Crazy Fox is a genius songwriter and a social critic. I wrote brief review of his song Ana Gaid
The voices in Ana Gaid, a song by Crazy Fox.
“An Gaid” means “I am staying” in Juba Arabic. The song is by a renowned South Sudanese musician named Crazy Fox, don’t ask me why that name.
The song narrates the story of a South Sudanese citizen who decided to stay in South Sudan when many people were fleeing to other country either due to conflict or economic crisis.
This song was released on youtube on the 10 of August 2016, less than a month after the Juba clashes that erupted near the Statehouse (J1), the escalation of violence in the following days led many to flee to neighboring countries while others lost their lives or property due to the fighting.
This song had a very timely message but I think it can have two interpretation.
The political elite in the country were seeking to communicate a sense of normalcy by all means. Basically saying that there is nothing to fear while things were falling apart. The image of people fleeing their homes is indicative of a failed system, something that the system has always said it is not, despite the international outcry.
For the politicians “Ana Gaid” is an endorsement of the current system, an honest statement by a citizen who said I want to stay in my country.
I think this sentiment could be true but it ignores so many aspects of Crazy Fox’s lyrical content.
When you look at the character citizen Fox presents in the song, you can notice that Fox’s character is not a rich person. His clothes are not fancy and he lives in a small house without a fence. You also see the same pattern with the dancers, who don’t have any uniform and their clothes looks like that of people who live on the streets of Juba.
I think Fox is trying to tell us about the plight of the poor in South Sudan, tired with the situation but yet can’t go anywhere. “Mama zatu ma agder biu akil le eiyal ” a mother can’t even buy food for her kids
Contrary to what people think, fleeing your country requires considerable thought and resources. You can’t just wake up and go to another country. Those who decide to flee do so with considerable risk which might include losing your job and livelihood back home, you can’t carry all your belongings with you so most folks only take the essentials.
If you have kids and you have a paying job fleeing to another country is not a favorable option, no one takes such a decision easily.
Fox mentions some of these frustrations when he “shala Junub tala sukun ze nar”, even if South Sudan becomes hot like fire [I am still staying].
He also goes and says “Ana ma indu jizz ana mufelis”, I don’t have money I am broke,
“Kan kan an indu jizz ana bifat fi Rwanda, Uganda wele America”, If I had money I will go to Uganda, Rwanda or America
So when people resort to stay it can be either they are feeling “safe” or they are hopeless and have nowhere to go.
This song is a masterpiece that highlight the plight of the ordinary citizen in South Sudan, so the point is not “I am staying”, It is why I am staying and as Fox puts it, it is not because I like it here, it is because I have nowhere to go.
As someone who travels, I think many times we take it for granted that some of us have the resources and the ability to move to a different place when things are not going our way.
The reality is most people don’t have that option, especially in the case of South Sudan. The average citizen can’t afford to either live a good life and or leave the bad life he has.
And that is why “Ana Gaid ” I am staying.
NB: The are over 1 million South Sudanese refugees in Uganda alone by the time of this writing.
I hope people will be staying for the right reasons after signing of the peace agreement in Khartoum today.