INVITATION FOR THE USTASS ANNUAL ‘SUPER SUPPER’ (DINER) IN TRIBUTES TO THE FALLEN COLLEAGUE, ISAIAH ABRAHAM, AT KUSH RESORT, JUBA, ON WEDNESDAY, 12-12-12

"Senior

December 8, 2012

Dear Comrades of the Media,

Re: INVITATION FOR THE USTASS ANNUAL ‘SUPER SUPPER’ (DINER) IN TRIBUTES TO THE FALLEN COLLEAGUE, ISAIAH ABRAHAM, AT KUSH RESORT, JUBA, ON WEDNESDAY, 12-12-12

On behalf of USTASS (United Scribes, Teachers & Artists of South Sudan), I take this honour to recognize and invite you among the many hundreds of media kindreds that matter in our new republic. Given the fact that many of our youth today are painfully seeing their latent talent evaporating with age from their brains and their right to write rotting in their throats with rage against the system that seems to hamper their natural abilities and national capabilities, USTASS and partners hereby regret and condemn the unfortunate incident in the history of our freedom fighting, the brutal killing of our colleague, Isaiah Abraham (Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan), who was shot dead at his residence in the 5th night of December this year.

The two-in-one event runs on two themes of tributes to media comrades and the launch of the South Sudan first book expo and literary talent contest, viz:

a)-  Rioting in Writing with Violence in Silence: (Tributes to fallen pressmen and penmen)

b)- Good Readers make Good Leaders: 2012 in Review and 2013 in Preview

1-      Eulogy to the late Isaiah Abraham

As intellectual community (writers, journalists, artists, advocates and civil rights activists) of South Sudan, it is our moral duty to eulogize our comrades that have been persecuted in action, especially the late Isaiah Abraham. The tributes to him with other heroes of the campaign such as our civil society activist, Wiyual Manytap, who has been missing for the last three weeks, will include:

  • reading Isaiah Abraham’s biography
  • reciting poetry
  • Performing thematic music from our local artists
  • Reviewing his essays
  • And fundraising for the publishing of the best of his essays and of his fellow penmen under the title ‘RIOTING BY WRITING: 101 Tributes to Isaiah Abraham and Other Pressmen and penmen of South Sudan’.

NB: This Essay Book will be published and launched on the day of the First South Sudan Book Expo (January 31, 2013) and the proceeds will be used for furthering the education of one of his children or any other cause deemed necessary by the committee.

2-      The launch of the Book and Literary Talent Expo

(please see details attached or on our weblog: www.ustassgroup.wordpress.com)

It is a fact well known that by the end of every year, there is a review of the outgoing year and a preview of the incoming year. South Sudanese will see a thrill in the review of the Year 2012 and a trill into the preview of the Year 2013 these two months of December and January. There will be a series of serious literary rites beginning with ‘The Triple Twelve’ event in Juba. This is a unique day for USTASS and its talent promotion associates organizing several multi-talent activities in 12 festivities to be launched on 12-12-12 and announced and awarded on 31-1-13, respectively.

The detailed program of the event on Wednesday, 7.00PM to 10.00PM will be availed shortly. Please come to Kush Resort, opposite Bros Hotel, along the Nile, and take not of the following:

1-      Entry Fee: Free

2-      Dinner: 50% subsidized (courtesy of Kush Resort and USTASS)

3-      Nominate an essay, poem, book or any other piece of writing from the writer of your choice to be entered into the selection of the best 101 essays in tributes of our fallen media heroes, to be published in ‘Rioting by Writing’, an essay collection book to be launched during the book fair in January, and whose proceeds will support one orphaned school child of the late Isaiah Abraham.

4-      Donate in our ‘Book Harambee’ to support a poem, an essay or a book to be published and launched during the Book fair on 31 January, 2013. USTASS is publishing two essay books, one poetry book, two magazines and others to be launched during the Book Expo and Talent Extra day in January next year.

NB: If, due to this too short notice, you are not able to attend but willing to participate in those activities in kind or in cash, please, contact the undersigned for more details.

Looking forwards to fighting by writing with you in South Sudan.

Yours Sincerely,

John Penn de Ngong

Executive Director, USTASS

Tel. 0955 235 997 or 0977 404 444.

Personal e-addresses:

E-mail: penndengong@gmail.com

Weblog: www.weakleak.wordpress.com)

Corporate e-addresses:

E-mail: ustass.sudan@gmail.com

Weblog: (www.ustassgroup.wordpress.com)

Book Expo and Literary Talent Awards in Juba

October 10, 2012

  ustas-22       Concept Paper       

Event

Book Expo and Talent Extra Festivals       

(The First South Sudanese Book Bonanza and Talent Extravaganza)

Theme

Good Readers make Good Leaders: 2012 in Review and 2013 in Preview

Venues

Kush Resort: Super Supper, 12-12-12

Senior Staff Club, ( Juba): Book Expo and Talent Awards, 31-1-13

Dates: 12-12-12 and 31-1-13

Talent is Latent, so it’s our mission to make it tangible

A Recap of the Triple Twelve Event

It is a fact well known that by the end of every year, there is a review of the outgoing year and a preview of the incoming year. South Sudanese will see a thrill in the review of the Year 2012 and a shrill into the preview of the Year 2013 these December and January. There will be a series of serious literary rites performed with ‘Triple Talent’ beginning with ‘The Triple Twelve’ event. It is a unique day for USTASS and its talent promotion associates organizing several multi-talent activities in 12 festivities to be launched on 12-12-12 and awarded on 31-1-13, respectively, in a Back-to-School campaign.

It is a period of great talent harvest that will be realized with rhythms of great and coordinated events rhyming through December 12, 2012 to January 31, 2013, luckily one of the events to be promoted through a variety of activities under a collective title, initially planned as ‘JubaFest’, by various talent promotion organizations, namely, USTASS (United Scribes, Teachers & Artists of South Sudan), South Sudan Arrtists Association (SSAA), Deng Foundation and their fun-loving fans and fund-giving partners. Our parallel event chained to JubaFest is also dubbed BookFest. The full series was not financially possible this year, so it was extended to 2013.

The JubaFest events, spread almost over a fortnight (2 weeks) and to be conducted annually, have coincidentally fallen on thematic days of United Nations’ international observances and of national importance to South Sudanese. These include World Aids Day (Dec. 1), International Day for Abolition of Slavery (Dec. 2), International Day for Persons with Disabilities (Dec. 3), International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development (Dec. 5), International Anti-Corruption Day (Dec. 9), Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), and then concluded with three days of our national events of ‘the Youth of the South’: the Miss Malaika South Sudan Grand Finale (Dec.8), the launching of the Red Army Foundation (Dec. 11) and our very own Book and Talent Fair (Dec. 12, 2012) upto January 31, 2013 (a back-to-school campaign). All these days will be celebrated every year with a chain of multi-talent festivals in collaboration with the JubaFest and Miss Malaika. The main aim of the Triple 12 event is to choose and award the best talents carried out throughout the year by the youth of South Sudan.

Goal, Objectives and Activities of the First South Sudan Book Expo and Talent Extra Day

Goal

The goal for the Book Expo and Talent Extra Day 2012 is to inaugurate the 12th day of the 12th month as an annual day for the promotion of Reading Culture and Talent Discovery in the Republic of South Sudan by conducting book festivals (reviews and previews) all over the country.

Objectives

1-      To declare December 12 an annual reading culture day (Book Expo and Talent Awards Day)

2-      To promote South Sudanese works of literature, art and culture by authors, poets, artists, etc.

3-      To launch the latest products and programs by South Sudanese writers and artists into the market (books by 5 maiden authors, magazines, the Encyclo’media Lifebrary, OpenBook Press)

4-      To bring together all the South Sudanese writers around to interact on the status quo of literacy and the roles of literature and culture as ingredients for nation building

5-      To initiate the idea of South Sudan writers forum or union among most of the writers present

Activities for 12-12-12 Book Expo and Talent Extra Day

1-      Declaration

i-                    Declaration of the South Sudan Book Expo (Open-Book Day) by performing these writers’ rituals:

ii-                   Announcing the shortlisted books for the ‘Book of the Year’ contest and other awards under collective title of the Sponsor, ‘Talents of the Year Awards’, by the awards panel

iii-                 Reciting two poems on literacy and talent, entitled: Illiterate or Ill-literate? and Talent is Latent from USTASS’ poemusicians

iv-                 Cutting of the cord and cake by the Minister for Higher Education (RSS), also an author

v-                  Authors’ Parade: a formal introduction of established writers and books in South Sudan

2-      Products to be launched

1-      The Black Christs of Africa (333 Poems)

2-      Laugh and Learn: And The Easy Essay of my Nay Say (333 essays)

3-      Rioting by Writing:101 Tributes to and by Isaiah Abraham and Other Pressmen and penmen of South Sudan’.

4-      The Younique Megazine (our monthly magazine on youth achievers’)

5-      The Text Collector (Literary Bulletin for Review and Preview of the South Sudanese arts)

6-      Naath Cultural Magazine (By Maale Culture and Heritage Foundation)

7-      Noi$e for $ale (music album from the Lyrics of The Black Christs of Africa, by J. Penn de Ngong) and Kingdom Come (music album for peace campaign by a Murle boy, Aborcup John Akuer)

8-      The Encyclomedia Lifebrary and O’pennBook Press Ltd.

9-      The Colander Calendar on Latent Talent (2013 talent scouting year planner)

10-   The Jonglei Jongleur (Development Journal for Jonglei State) and The Gazelle Gazette (Tourism Journal for South Sudan)

11-   The Younique Talent Awards collectively dedicated to their sponsors’ rhyming names e.g. The VivaXcellent Award, The GemTalent Award, The Stand-Big Talent Award, The CitiZainship Award.

12-   The ‘Younique Monique Crown’ for the best beauty queen and other youth projects at USTASS annual ‘The Super Supper’ diner to be launched on 12/12/12 at Kush Resort in Juba.

3-      Fanfares

i-                    Book fare: Display, exchange, sale and reading of books

ii-                   Fund-fare: Fundraising through the sales of books, magazines, etc. by our writers

iii-                 Fun-fare: Comedy, creative dance, wits, skids, etc. by our talented groups

iv-                 Pun-fare: Collecting 101 best quotes of the year by authors/readers from various sources: books, newspapers, websites, etc. to be published in The Text Collector

v-                  Fan-fare: Greeting, meeting, reading, chatting, chanting, dancing, drinking, eating, etc’ing by fans/readers/revelers with their authors, artists and leaders.

4-      Talent Extravaganza (these and any other forms of talent expression for impression).

vi-                 Poetry recitation by 5 choicest young poets (e.g. Obama versus Osama, Speech by the Emperor of the Empire of the Vampire!, etc.)

vii-               Live drama and skid skits presentations by 5 youth theatre companies

viii-              Film screening by 5 film/movie producers of South Sudan.

ix-                 Loads of music and lots of musings by our local comedians

5-      Speeches

–          By  government officials

–          By prolific published writers of South Sudan

–          By donor representatives

–          By sponsor representatives

Participants

–          South Sudanese writers and artists

–          South Sudanese publishers and their international associates

–          Media houses

–           Academic institutions

–          Bookshops and Libraries

–          Non-Governmental Organizations

–           Diplomatic missions

–          Ministries of Education, Culture, Information and other line ministries and departments.

–          Public: readers and leaders in books and media consumption in South Sudan

Method of Funding

–          The Fair’s fares: rent of the bookbooths to bookshops, publishers, authors, media houses, etc.

–          Gate collection (Tickets)

–          Sponsorships from business companies

–          Donations from NGOs

–          Grants from government ministries

Organizers for Book Expo and Talent Extra Day

–          USTASS(United Scribes, Teachers and Artists of South Sudan)

–          SSAA (South Sudan Artists Association) and Deng Foundation/Institute

–          Partners: sponsors, donors, Ministries/Commissions, Embassies, NGOs, etc.

Target Groups (beneficiaries)

–          Individual youths and organizations with tangent talent projects to showcase

–          Business companies and organizations which will promote their products

–          Consumers of our talent products e.g. readers, writers, artists, media houses, schools, etc.

–          Investors (publishers, music promoters, etc.)

The Little Doves in music competition at the Military High Command College in Uganda

The Little Doves in music competition at the Military High Command College in Uganda

Program outline

a)-                                                                                  The Super Supper I

(The Triple Twelve activities 2012)

1-      Mobilization of the authors and books for the review and preview

2-      Mobilization of youth projects of the year for the review

3-      Media campaign

4-      The Super Supper event (for announcing the shortlisted projects for the Awards of the Year)

1-      Mobilization of the Authors and Books

–          Listing of existing authors for South Sudan

–          Invitation letters to authors and authorities

–          Listing of Bookshops in South Sudan

–          Invitation letters to bookshops and other art projects to book book-booths and presentation allotments

–          Invitation letters to publishers and international companies to participate in the book fair and art displays

2-      Mobilization of the youth projects for entry into the competition for the awards

–          Listing of the best projects carried out by the youth of South Sudan in 2012 for Review Presentation

–          Soliciting for the youth projects for 2013 for the Preview Presentation (no award to this category)

3-      Media Campaign for both events (The Triple 12 Super Supper and the Book Fair and Talent Awards Day)

–          Developing website/weblog for the events’ project display

–          Facebook page for the display of projects and voting by fans and visitors (using the ‘like box’ voting system)

–          TV/Radio/Newspaper/web adverts for the events

–          Writing to all media houses to exchange adverts with our booths and presentation times.

4-      The Super Supper (Triple 12 event on 12-12-12)

–          Entry fee for the Super Supper diner at Da Vinci Lodge

–          Announcement for the Shortlist of the book, newspaper, etc. of the year

–          Presentations of the best shortlist projects (e.g. Miss Malaika, Spark, etc. youth project)

–          Speeches from authors and authorities

–          Entertainment from artists.

Children's March 698

b)                                                                  The Book Fair and Talent Awards

1-      Reviewing and Previewing of the shortlisted books, papers, etc.

  • Listing books into categories and genres for South Sudan
  • Invitation letters to authors and authorities
  • Setting up of Bookbooths in the venue
  • Invitation letters to bookshops and other art objects and projects to book-booths
  • Invitation letters to publishers and international companies to participate in the book fair and art displays

2-      Reviewing and Previewing of the shortlisted projects of the year

  • Judging and categorizing the objects and projects carried out by the youth of South Sudan for awards from 2012
  • Soliciting for the youth projects for 2013 for the Preview Presentation (no awards to this category)

3-      Media Campaign (For the Book Bonanza and Talent Extravaganza i.e. Awards Day)

–          Updating the website/weblog for the events’ project display

–          Controlling the Facebook page for the display of projects and voting by fans and visitors (using the ‘like box’ voting system)

–          TV/Radio/Newspaper/web adverts for the events

–          Writing to all media houses to exchange adverts with our booths and presentation times.

4-      The Super Supper II (announcing the literary arts object and project Awards of the Year in a Back-to-School campaign)

–          Entry for the Super Supper diner at the Senior Staff Club (University of Juba) on 13-1-13 or Jan. 13, 2012)

–          Announcement of the best literary arts objects and projects of the year on Jan. 13, 2013

–          Giving of Awards to the best arts object and projects (e.g. book, paper, Miss Malaika, Spark, etc.)

–          Speeches from authors and authorities

–          Entertainment from artists.

NB: There will be Three Committees to run the programs outlined above, viz: 1- Review and Preview Committee 2- Publishing and Publicity Committee 3- The Super Supper Committee.

USTASS members guide pupils of Dr. John Garang International School through South Sudan's First Agricultural Trade Fare at Nyakuron Cultural Centre on 11-11-11, organized by Ministry of Agriculture, USAID (The FARM Project), etc.. USTASS participated in the fare by handling Communications, Mobilization of Schools, Artists, Media and Farmers, and handled entertainment throughout the show.

USTASS members guide pupils of Dr. John Garang International School through South Sudan’s First Agricultural Trade Fare at Nyakuron Cultural Centre on 11-11-11, organized by Ministry of Agriculture, USAID (The FARM Project), etc.. USTASS participated in the fare by handling Communications, Mobilization of Schools, Artists, Media and Farmers, and handled entertainment throughout the show.

USTASS Background

The serious writers of South Sudan, the journalists, the musicians, have to address the issues the politicians don’t care about. It is now our time to tell the world what it is that we want.” Taban lo Liyong, Interview, The New Nation, 2012.

This group called USTASS, consisting of United Scribes, Teachers & Artists of South Sudan, is an apolitical, non-profit, talent-spotting and talent-supporting organization founded in 2006 by three student-teachers, journalists and artists at Makerere University, Uganda, and registered in Juba in 2009. USTASS, driven by their motto, Our Right to Write, and their scientific belief that Talent is Latent – hence must be thought, sought and sorted out properly through our Yearn-Learn-Earn method – comprises mainly journalists/writers (Scribes) with background experiences of censorship ordeals such as kidnapping, imprisonment or torture; teachers who fell out of their classroom career due to poor working conditions and unfavourable policies;  artists and artistes, who have the talent to exploit through expressions in various forms of mass media: writing, fine art, cartooning, music, dance, drama, debating, poetry, sculpture, etc., besides other genres of unique gifts in our diverse culture and literature of South Sudan. Chief among these gifted category are the Little Doves Choir, a leading child-musician group trained by USTASS teachers and founders. USTASS has produced 10 successful musicians and a number of journalists and teachers since 2006.

USTASS, which literally means Ustaz, a prestigious Arabic title for a teacher, mentor, educator, trainer, enlightener, etc., and literarily as the scribes (writers/journalists), teachers and artist(e)s, renders public and member-oriented, knowledge-based services to the category of the South Sudanese beneficiaries targeted on the same  line of their profession. In short, USTASS came into being to guide and guard the rights of the most marginalized professions and professionals in the nascent republic, namely: journalists, teachers and artists, and to further the cause for the upcoming generation on the same career ladder. The Trio are unique in that they are selfless, talent-based and closer to the communities by means of their service delivery, all laden with the postwar recovery packages for ‘The Baby Nation’, the Republic of South Sudan.

For our experience in this field, we have worked with the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology and other ministries of the then GOSS since 2006, and other government commissions notably Southern Sudan Referendum Bureau in 2010/11, as a member of Southern Sudan Civil Society Coalition, and the SPLA’s Operation Restore Peace in Jonglei (Disarmament campaign, 2012). Our other clients are major NGOs such as Unicef (literacy campaign, 2006/7), Crisis Action (Pressure for Sudan Referendum/Beat for Peace campaign to UN General Assembly, 2010), USAID/The FARM Project (artists, schools and farmers’ mobilization, 2011/12), UNMISS (Jonglei Peace Caravan, 2012) under Jonglei Civil Society Group, among others. We also carried out vigorous talent/business promotion campaigns with Kenya Commercial Bank and others (Street Children in Juba, 2009), and Gemtel Telecom (Talent search/sales promotion, 2011/12) all over the 10 states.

Currently, USTASS has a partnership agreement with a group of UK-based international music promoters called Sound Thread. Since we entered the partnership last year, we have jointly recorded 10 artists from various states of South Sudan in a pilot project to discover the niche music (unique South Sudanese genre) that is worth studying and developing. Part of the sample music album (10 songs) recorded in Juba in January 2012 was broadcast on BBC and has won a bigger project of donation of the decommissioned BBC studios in Manchester, England, now on the way to South Sudan. USTASS director, John Penn de Ngong, has worked for a language research project called Dinka Prosody under the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and SOAS (University of London) since 2010, a project hosted by Summer Institute of Languages (SIL) in Juba.

USTASS Vision and Mission, Objectives and Activities, Values, Venues and Avenues of Service Delivery.

Vision: A South Sudanese talented youth who is able to professionally choose and profitably use his or her natural abilities and national capabilities for the betterment of himself or herself and their community.

Mission: To spot and support latent talents, guide and guard the rights, promote and provide a mouthpiece to the marginalized natural abilities and national capabilities among the young people of South Sudan, with the test and the taste on what they can do best out of the rest.

Objectives

1-      To establish and operate a leading academy or resource centre for multi-media and multi-talent development under a project dubbed The Mediapedia Initiative Twenty20, comprising The Encyclomedia Lifebrary by the year 2015 and The Mediapedia Academy, a state-of-the-art media institute, by 2020 for ICT, publicity, publishing and publication, research and talent search projects in South Sudan.

2-       To foster unexploited talents and unemployed youths; especially writers and journalists, teachers and speakers, artists and artistes, actors and actresses, poets, etc.  into creating – rather than seeking – jobs for themselves through our yearn-learn-earn approach such as writing books, magazines, newspapers, teaching language, promoting music, drama, poetry, sports, etc. as well as enhancing innovation through Information Technology in South Sudan.

3-      To provide a mouthpiece through open, public and media campaign to the most marginalized professionals and talents, especially the category mentioned above, who in turn will use their talents to promote nation building through the basic rights of the peoples of South Sudan.

4-      To market and liaise the talented youths and their organizations among themselves and with the government, communities and NGOs inside and outside South Sudan.

5-      To run a consultancy forum for arts, language and literature (culture) and curriculum development in which to campaign for equal rights of the minority, especially the most despised and neglected three professions of journalists, teachers and artists in South Sudan.

6-      To campaign against any negative habits such as drug abuse, sex abuse, alcoholism, tribalism/racism, bullying, corruption, gender-based violence with its ‘gender-biased silence’, and many other social evils among the youths in schools, communities, etc.

The five-by-five Core Attributes of USTASS

A Bor village girl embroiders her suitor's pet ox on a bedsheet as a gift. USTASS wants to further this into her livelihood even after marriage.

A Bor village girl embroiders her suitor’s pet ox on a bedsheet as a gift. USTASS wants to further this into her livelihood even after marriage.

The five star goals of USTASS 

  • spotting      and supporting potential individual talents
  • Organizing      music shows and sports activities and festivities
  • scouting      and cheerleading in functions and ceremonies
  • staging      infotainment activities to the needy and vulnerable groups
  • volunteering      for community services and nation call

The five star pillars of USTASS

  • sports      scouts
  • artistes      scouts (musicians)
  • artists      scouts (painters/sculptors, etc.)
  • Scribes      scouts
  • cheer      leaders, fun fans & Cub Club

The five star services by USTASS 

  • producing      and marketing music of artistes and paintings of artists
  • training      and promoting sports stars
  • marketing      and promoting products of young writers
  • cheering,      supporting, and encouraging performers in action
  • offering      leisure and recreational services to the community

The five star values of USTASS

  • Solidarity      with peculiarity
  • Equality      with quality
  • Ability with      agility
  • Honesty with      modesty
  • Hard      work with Heart work

The five star principles for USTASS

  • Membership      by talent and qualification
  • Benefits      by input and output
  • Service      by specialty and impartiality
  • Age      and sage limits
  • Moral      discipline and morale ‘discipling’

The five-stanza talent anthem for USTASS

Talent is Latent

Talent is a slippery sleeper.

Unless you wake him up,

He’ll less wake you up.

You’re thereby to ignore,

He is there but to snore.

Like your unfertilized son,

He is your one fossilized sun;

He can forever in you slumber.

To best discover your talent,

First uncover what’s latent.

Reap thus your talent apple:

The industry is simple but ample;

By interchanging L with T in LaTent,

You end up harvesting T and L in TaLent.

Source: The Black Christs of Africa, Poem No. 209 on Chapter 17: My Theolosophy, By J. P. de Ngong

Contact Persons

John Penn de Ngong (USTASS) reciting ‘Talent is Latent’ during Awilo Longomba’s show in 2009

John Penn de Ngong (USTASS) reciting ‘Talent is Latent’ during Awilo Longomba’s show in 2009

1

John Penn de Ngong

Executive Director, USTASS

0955 235 997 or  0977 404 444

penndengong@gmail.com

www.weakleak.wordpress.com

www.ustassgroup.wordpress.com

2

Evans Maendeh

Executive Director,

South Sudan Artists Association (SSAA)

0955 082 519

maendeh@yahoo.com

3

Daniel Deng Bol,

Chairman, Deng Foundation

0955 579 833

dengmedia@yahoo.com

Why Talent is Abundant but Redundant in South Sudan

(A sample ‘Text Corrector’s’ Editorial Analysis in our Inauguration Edition of ‘The Text Collector Journal’, a South Sudanese writers’ journal ‘for Reviewing and Previewing’ our Literature and Culture)

By J. Penn de Ngong

We are organizing the first South Sudanese Book and Talent Festival because we know the fact that there is little knowledge enhancement and talent development in South Sudan today, even among the youth, whose greater population is still in schools. Talent is neither being discovered nor is knowledge being recovered in the aftermath of the war. According to our experience as a talent spotting and supporting organization (USTASS), talent is neither being efficiently invested in nor being sufficiently harvested in South Sudan due to a number of factors and actors, one of which is diverse policies leading to lack of funding support and the other being an adverse historical legacy leading to lack of will to participate, or use of poor methods to harness the agilities and abilities in our youths, as detailed in a short story, entitled ‘The Youth of the South’, by this author.

This has historical background. It lies, we have realized, in the fact that the marginalized peoples of South Sudan have just discovered that they are ranking high among the richest in the world in mineral deposits in their land; but there are even more potential riches not yet explored and exploited—the talent deposits in their hand, especially among the youth and children. Fossilized over centuries of multi-national colonial succession, wars and ignorance, the varieties of talents in the South Sudanese youths are now ripe but not fully prepared for tapping. Why not, and how not?

Following the independence in 2011, there is an urgent need and demand to excavate the hibernating wealth in the surviving postwar generation of South Sudan. This must be done through education, now that the said war has provided enough raw materials for writing as a business. That is why USTASS has been agitating for those who are less ‘uncled’ in the position of free oil money to join hands not in an opposition for money but in a creative hunt for an alternative run for one’s survival during these times of the austere economy in South Sudan. And the best way out is not to riot but to write; to write pretty petty things for a living, the best way to access that money from any austerity authority in South Sudan.

However, there is need to fight that colonial legacy, which is still instilled in our minds. Of course, in the pre-colonial and colonial era of error, the Sudanese children and youths used to invest their talents in traditional recreational activities as passed on by their older generations. Popular native talents such as wrestling, mock fighting, hunting, chanting, dancing, etc. were solely communal and non-commercial. These experiences later translated into civil wars in the wake of slave trade trailed by foreign domination and exploitation from the Turks, the Egyptians, the British and the Arabs in that historical order.

For over half a century, the Sudanese youths, especially in the South and the marginalized areas of the Sudan, have dedicated or wasted a great deal of their time and talent in their successive wars of liberation and, alas, are now wasting their time in excessive woes of freedom libation. The worst part of this legacy is lack of documented records since our past was dominated by crude literature, in USTASS’s literary concoction, ‘illiterature and orature’ (illiteracy and oral tradition).

Again, upon the declaration of the Southern Independence in 2011, which saw the south separate from the north of the Sudan, there is a talent rush to excavate the hibernating wealth in the surviving young generation of South Sudan. The tools for exploiting this are the youth themselves through their own efforts to search and research their historical backgrounds and literary foreground, but should not be without technical supports from their talent scouting organizations such as USTASS.

However, the problems facing talent programs in South Sudan remain lack of access to funding, especially at a small scale and grassroots levels. Well, there are funds, but they do not reach the roots of the grass down there. Given sufficient support from the government, donors through NGOs, multinational companies and national businesses in South Sudan, then the talent promotion individuals and organizations – in this case, USTASS – will easily achieve their goals of spotting and supporting talents in South Sudan through their Yearn-Learn-Earn method and ‘Fun for Fund’ or’ Pun for Fun’ programs. This would only work if opportunities were availed on natural abilities and national capabilities.

Going by the current statistics of literacy rate, idleness and laziness in our ‘baby nation’, there is no money in writing, singing or sporting in South Sudan today. Both able-bodied and able-minded youth have been accustomed to the belief for relief that, after all, there is no need for taxing one’s brain when they can just do the taxiing on the flakes of fertile soil underneath their feet and the texting about the lakes of versatile oil beneath their field: all these for minting cash on! However, the oil being thousands of kilometers deep in the heart of the earth and the soil being the skin thereof, how do we extract cash out of them now, right now? We need knowledge. We must yearn and learn in order to earn.

Nevertheless, we know this country, for the last six years of the Interim Period, which has indeed been an extreme period, of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), that is still a compressive peace argument, is now independent but predominantly dependent on a cash cow that grazes in the south but is still milked in the north. Therefore, we want to promote technical knowhow, not tactical know-who. We want to enhance talent, which is latent. We want to ignite this latent talent into gallant talent in order to develop our youngsters into young stars. To achieve this, we need to collect, correct and connect every individual energy into a very invaluable synergy. In this way, talent will no longer be abandoned or redundant, but will be abundant or redone dent. In short, we need you as badly as you need us in the process of our nation building.

USTASS Profile (Concept Paper)

  

Contact Person: John Penn de Ngong

Juba, S. Sudan

Mobphone Nos.:

+249(0)955 235 997

+211 (0) 977 368 888

+256 (0) 712 606 046 (Kampala)

+254 (0) 711 298 080 (Nairobi)

Office location: Nyakuron Cultural Centre (Western Wing), Juba.

E-mail: penndengong@gmail.com

ustass.sudan@gmail.com

Penn de Ngong and the youngest doves at Dr. Garang’s Mausoleum in Juba, 2006.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conceptual Background

The marginalized people of South Sudan have just discovered that they are ranking high among the richest in the world in mineral deposits in their land; but there are even more potential riches not yet explored and exploited—the talent deposits in their youths and children. Fossilized over centuries of multi-national colonial succession, wars and ignorance, the variety of talents in the South Sudanese youths is now ripe but not fully prepared for tapping.

In the pre-colonial and colonial periods, the Sudanese children and youths used to invest their talents in traditional recreational activities as passed on by their older generations.  Popular native talents such as wrestling, hunting, mock fighting, music and dance were solely communal and non-commercial. These experiences later translated into civil wars in the wake of slave trade trailed by foreign domination and exploitation from the Turks, the Egyptians, The British and the Arabs in that historical order.

For over half a century now, the Sudanese youths, especially in the South and the marginalized areas of the Sudan, have dedicated or wasted a great deal of their time and talents in the successive wars of liberation. Following the comprehensive peace agreement signed in 2005 between the warring parties in the south and north, there is an urgent need and demand to excavate the hibernating wealth in the surviving young generation of South Sudan in particular, and Sudan in general. The tools for exploiting this are the youths themselves through their talent scouting organizations such as USTASS.

However, the problem facing talent promotion in South Sudan remains lack of access to funding, especially at a small scale and grassroots levels.  Given sufficient support from donors and multinational companies in South Sudan, talent promotion individuals and organizations, in this case, USTASS, will easily achieve their goals of spotting and supporting talents in South Sudan (Talent by Talent Scouting).

Children practising their traditional sport

For over half a century now, the Sudanese youths, especially in the South and the marginalized areas of the Sudan, have dedicated or wasted a great deal of their time and talents in the successive wars of liberation. Following the comprehensive peace agreement signed in 2005 between the warring parties in the south and north, there is an urgent need and demand to excavate the hibernating wealth in the surviving young generation of South Sudan in particular, and Sudan in general. The tools for exploiting this are the youths themselves through their talent scouting organizations such as USTASS.

However, the problem facing talent promotion in South Sudan remains lack of access to funding, especially at a small scale and grassroots levels.  Given sufficient support from donors and multinational companies in South Sudan, talent promotion individuals and organizations, in this case, USTASS, will easily achieve their goals of spotting and supporting talents in South Sudan (Talent by Talent Scouting).

 

Introduction

A group called USTASS, consisting of United Scribes, Teachers & Artists of South Sudan, has been carrying out talent promotion, literacy and peace caravans since it was founded by a group of South Sudanese student-teachers and artists in Makerere University, Uganda, in 2005. USTASS literally means Ustaz, a prestigious Arabic title for a teacher, mentor, educator, trainer, enlightener, etc., and literarily as the scribes (writers/journalists), teachers and artist(e)s. USTASS was registered in 2009 as an indigenous non-governmental organization with the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development (GOSS), now Ministry of Justice, RSS, with Registration No.480 under the Southern Sudan Allied Advocates (SSAA) in Juba. It then grew into a nation-wide talent-promotion organization.

We are well known for ‘talent by talent mobilization’, our talent-based campaign through these advocacy tools: media, music, writing, sports, etc. and our dedication to promoting voices of the most neglected talents and professionals in South Sudan; namely, artists (musicians), writers (scribes/journalists), and teachers (with creativity). Driven by our literary motto, Our Right to Write, and our scientific belief, Talent is Latent, USTASS comprises mainly journalists/writers (Scribes) with background experiences of censorship ordeals such as kidnapping, imprisonment or torture, teachers who fell out of their classroom career due to poor education policies in South/Sudan, artist(e)s, who have the talent to convey the message through music, dance, drama, debating, poetry, fine art, cartooning, etc.

Chief among our tangible outputs are the Little Doves Choir, a 30-member leading child-musician group that pioneered team music in the gifted hands of USTASS founders (teachers-cum-artists) after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. From 2006 to date, USTASS has produced 7 leading artists/musicians and 30 other members by its talent spotting and supporting activities. We are now focusing on spotting and promoting another lot of 30 talents (10 artists, 10 teachers, and 10 journalists) from the 10 states, each from each state in the three categories, given availability of sponsorship/funding this year, 2012.

USTASS’s tasks include carrying out a child development process by means of talent-based campaign. This will be achieved with the first objective of building a sanctuary for the young Sudanese talents assembly (The Little Doves Academy: a special school that is a nursery bed for talent germination, which includes an entertainment centre to be called Centertainment Theatre) by which USTASS will exercise its literacy and talent development goals through these advocacy tools: Media, music, writing, sports, etc. For example, one of USTASS postindenpendence projects is essay competition, entitled: The Baby Nation, to comprise 101 essays in 10 topics drawn from child writers from the 10 states, of which the best 10 essayists will win scholarships through USTASS.

All these will be conducted concurrently with regular academic education to fulfill the real mission & vision of USTASS as an indigenous talent and youth-oriented organization dedicated to promoting voices of the most marginalized talents and professions in Southern Sudan; mainly artists, journalists and teachers.

USTASS which literally means Ustaz, a prestigious Arabic title for a teacher, mentor, educator, trainer, enlightener, etc., and literarily as the scribes (writers/journalists), teachers and artist(e)s, actors/actresses, as a few to mention, shall render public and member-oriented, knowledge-based services to the category of the South Sudanese beneficiaries targeted; in this case the destitute, the poor and other unattended talents among the future generation of South Sudan.

USTASS, driven by their motto, Our Right to Write, comprises mainly journalists/writers (Scribes) with background experiences of censorship ordeals such as kidnapping, imprisonment or torture; teachers who fell out of their classroom career due to poor education system and unfavourable policies in South Sudan;  artists/artistes and actors who have the talent to convey the message through fine art and cartooning, music, dance, drama, debating, poetry, sculpture, etc.,  and many other members of unique gifts in our diverse culture and literature. Chief among these gifted category are the Little Doves Choir, a pioneer and leading child-musician group in South Sudan trained by USTASS teachers and founders.

Little Doves teachers: David Pachong & John Penn with the youngest members of the group doing a literacy campaign in Juba, 2006

In line with the Millennium Development Goals, USTASS had a challenge in hand in 2009 to accomplish their overriding goal (MDG obligation) by enrolling up to 2,000 quality talented Little Doves (children) in various faculties of talent by the year 2015, six-hundred from each of the three greater regions (Bahr-el-Ghazal, Upper Nile & Equatoria) of South Sudan, and 200 from the IDPs or latest returnees. This had to and will still be done through all-states educational project called The Little Doves Academy. This acquired its name from the Little Doves Choir, the Noah’s Ark doves that brought a message of hope in music and sports to the war-victims of South Sudan just after the seceding of the Sudanese war tsunami in 2005. The group is managed by USTASS director, John Penn de Ngong, who doubles as an artist with a three-in-one talent of an artist (e), a trained teacher and journalist together with his similarly multi-talented colleague and group founder, David Pachong Mading. The vision came into being during their school days in Kampala, after John resigned from his active media job following his series of mysterious kidnapping and torture ordeals in Uganda.

 The concept of forming the United Scribes, Teachers & Artists of South Sudan (USTASS) was conceived over a period of six months in a number of community activities organized under the initiatives of John Penn de Ngong and other colleagues from Uganda to Southern Sudan. These include the literacy campaign, courtesy of  the Association of New Sudan United Students  in Uganda (ANSUSU) sponsored by the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) from December 13 – 23, 2006, in Juba; the formation of the talented

Two ‘Little Doves’ with their staff laying a wreathe on Late Dr. Garang’s grave in 2006

child musicians in the name of  the Little Doves Choir in December 2006, who had become the leading child performers in every national function in Southern Sudan and local ceremonies among refugees in Uganda; and the promotion of the five musicians namely David Pachong Mading of Little Doves, Panchol Deng Ajang (from traditional to conventional music), Peter Garang Ngarjok ( a former group photographer now alias Southern Voice), Kijana Bebi (Bol Alier), and Black Jay (Alier Ayor), under the umbrella of The Black Jew Crew that travelled from Kampala, Uganda, to Juba for the commemoration ceremony of the late Sudanese hero, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, on July 30, 2007.

Against that background, USTASS was inspired into existence in the southern capital of Juba, on 07-07-07, the Southern Sudanese child (girl) education day, by two conditions that arose during the ceremony

i-        The plight of the children to have their talents promoted in various fields, and

ii-       The inadequate organization coupled with community thirst for entertainment.

Little Doves, now USTASS founders, therefore observed that in a war-ravaged society that was used to gathering for only two reasons; communal prayers and funeral rites, being ones of the major war-triggered destructions on the communities during the dark days when sorrow replaced happiness, crying gave no space to laughing, fighting took the stage of sporting, and so on. All these led to the inhibition, diversion or perversion of talents in South Sudan. It is now a moral duty for USTASS to reverse the gear and create opportunities for promoting

i-                    Talent for youths recovery and community development, and

ii-                  Entertainment for the rehabilitation of our communities in the aftermath of the war through the following means:

A mentally disturbed street girl participates in the Little Doves’ song “Our Friends Come On” during the Street Kids March/Match on 07/09/08 in Juba.

Vision: A successful South Sudanese talented young person who is able to professionally and profitably tap and use his or her natural ability and national capability for the betterment of himself or herself and their community.

Mission: To spot and support latent talents and provide a mouthpiece to the marginalized natural abilities and national capabilities among the young people of the Republic of South Sudan, based on what they can do best among the rest.

USTASS Motto: Our Right to Write

The Little Doves Academy Motto: Igniting Youngsters in Young Stars.

Objectives   

1-      To build an academy for talent development in the Republic of South Sudan and carry out talent spotting and supporting activities among the young generation of this newborn country.

2-      To foster unemployed talents among the youths; especially writers and journalists, teachers and preachers (speakers) artists and artistes, etc.  into creating – rather than seeking – jobs for themselves through personal talents such as writing books, magazines, newspapers, teaching language, promoting music, drama, poetry, sports, etc.

3-      To provide a mouthpiece through open, public and media campaign to the most marginalized professionals and talents, especially the young journalists and writers (scribes), teachers and preachers (speakers), actors & actresses, artists and artistes, etc., who in turn will use their talents to promote peace and the basic rights of the peoples of South Sudan in particular, and of the region in general.

4-      To provide a resource centre (multi-media/multi-talent) and consultancy forum for arts, language and literature (culture) and curriculum development in South Sudan.

5-      To liaise the talented youths with the government, communities and NGOs inside and outside South Sudan with the aim of marketing their talents.

6-      To campaign against any negative habits such as drug abuse, sex abuse, alcoholism, tribalism/racism, bullying, corruption, and many other social evils among the youths in schools, communities, clubs, etc.

 

John Penn in Keyz Studio recording ‘De Injil maa Quran’ of his album “Noise 4 $ale”

A Bor girl embroiders her suitor’s pet ox (marial) on her bedsheet that she prepares for her honeymoon gift. USTASS aims at giving this social talent a monetary value.   

The five star values of USTASS

  • Solidarity with peculiarity
  • Equality with quality
  • Ability with agility
  • Honesty with modesty
  • Hard work with Heart work

The five star principles for USTASS

  • Membership by talent and qualification
  • Benefits by input and output
  • Service by speciality and impartiality
  • Age and sage limits
  • Moral discipline and morale discipling

The five-stanza talent anthem for USTASS

A one-year-old Baby Tabby (aka Baby Dove) loves ‘reading’ her father’s books. Tabitha is John Penn’s daughter.

Talent is Latent

Talent is a slippery sleeper.

Unless you wake him up,

He’ll less wake you up.

You’re thereby to ignore,

He is there but to snore.

Like your unfertilized son,

He is your one fossilized sun;

He can forever in you slumber.

To best discover your talent,

First uncover what’s latent.

Reap thus your talent apple:

The industry is simple but ample;

By interchanging L with T in LaTent,

You end up harvesting T and L in TaLent.

Source: The Black Christs of Africa, Poem 153, By J. Penn de Ngong

 

The Little Doves

The Little Doves (Choir), which gave birth to USTASS, is a combination of former refugee children at the age bracket of 8 to 18, three quarters of whom are destitute or orphans, developed initially as Sunday School under the Presbyterian Church primary school, once led by David Pachong Mading as a headmaster, and the Sudanese Refugee Congregation (SRC) of seven Anglican churches in Uganda, once led by John Penn de Ngong as Pastor-in-Charge. The group was incorporated in 2005 and sprung into action in 2006 when over a hundred students/pupils travelled from Uganda to Juba and Rumbek for literacy and talent awareness campaign under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (GOSS). The Group now has a total of 30 music tracks and 5 albums, both in audio and video formats. The songs cover major thematic topics of peace, children’s rights, women emancipation, nationalism, right to education, and HIV/Aids, among others. The group has permanent membership of 30 children and 3 teachers, besides other volunteers and associate members. Ten of the pioneer children have gone for resettlement in Australia, while a hundreds of their fellow talents loiter on the streets and verandahs of Southern Sudan, begging for daily bread and basic school fees.

The Little Doves Academy & USTASS Centertainment Theatre

In response to the needs of the Little Doves group (previously) in Uganda and now in South Sudan and a hundreds of street children and orphans whose talents are at risk of diversion into perversion, USTASS has a vision of building three major schools in the three major regions of South Sudan, the old greater regions of Bahr-el-Ghazal (4 states of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State, Warrap and Lakes), Upper Nile Region (3 states of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile) and Equatoria Region (Central, Western & Eastern). But that was an original idea. Currently as educational needs dictate, the talent-development academies will be amalgamated into one central academy to be built in the new city of South Sudan, Ramciel. However, in the future, one academy that was postponed will still be built in Juba (primary level), Bor (secondary) and Malakal (vocational) in that order, and thereafter to be extended to other state capitals in the future.

The Little Doves Academy (Ramciel Campus)

With its school motto ‘Igniting Youngsters into Young Stars’, the first school, whose work will kick off as soon as funds are available from the development partners, will be in Ramciel (previously planned for Juba) to handle the first 600 selected children, mainly the returning 25 Little Doves from Uganda and other talented kids to be recruited from the streets, churches, villages and schools totaling to 600 in Juba by the year 2015, or thereafter. Of course, it is one of USTASS plans to be the first start an educational institution in the new city. The admission ratio of boys to girls will be 1:1. The construction, given the availability of funds, will start as soon as possible. For the Little Doves Academy/Multi-talent Entertainment Centre (Centertainment Theatre), USTASS had acquired a plot of land in a lease/partnership agreement with the titleholder in Juba, measuring 100 by 300 square metres at the foothill of Jebel Kujur, 4 kilometres from Juba University. Due to unforseen circumstances, the owner of the land withdrew his offer and the proposal was brought to a standstill since 2010.

Little Doves Choir performing to street kids during their campaign at Nyakuron in Juba, 2008

Centertainment Theatre (Multi-purpose Resource Centre)

USTASS will run both online and offline resource centres through a computer lab and a library. There will be a multi-purpose hall to handle talent performances and other public events. The hall will be built under the library and the computer laboratory. The website (ustass.com) is pending design and will be used for the same purpose of scouting talents, among other services like ascertaining the population of student-teachers, upcoming artists/artistes, actors, writers, etc., besides promoting curricular, media and other fora of the members. Going by its artistic name Centertainment Theatre , it will be an interactive centre where members will interact on issues to do with their talents and rights. It will also be an avenue where students will be gauged into participating in essay, poetry or music contest on topical issues deemed necessary by the founders and funders. The library and computer laboratory will provide a good resource centre not only to the Little Doves Academy learners but also to the community at large.

USTASS Public Experiences

USTASS, from the day of its inception in 2006 to-date, has been directly or indirectly participating in community programs in terms of advocacy, consultancy and partnership.

Together with Miss Malaika (SS), Mama Rebecca de Mabior and other media and music celebrities, USTASS members carry out a ‘Keep Juba Clean’ voluntary service every Saturday.

1- From the day David Pachong joined John Penn de Ngong who re-named the group The Little Doves Choir, over 20 children have been provided with full scholarship and music activities, like tours, performances and recordings (4 of whom are now independent artists) under USTASS but with the first funding from the Ministry of Education (GOSS) initially, and now with business community, especially Rhino Star Supplies & Construction Co. Ltd. that is supporting 10 primary school pupils, 5 secondary school students and 2 university students in Uganda.

Little Doves first campaign trip to Juba (Photo at White Nile Lodge, 2006)

2- On December 13 – 23, John Penn de Ngong, David Pachong and others, organized a big Literacy Campaign March, courtesy of the Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (GOSS) in Juba with over 100 students and pupils (in two buses) transported from Uganda. The groups comprised members of the now defunct ANSUSU (Association of New Sudan United Students in Uganda) and The Little Doves Choir under the technical coordination of USTASS, not yet registered then. Thereafter, in 2007, many functions of literacy promotion were organized in Rumbek, Juba, Bor and their surrounding towns and villages by the members, with the Little Doves Choir gracing the events with educational and national songs.

3- On September 7, Little Doves Choir (now USTASS) in collaboration with Sudan Christian Youths Ministry International (SCYMI) and other partners like KCB, DED, ICCO, CCC, Rhino Stars, etc. organized a big Street Children’s March and Matches (sports competition) from Juba Stadium to Nyakuron Cultural Centre. The events, laced with sports, music and dances, were organized to raise awareness about destitute children’s safety on the streets of Southern Sudan (pictures, media reports

Little Doves in partnership with KCB (Kenya Commercial Bank), SCYMI, DED, etc. organized street kids campaign in Juba (07

and video documentaries attached separately).

3- On the Media experiences, the four USTASS executive members were the producers of The STAR newspaper owned by another business company, now not in circulation due to financial constraints. The paper, private business initiative of Rivers Media Group, was a weekly distributed all over the 10 states of Southern Sudan. Their duties are as follows: John Penn de Ngong; Editor-in-Chief, Peter Kuot Ngong; Sub-Editor and senior reporter (Jonglei state bureau), Bernice Kitum; Copy Editor, and Onyito Jobita; Designer. The same journalists/teachers (USTASS founders) also own an independent monthly youth magazine called The Younique Generation (which tackles rare and unique, researched stories and talents, fashion, art and culture among the young people of Southern Sudan).

4- In December and January, 2010, USTASS leaders, using The Little Doves and associate artistes from Juba, toured the greater Bor counties of Bor, Twic East and Duk with a message of peace, child-right, and education, among others, from which they raised funds for their students in Uganda.

Organizing the 365 worldwide pressure campaign at the eve of UN General Assembly meeting in Sept. 2010 (Venue: Custom, Juba).

On September 19, 2010, USTASS was the official organizer of the international artists’ campaign (Sudan chapter) conducted in 52 countries under the theme : Beat for Peace. The campaign, coordinated by Sudan365 and sponsored by Crisis Action was organized as a precedent to the UN General Assembly  to put referendum for Southern Sudan and peace for Darfur a priority. The videos and photographs of the different traditional groups and musicians that performed in an open air concert were combined with the rests of the sister occasions and sent to the UN Assembly as a contribution by the world artists. The event that took place at Mess 40 Ground (Old Customs) attracted about 4,000 spectators and performers.

Akongo Winnie, the winner of USTASS/Gemtel award in Torit. Akongo, a P.7 pupil of Torit East School also won a full year scholarship from USTASS artists in addition to Gemtel kit.

From mid January to mid April, 2011, USTASS roams the 10 states of South Sudan in a talent/marekt promotion driver sponsored by Gemtel telecom company. From this promotional tour, USTASS spotted and supported a great deal of local talents, hence the birth of the ‘Miracle Suddancers’. Under the auspices of Gemtel, USTASS is going ahead of further identification of the talents to fulfill its vision and mission.

 

 

USTASS Members’ Profiles Summary:

1-      John Penn de Ngong (USTASS Director) is a teacher with a BA. Education (English & Literature) from Makerere University, having taught in many schools including youth and Sunday schools in the church (ECS) since 1995, and the SPLA Institute of Strategic Studies (in Yei, 2005). He is also a journalist trained in Nairobi, and had worked with many media houses, chief among which is The Sudan Mirror Newspaper/Radio Nile as a reporter and columnist around Southern Sudan (2004 – 2006), the first editor for Southern Eye newspaper (2006), and Editor-in-Chief of The Star Newspaper (2009), founding editor of The Younique Generation magazine (now in the market), contributor to many other papers and magazines such as The Africa Report (based in Paris). He is a co-founder and Manager of the Little Doves Choir. He is also a protestant clergyman, a poet and an essayist with two books entitled ‘The Black Christs of Africa’ (poetry) and ‘Laugh and Learn’ (essays) undergoing printing process in East Africa.

Penn, Aki, Loco

USTASS Director posing for a photo with Nollywood movie stars in Juba. USTASS members helped organized talent shows at Home and Away, Nyakuron and South Sudan Hotel in June, 2010

2-      David Pachong Mading is the founder of the Little Doves Choir and the former headmaster and

David Pachong

David Pachong and the Little Doves in a music march in Juba

 teacher of the Little Doves School under the Presbyterian Church in Kampala, Uganda. He is the main artistes of the group now together with the children. He is still pursuing his teacher education with the hope of being admitted to Juba University next year. He is now one of the prominent artists spearheading the Referendum Campaign in Southern Sudan.

3-      Bernice Kitum (Project Manager) is a qualified teacher (BA. Education, English & Literature, Maseno University in Kenya) and has taught in several teachers’ colleges in Southern Sudan e.g. Kotobi Teachers’ Training College, Wau under Windle Trust English Program, and Waat, Jonglei State  under Save the Children – UK. He is temporarily working as a project manager with our partner, Sudan Christian Youth Ministries International in Juba.

4-      John Garang Ayii is a community youth leader and mobilizer and has worked with many youth organizations and the church. He is now finalizing his BA. Education (Geography and Religious Education) in Bugema University, Uganda. John is also a contributor in the name of USTASS on education-related topics in The Younique Generation Magazine.

5-      John Mayom Nyok is a graduate of BA. Education (English & Literature) from Kampala International University (KIU), and had taught as a teacher under the IDP school project by Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Nimule, Southern Sudan.

Peter Quot de Ngong (or Kuot)

 6- Peter Kuot Ngong is a journalist who has worked for many newspapers and websites in Southern Sudan. He recently changed his BSc. Education (Sciences) course in Dr. John Garang University of Science and Technology, Bor, Jonglei State and is continuing his BA. Mass Communication in St. Lawrence University, Kampala. Peter Kuot, like John Penn de Ngong, is a victim of media censorship. He founded USTASS and The Younique Generation Magazine with Penn.

7–      Abel Manyok Kelei: is the first teacher of John Penn de Ngong dating back to 1989 where he started (under the SPLM/A) the Kolmarek Primary School in Jalle Payam of the present Bor County. He taught in several bush schools during the war in Southern Sudan and in the Sudanese refugee schools in Adjumani, Uganda. Ustaz Manyok is now pursuing is educational management course with Cambridge International College (Juba Branch) in preparation for The Little Doves Academy and USTASS educational projects.

Abel

Abel Alier draws his father’s luak in Palotaka bush school in 1992

8-      Abel Alier Reech: Abel Alier Reech is a naturally born artist (painter) who founded a school of art with the French humanitarian, Dr. Zygmunt Ostrowski, in Polataka (Southern Sudan) in the early 90s. Abel headed the Polataka School of Art, later transferred upon attack by Uganda’s LRA rebels from Polataka to Kisubi (Entebbe), Uganda, in 1994, with a membership of about 30 fine artists, sportsmen and young academicians, including USTASS director. Abel later excelled and this climaxed in the trips to Japan and Paris where they starred in painting Asian and European sceneries. Abel now lives in Kampala, and is relocating to Juba for USTASS projects in November.

9-      Atong Thon Ayii is a trained teacher in early childhood care from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She has worked in a number of children’s project in Australia before she relocated to Southern Sudan, now running The Younique Generation Magazine with John Penn.

10- Peter Garang Abednego: Going by his music name of Southern Voice, Peter Garang is a popular

Southern Voice (aka: Peter Garang Ngarjok)

 mobilizer, an artist, an actor, an MC and one of the founder members of The Little Doves, formerly as a photographer and promoter. He recorded so far three music album since 2007. Peter is now working as a General Secretary of the Southern Sudan Artists Union (SSAU) still under development, courtesy of the Ministry of Culture and Heritage (GOSS). Garang graduated with Diploma in ICT and Communication in Kampala in 2006.

11- Mayay Chol, a.k.a. Capt. Adel Imam, is a comedian, an MC-cum-DJ and a musician that has inspired many young talents in Jonglei state. Mayay completed his secondary education in Uganda and is due to join University of Juba in drama and theatre next year.

Capt. Mayay

Mayay (Adel Imam) being cheered up by the first lady of South Sudan in Juba, Sept. 2010

12-   Onyito Jobita is an experienced technician in graphic design system, video production and photojournalism with many companies in Kenya and Southern Sudan, including The Sudan Mirror and The Star newspaper. He is one of the founders of USTASS.

  

Members’ Individual Pending Projects affiliated to USTASS:

1-      John Penn de Ngong

a-      The Black Christs of Africa : Anthology of 333 poems on 333 pages of 33 chapters by 33 year-old poet.

b-      A collection of media-based essays entitled Laugh and Learn: Essays of my Say.

c-       A collection of short messages, internet chats and quotations under the title The Text Collector

d-      Two music albums namely, Noise for $ale and Tears for $ale.

2-      David Pachong

a-      Music album “Ana Asili Sudaani” (I am the real Sudanese).

b-      A collection of children’s stories in Dinka language

3-      Beatrice Anthony Mongu (Beatrice Toni)

a-      Weinu Hag el Marra? (Where is the right of the woman?) music album.

4- Bernice Kitum

b-      Younique Boutique (focusing on stylistic art and design)

4-      Peter Kuot de Ngong

a-      The Younique Generation Magazine: A youth-oriented mouthpiece published and distributed in and beyond Sudan, packed with unique techniques, critiques, news, views, interviews, reviews, previews, overviews, etc. by the Southerners, for the Southerners, with the Southernness of the Sudan.

Philanthropist, Peter Atem, Rhino Stars Director (Little Doves Sponsor/USTASS BOD member) gives a trophy to a winner in the 2008 Street Kids tournament

A Bor village girl embroiders her suitor’s pet ox on a bedsheet as a gift to him. USTASS wants to turn this into her livelihood even after marriage.

Campaign members in a literacy march in Juba, Dec. 14, 2006