Dancing for a better future

3 Sep 2012

Dancing for a better future

A group of energetic young dancers in the Warrap State capital of Kuajok are pouring their hopes and passions into two dramas for South Sudan's independence anniversary.

"Let's hold South Sudan together" urges people to work together in moving the country ahead, and the army that made independence possible is honoured in "This is the Land of SPLA (Sudan People's Liberation Army).

The performances by Lol Group for Drama and Traditional Dances will from part of main anniversary celebrations in Kuojak's Municipal Stadium on 9 July.

The Lol Group got together in 1997 in Khartoum, performing until 2010 when some of its members headed back to South Sudan. By 2011, they had scattered to different states, but five of the group ended up in Kuajok.

The original five began a new Lol Group, drawing about 20 young people aged 12-24 to their by-weekly rehearsals.

Members of the group have high hopes for the new nation, but expect that prosperity and growth will occur at its own pace.

"Now we have independence, free education is happening ... it will take some more time and prosperity will come," said 22-year-old Albino Kuek.

The young man said he would like to study law and political science abroad, stating that South Sudanese universities were politicized and congested.

"I want to study to be a lecturer here in South Sudan," Albino said. "If I work in these fields, I can also fight corruption. We do it even now. As a group we put songs and skits together to make children and young people understand from an early age that corruption is bad."

Another member, 29-year-old Dieu Lok, is also keen to fight corruption.

"We have too many children on the streets, said Dieu. "Many of them are war orphans, and we need to have boarding schools for them. I want to be a lawyer because there is too much deception and crime."

Rebeka Aker, 18, said she had not imagined that the country would change much in a year. 'I expect development happening little by little. Right now at school we don't have enough teachers and they are not well qualified, but I know this is going to change for the better."

Rebecca would like to study at Upper Nile University to be a pediatrician, and then come back to work in Warrap State.

Seventeen-year-old Rebecca James has just passed the South Sudan (high school) certificate and is enrolled in Western Bar El-Ghazal University.

"I want to see South Sudan functioning like European countries," said Rebecca. "The only way to do it is to start from education. I'm going to study economics and will work in business because people need goods and jobs."