It is often not an easy journey for an upcoming or artist that is already in the entertainment industry. Before reaching to the top, most struggles to take shape and some even take years and give up on what they are doing. Here is one man who has come up against all odds.
One man’s journey to fame
Changkuoth who is known to his friends and fans as Songo was born in Ethiopia, Gambella Region on 27th of May 1990. He grew up in Gambella town where he learned the importance of family and tradition of his people, “The Nuer Tradition.” He had also involved himself in the realm of childhood activities like the other children of his age. Then, his parents, Mr. Doboul Wale and Mrs Nyakaka Nyak, on the other hand taught him about the important values and principles one shoud live with; for instance, the self-reliance; respect for others; watching out for the family and neighbors. In Gambella, he started his Primary Education from class one up to class three in Dalkoch Primary School. Then he was enticed by the utmost importance of education.
So in December 2003, his uncle decided that Changkuoth deserves a better education for his uncle was discerning about him and how he was wise beyond his years. However, his uncle at the same time, understood that Changkuoth is donnish, brainy and astute when it come to academic excellence. At the age of 13, Changkuoth and his uncle left Gambella for Pagak, South Sudan where they stayed there for one month while waiting for an aeroplane before departed to Kenya.
Then In January 2004, he and his uncle arrived in Lokichogia, the border town between Kenya and South Sudan. There in Lokichogia, they were received by the UN as refugee and later they got transfered to Kakuma Refugees Camp, the semi-arid and forgotten land. In 2004, in Kakuma, Changkuoth joined class one in Ngundeng Primary School, which is now renamed as Mogadishu Primary School. But in the same year, he left Kakuma for Nairobi and back again in 2006. From there he proceed with his primary education in Pachoda and Horseed Primary School.
At the age of 16, Changkuoth commenced his musical career in 2006 in Kakuma Refugee Camp. He and other five Boys, including the famous K-Denk (Koang Deng) had formed a group where they always performed in Film Aid Festivals in Kakuma. Although the kind of songs they did sing by then were through plagiarizing singing, they convinced many people that the songs really belongs to them. This moved had inspired them, of which him and K-Denk brought themselves in the public limelight through music.
In 2007, Changkuoth returned to Nairobi from Kakuma but he didn’t releasd his own songs, while the Nuer Community always invited him in order to entertain them locally whenever there was occasion or party. There he met the well known LTD (Lul Tuach Dojiok) in the same 2007 in Nairobi and later met YD Johnson (Madow Malual) who was in Rebels Squads Musical Band by then. Then, after YD deserted the Rebels Squads, he formed GGA, The Good Guys Association, where they released the first song titled “Cɛ Lɔc dɛ ku luaŋ kɛ ɣoo ɛ ɣen Nuɛr” followed by many songs.
While in the group, he released his hit song “La carɛ ji.” It was the song that culminated him into musical fame. It was the song that pushed him into believing that he is good at music. Some years later, he and K-Denk had a song “Liip Pay Chiang.” The song also moved many people because of its message and tone.
Changkuoth did not only pursue music but also he loves education like the rest of his group members. He had completed his class eight and form four in Nairobi, which is the reason why many South Sudanese are residing in Kenya. After completing his high school in Nairobi, he then moved to Ethiopia where he continues with his university education in one of the universities within Addis Ababa.
Changkuoth is also known for wearing the same clothing or fashion accessories. He carry with him the same wearing style from Kenya to Ethiopia. However, this make him different from the rest of his GGA brothers. He is fond of putting on the trouser, shirt and shoes of the same admiring colour. Thus, this forms of wearing style have enticed his fans to like him, and it’s the reason why his fame rested on his shoulder. But he is wishing to do more in order to inspire the upcoming artist and actors.
In addition to his talents, Changkuoth is a song writer, poet, dancer and actor as well.
In Gambella, Ethiopia he is now the director of a certain dancing group where he’s couching the young generation to become professional dancers in the near future. He is also good at acting films. Therefore, he is the main actor in the movie called “Love and money.” The movie is being watch international and it earned him great recognition and fortune in Ethiopia.