.M: What would you like the people in South Sudan to know about what is happening in America? ADA: Try to visit America when you have a chance. It is a beautiful country with friendly and wonderful people.
R.M: While you have been in the U.S., which of your songs have been the most requested? ADA: Mading Aweil, Rumbek, Bahr El Ghazal, and Apeth Nya.
R.M.: Are you planning to write a new song based on your experiences in America? ADA: Well, I’m thinking about it. We shall see when the time is right.
R.M: How was your Las Vegas experience? ADA: Las Vegas was fabulous. A beautiful city with tall skyscrapers like NYC.
R.M.: And what did you think of NYC? ADA: NYC was amazing. I visited there after my show in Phoenix, Arizona, in April. Then we drove through New York City again several days before I left Washington, D.C., for Juba. After my last event in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 25, my USA tour team decided that we should drive instead of flying because they wanted me to go through several states and cities on our way to Washington, D.C. I agreed, and it was a wonderful experience.
R.M: What would you tell other musicians about America? ADA: Come to America so you can discover how much love the South Sudanese in the Diaspora have for you. The South Sudanese in America have access to many ways of listening to music. For instance, they have no issues with running out of MBS Data, they have access to electricity 24/7, and WiFi is available everywhere you go. When I was on the highway where cities are miles away, I was still connected.
R.M: Does the American work ethic inspire the South Sudanese in the struggle for our country? ADA: Absolutely, one can tell how hard people work here in this country. Hard work always pays off, and I commend Americans for their hard work in developing their nation.
R.M: What were your favorite foods in America? ADA: There are various foods in America. However, I love hamburgers from McDonald's, Jack in the Box, and Burger King. I also love Texas Long-Horn baby back ribs, Chinese food, and Denny's. You can tell that I have gained some weight since I came here. Eating all these delicious foods has been like running a marathon of restaurants!
R.M: Did anything in particular impress you about America? ADA: People are usually busy doing positive things for themselves, their families, and their communities. I commend them for that. I appreciate those who took time off their busy schedules and drove, or flew, to attend the events organized on my behalf. I cannot say thank you enough for their efforts.
R.M: What would you have done if you had not become a musician? ADA: Play professional volleyball and study to become a medical doctor.
R.M: What do you feel is the best song you have ever released, and why? ADA: Well, most of the songs I have composed come deep from the bottom of my heart. That makes them all the best.
R.M: Which musician or musicians would you like to collaborate with next? ADA: Johnson Jok Lal, Emmanuek Kembe, and others as well.
R.M: What do you think of the music industry in South Sudan? ADA: I would like to see the artistic community grow and be recognized in the world. Our music industry could be better developed because we are a young nation. We have so many talented young people eager for opportunities to showcase their artistic skills. They should be heard.
R.M.: Are there any humanitarian projects you are working on now? ADA: Currently, we are working on a water pump, or borehole, in Rumbek National Secondary School in Lake State. It was a commitment that I promised students and staff last year during my first-ever visit to Rumbek National. The process has already started and, hopefully, it should be completed next month by the time I return to Juba.
R.M: What is your advice for South Sudanese youth? ADA: Stay focused and be agents of change for our beloved nation. The future belongs to the young. Therefore, it is they who must embrace unity, peace, love, and harmony.
R.M: What would you most like to see change in South Sudan? ADA: I would like to see economic development; to see everybody doing better. And, I want us to stop killing each other. We must understand that we are all one people, and we can keep our diversity while growing as a country.
R.M.: Is there anything I left out that I did not ask? ADA: No. Thank you.
R.M: Achuei Deng Ajing, thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions Please have a safe trip back to the Motherland.