Stay Smart About Africa

Care for Cultural Icons from the Pre-Bashir Era

Once lauded as one of Sudan’s finest musicians, Abu Obaida Hassan faded into obscurity under the Bashir regime and was even pronounced dead. Now he is back – to global acclaim. A fixture on the Khartoum music scene during its golden era of the 70s and early 80s, Abu Obaida subsequently faded into obscurity through a combination of misfortune and Sudan’s shifting politics. Things reached the point where, 20 years ago, one prominent Sudanese newspaper pronounced him dead. Rumours of his survival persisted, however, sustained by fans trading his songs through online forums and Khartoum record shops, by sheer devotion to the man who could play the tambour like no other. Sparked by increased local news coverage of the artists’ neglect and poor health, representatives from Sudan’s ministry of culture and members of the public began visiting the homes of golden-era musicians like singer Abdel Aziz El Mubarak and Abu Obaida. Social media campaigns soliciting donations were matched by government offers to pay both musicians’ medical bills, before El Mubarak’s death in early February. 


+ posts

Thanks for reading and for your interest in Africa. Content is produced in collaboration between’s editorial team and our partners — including nongovernmental organizations, private sector stakeholders, agencies and institutions. If you are interested in telling stories in an impactful way to shine a spotlight on a particular issue, please email We look forward to hearing from you.  

We are committed to Africa
Will You Support Us?

Unlike many global publications, for nearly a decade we have been committed to showing a complete picture of Africa – not just a single story.  Offended by one-sided coverage of wars, disasters and disease, the founders of created a website that provides a balanced view of Africa – current events, business, arts & culture, travel, fashion, sports, information, development, and more.