Sudan Boombox

“Am I still in Sudan?” I asked myself as I was dancing, barefoot on green grass, to hip-hop. International DJs were on stage in front of me, lights issued over the crowd, and a circle formed with break-dancers at its centre.

This was thanks to the vision of Sayf and Mohammed, two friends who run the Sudan Boombox radio show. They had flown in DJs from the US, Europe and other African countries. Much of the crowd—and their dedicated following—was made up of Southern Sudanese.

House of Pain was mixed in, and the entire congregation followed when told to Jump Around.

I wondered where these people were during the day. Guys with big afros, girls dressed as though they were on a night out in London, not Khartoum. This was a long way from my habitual vision of the streets Sudan.

As the night wound up, cars were waiting outside to whisk people away. The dress of some of these girls would see them facing the police if they were on the street. In the sanctuary of this event, though, they could express themselves as they wished.