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South Sudanese musician Lam Tungwar


AWARD WINNING SOUTH SUDANESE MUSICIAN LAM TUNGWAR IS BEST KNOWN TO MUSIC FANS SIMPLY AS LAM. BORN IN 1983 IN BENTIU, HE FLED THE WAR AS A CHILD WITH HIS PARENTS TO ETHIOPIA. BUT POLITICAL TURMOIL THERE FORCED HIM AGAIN TO MOVE, THIS TIME JOINING THE SPLA AS A CHILD SOLDIER. IT WAS AS A YOUNG WARRIOR THAT LAM FOUND HIS VOICE, ENTERTAINING THE TROOPS WITH SONGS… A TALENT THAT CAUGHT THE ATTENTION AND PATRONAGE OF THE LATE DR. JOHN GARANG, THEN THE SPLA COMMANDER. AFTER THE WAR, LAM PUT DOWN HIS GUN AND CONCENTRATED ON MUSIC, SPREADING A MESSAGE OF PEACE AS A UN SPECIAL AMBASSADOR IN HIS HOMELAND, WHILE PRODUCING THREE ALBUMS. THEN, JUST WEEKS AFTER SOUTH SUDAN’S INDEPENDENCE, THE VIDEO OF HIS SONG “CALL ME MR. PRESIDENT” WON THE AWARD FOR BEST VIDEO AT THE EAST AFRICA MUSIC AWARDS. LAM TUNGWAL TELLS VOA’S MUGUME DAVIS RWAKARINGI, THAT HE HOPES THE AWARD HELPS OPENS THE DOOR FOR OTHER YOUNG SOUTH SUDANESE TO COME DOMINATE THE MUSIC SCENE IN THE REGION.

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