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Minister Arop launches Afro-Arab Youth Afrabia Prize

The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports launched the 3rd edition of the Afro-Arab Youth Arabia Prize and Art Exhibition yesterday at the ministry.

Speaking in a press conference, Dr. Nadia Arop urged the artists, who will be representing the country this year, to be confident of themselves because they have strong knowledge in the field of art.

“You artists should know that we have the capacity to excel in art in order to build the country, therefore, go out there and represent your country well because our culture is not a war culture only. There are many good things in our culture that you can tell the people out there about,” Dr. Arop said.

She said the artists should develop the spirit of doing voluntary work as it will benefit them in the future, saying the country is going through tough times politically and economically thus,  they (artists) should not duel in that and instead fight for peace.

“Culture is peace, and peace is development and stability. It’s humanity. It’s not about money but people. Show people out there that you are innovative people,” Dr. Arop emphasized.

This is the second year South Sudan is participating in the competition and last year South Sudan emerged the 1st and 2nd winners in the category of music through Ezabella Enosa and Billy William respectively.

Billy William, a musician who was 2nd winner last year said the artists should concentrate on peace massages in Arabic and English to reach a broader audience.

“Unlike last year, this time the participants have been given ample time to create their work. From my experience, artists should focus on peace and youth developmental massages. The musicians should also sing in international languages to expose our talent to the outside world,” Billy Said.

Suleiman Ahmed Morgan, a participant said the media should inform the public about the competition so that people can know more about it.

“Last year we worked on pressure because the time frame was too limited, but this year we will be able to do better, by the grace of God,” Morgan Said.

Meanwhile, Akol Deng said he was not satisfied with the results of the competition last year, saying the artists should come together to polish away the negative perspective people have on the country.

“I am calling on the artists to come together and do something good for our country. South Sudan is known only for bad things, it’s high time we come together and portray the good image of the country,” Deng said.

The Afro-Arab Youth Afrabia Prize is an annual art competition open only to African and Arab countries. This is the 3rd edition and it covers; music, fine art or visual art, poems, and short stories. Submission of applications started in May, 2017 and closes on 1st October, 2017. All applications are submitted to the Prize Website: afrabia.org

By David Mono Danga

Minister Dr. Nadia Arop Dudi during the Exhibition

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