Forced to flee, Sudanese band spreads musical message

STORY: General Kidi and Ganja Farmer are two musicians from South Kordofan, a southern state long in rebellion against the government.

The pair, founders of the "Nuba Mountain Sound" band, moved to the capital, Khartoum, when former president Omar al-Bashir was overthrown during a popular uprising in 2019.

Now, they've found themselves on the move again after war erupted in Khartoum between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

"One day, 'Nuba Mountain Sound' band will tour all of Sudan to talk about love, unity and to show to the people our diverse traditions and share them together. We want to show the world that this is Sudan, Sudan is not just war, Sudan has diverse traditions and music. But without peace, these things won't happen. We need peace so that we can show the world who we truly are."

The musicians are among more than 5 million people made homeless by the conflict.

It has caused a major humanitarian crisis, but allowed new audiences to hear their music.

This is Ganja Farmer:

"This war introduced us to many people, those who don't belong to my tribe. I got to know many people in Sudan. Without the war, I would not have known all this. Our audience listens to our music and it puts them in a good mood. That's the good thing, I benefited a lot."

The band was formed in 2014, partly to promote the distinctive culture of the Nuba mountains.

It also participates in workshops that teach traditional music and dance.

Their tracks are sung in Arabic, English and local Nubian language, often focus on social issues such as the rights of children to have a better future.