By Ayen Achol Deng – Juba
Roxy entered Bedouin elegantly with her Moresque stature. She had presence due to her strong personality, I would soon find out about this beautiful woman and why her aura was so alluring and inspiring. In an interview with Real Woman Magazine, 23 years old Diva who hails from Eastern Equatoria reveals that “Music makes me alive”
Diva explained her music journey; how her music is perceived by ‘Junubin’ and how she got inspired”
“I have been singing since 2013 but I started writing my music since 2009, so that’s about two and a half years since I started singing and my music is currently being played in Sweden. I sing about love, being hurt and South Sudan. But that’s life you get hurt and you have to get back and still keep walking.
“My father passed away with Alzheimer and I was very close to him so these are some of the things that cause me pain. But he used to tell me a new day new blessing, don’t let yesterday failure ruin the beauty of today, because each day has its own promise of love, joy, happiness and forgiveness,” she explained.
“To be honest, singing about tradition, culture and politics in South Sudan is accepted but singing for
entertainment is misunderstood. Many may not like the contents of my songs,” she said.
I am a born and raised as a Catholic; my grandfather was a catechist during the colonial times, when the missionaries came to South Sudan. That was the precise moment when I fell in love with music. My father used to take us to church and I was in the crusaders team (the kids that used to sing and dance at church events) when I was young and I joined the choir when I grew up. So I would say my father and my church background inspired me to be a record artist,” she smiled.
Diva explained to why her music has a mix and modern flavor to it: “I do music on the side though I’m busy struggling to be a person I want to be in the future. I don’t think I will ever stop singing. Music keeps me out of trouble; I generally don’t like gossip so I just express myself in my music; I practice a lot, I often go up to the mountain and sing. I like collaborating with LUAL D’AWOL. He is a very good rapper and lyricist. I’ve done a few tracks on his album and mine. I like Korean artists. Korean Pop, RNB, Rihanna, Selena Gomez. I performed in a police boxing match at Nyakuron. I became a professional writer through my love for music”, she narrated.
She briefly talked about her background: “my father really inspired me. He used to give me a lot of
advice in the form of stories, parables and examples. Through them he motivated me to study and become the person I am today.
My mother is an ophthalmologist so when I was three I spent my time with my father. My father puts me in school when I was three because he was a politician for the then government of Sudan; his name was
“Arkanjelo Thompson”. He was a commissioner for Eastern Equatoria from 2003 – 2005. He put me in school because he travelled a lot.
As one of his examples to motivate me to eat he would first ask: “Do you want to be tall like me?” Because I did not use to drink milk he would tell me “I am this tall because I drink a lot of milk.” Then I would eagerly drink my milk. He would then ask “do you see why my neck is so strong?” Then he would say “it’s because I eat a lot of bread” (asida)
He taught me “tell the truth and the truth will set you free.” In 2005 my father was arrested by the government of South Sudan (GOSS) after some time he was released, he was very sick and he died. By this time I was in high school. So I had to become independent. I babysat for two years till 2007 to support myself”, said Diva.
Besides, Diva is one of the few women who has discovered almost all her talent; “I am a Journalist by profession. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Although I worked as a waitress when I was attending university, I didn’t pay for all of my university. I was lucky enough that my professors believed in me. My professor John Ponty in Kenya took himself as my guarantee. So with my employment in South Sudan, I have now just paid my school fees. I was only left with $300”, She smiled broadly.
“My first Job was at JICA. I have also worked in modeling shows, I’ve been an MC and I worked as a private secretary at the office of the minister of culture, youth and sport while working as a part time reporter at Citizen TV. With the money I was paid in these places, I was able to pay my debt for my education.”
“And I am now currently for “Wadeng wings of hope” as a program Assistant. One of our programs has been to teach women from all over South Sudan some tailoring skills. We recently graduated a batch, whose final exam consisted of making school uniforms”
Diva is a mother of two children by adoption “I have adopted a boy who is now nineteen and he is attending the University of Juba and the girl is in Juba Day and she is 18 years. I give her clothes and hygiene items and I would also like to see her through university”, she smiled.
At her free time, she spends her time with orphans. “I went to the orphanage last week and the children were so excited to see me. They were missing the games and affection we shared ‘Children make me Happy.
I go over and take them fruits from time to time. I am also involving the children there in sports, I believe sports are important in order for children to have healthy competition; soon enough they will have a sports team. So these children are all my children”, claimed Diva.
Roxy Diva was selected as face of Zain October 2013. This was done through a very competitive vetting process of a selection over hundreds women from East Africa and South Sudan. Her face appears on a
billboard on the road to Nyakuron titled “I am a citizen of the world”.