By | Martin Evans
On Saturday the British Council held its third Innovation, Arts and Culture event with the theme of Living the dream.
From the outset, the audience of around two hundred and fifty were clearly absorbed by the contributions of Mashrouy contestants Samah Elgadi (winner of season 1) and Waleed Abdalla, who captured their attention with their responses to interviewer Mustafa Khogali’s questioning.
It was with the open mic. session that the event really came alive, with a succession of local talent giving some moving performances on stage. Abdu Salam and Ahmed Hashim opened the segment, echoing the theme of the occasion with some thought-provoking poetry.
It was the women of Khartoum who really rose to the occasion with some inspiring acts, starting with a stirring performance piece from Islam Albeity evoking us to bring our dreams alive rather than let them languish unfulfilled in memories of what might have been.
We were treated to some consummate musical pieces from debutantes Eman Ahmed and Arua Hamda. Eman’s rendition of an Adele number started tentatively but she soon flooded the stage with her powerful voice, whilst Arua’s soaring delivery of an Edith Piaf standard left nothing to regret.
Abdu Salam came on again to entreat us to promote life not the urge to kill, whilst Mohamed Shakur rounded of the section with a powerful message to awaken the giant within.
The sheer variety of talent underlined the vast tap of wealth Sudan has to give; If only the world were listening. And that underlines the value of such evenings, giving voice and space to real local aspirations.
And speaking of aspirations, the evening was rounded off with a great performance from Sudan’s musical export Nile, treating us to his signature rendition of a Tracy Chapman number amongst many others. The Abu Dhabi based artist is clearly a busy man nowadays giving concerts around the Middle East but the intimacy of this event gave him a chance to truly connect with his audience and they responded in kind.
Talking to the audience later, it was still the open mic. artists who resonated from another memorable evening in Khartoum – we trust that future events will bring forward as much talent and passion again.