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From War to Awards, The Musical Path of Lam

Lam Tungwar won the 2011 East African Music Award for best video
Lam Tungwar won the 2011 East African Music Award for best video

Musician Lam Tungwar wins fans, awards with provocative, guitar driven music about life, love and South Sudan

Award winning South Sudanese musician Lam Tungwar is best known to music fans simply as Lam. Born in 1983, Lam fled the civil war as a child with his parents into neighboring Ethiopia. But political turmoil there again forced him to move on, this time joining the Sudan People’s Liberation Army as a child soldier. It was as a young warrior that Lam found his voice, entertaining older soldiers with songs, a talent that would eventually bring him the attention and patronage of the late Dr. John Garang, the SPLA commander at the time. 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. Lam also organized rallies in the lead up to the historic referendum on South Sudan’s independence. It seemed like sweet justice then when, just weeks after independence was officially declared that the video of his song, “Stay in Love,” won the best video award at the East Africa Music Awards ceremony in Nairobi. Lam Tungwal says he hopes the award helps open the door for young South Sudanese to begin to dominate the music scene in the region.

Please click below, or at the top right hand corner of the page, to hear Lam Tungwal’s interview with VOA’s Mugume Davis Rwakaringi.