"Victory" - by K-Denk

K-Denk is a popular South Sudanese artist currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Born and raised in southern Sudan during the Sudanese Civil Wars, he ended up as a refugee in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. In Kakuma, he began to sing in a church choir, where his talent was first recognized. He then became involved with the UN and began to perform at events such the World Child Rights Day and World Refugee Day. In 2007, he returned to southern Sudan as a journalist and, the following year, recorded his first song, "This is Me," which shot to number one on the charts. In 2010, he recorded his first full album and has been working full-time in music ever since, recording, touring around the world, and running his own media empire, WangdunKon.

K-Denk composes in two main genres, Afrobeats and hip-hop. His preferred genre is hip-hop, since that is what he uses for his socially-conscious lyrics.

"Victory" falls into the socially-conscious hip-hop category. The song officially dropped in January 2019, though he had been performing it at refugee camps before then. K-Denk composed it in response to the South Sudanese conflicts, to encourage to those who have suffered from the violence and instability, and it is one of the most popular songs from his forthcoming album, Life is You.

Translation (English)

If your time arrives
There is no sort of magic that can prevent it
If God decides in your favor
There is no prophet that can block it
Lift your head up
And look up to the sky
Lift up your head
And look up to the sky
Victory, victory
Nuer man
Is strong
History, history
A true human being
Real people

Transcription (Nuer)

Mi ci guä du ben
Thiɛlɛ wäl mi deje pek
Mi ci kuoth du liec
Thiɛlɛ gok mi deje ŋak
Ku widu cuoŋ nhial
Ku guïc ni puar
Jiɛc ni widu nhial
Ku guïc ni puar
Victory, victory
Wut mi Nuer
Buom de jɛn
History, history
Ram mi raan
Nei ti Naath

Verse 1
Should be trained to be wise
If that person is wise
They should be valued
Well, well
Being young is only to grow more mature
To be mature is only to grow older
The world’s obstacles
Obviously weaken souls
It weakens flesh and heart
It limits your thinking
Due to hunger
The spirit is running out from the body
Know this
A person that has never suffered
Can achieve nothing
A person that has suffered
Will plan for tomorrow
Yo, pain is only for a season
[South Sudan's] independence is forever
Let your heart be happy
Smile at me with your beautiful teeth
And give me a torch
Light me up
I want to rap better
So that you can feel me
Pain is temporary
Glory is forever
Love harder than any pain you ever felt
A Nuer man easily forgives people
Let us be informed of where we were
And the place we’re at now
Look down to your brother’s grave
Strengthen yourself
[And] don’t let your heart be sad

Verse 1
Kuic ŋuani
Ba ŋiec pɛl
Ŋäc ŋuani
Ba tit
Well, well
Gaat ɛ mi la bɛh kɛ lɛm
Ŋuɛt ɛ mi la weh kɛ doŋ
Cuit ni ɣɔa
La nuar kɛ naa
Nyuän kɛ riŋ mä loc
Bi cäär ku nuän
Kɛ buoth
Ku tiäi puäny ro godh
Ŋäc ni mɛ
Ram ken kon cuuc
Kuɛ rɔ nyuany cuät
Ram ci kon cuuc
Ŋäc rɔ kä run
Gaa bɛc ɛ mi la beh kɛ guäth
Cuop wec ɛ mi la beh bɛ pek
Ɛ loc du tɛth
Ŋääny ni ɣä lɛc ti gɔu
Kä muɔc jä mer
Mer rɛ ɣä
Gorä oh bä rap ɛ gɔa
Kɛ oh biä kulɛ feel
Pain is temporary
Glory is forever
Love harder than any pain you ever felt
Wut mi Nuer kuɛ naa forgive in any way
Ŋäc nɛ guäth e tän nɛ thin
Kɛnɛ guäth ɛ tän nɛ thin
Liɛc ni wic muɔn demɔr piny
Bum rɔdu
Cu locdu moc jɛth loac

Verse 2
How can I be a refugee This can never be
Man, I must lead
Poverty, giving up, self-doubt, disrespect
People dislike them
Power, independence, respect, relationships
People like them
If you are rich, you can easily become poor
And if you are poor, you can easily become rich
Look and you can see it now
I am down and now climbing high
Let the love flow more freely
Better life
Brothers covering me with love
I’m traveling in a very peaceful world
I normally defeat them [my enemies]
I am the true son of the land [of South Sudan]
I normally outnumber them
Focus on my final words
Let the women dance and celebrate, shouting loudly, for the dictator has now seen the wrath [of the victims]
Let the coward keep quiet
The lion is furious
You were born a child
So die only when you are old
If you are born poor
So die wealthy
You have struggled hard, so you have to achieve it all
We are your eyes
We are your eyes

Verse 2
Ɣän de la refugee
This can never be
Man, I must lead
Gäc, luär, diɛu, dhuäl
Kɛn tɔ ca nhɔk
Luäŋ, cuop, luth, mar
Kɛn tɔ kua nhɔk
Mi riäŋ ŋi thiäk candu Mi canni thiäk riäŋdu
Kuale nenbe
Tä piny kotdä wä nhial
Nhok mi luar aku thuar
Tek mi gɔa
Dhɔl kum kɛ ɣä kɛ buai
Jäl lä ɣɔu mi buoi ɛ tai
La ka riäthä
Ɣän gat diäli
La ka tiamä
Tiɛdɛ guut riätni
Ɛ ŋut ku rual ci yäk mɛny
Ɛ thiät ku biet
Ci lony ŋɛny
Dap ɛ la gat
Liu ni ɛ la duaŋ
Ben ɛ la can
Lui ni ɛ ci riäŋ
You have struggled hard, so you have to achieve it all
We are your eyes
We are your eyes

Heavenly father
Does not fail to recognize the innocent
He does not fail to see the suffering souls
He knows your problems
He knows how to help you in the best way possible Somebody help [join] me
To cry the cry of happiness
Let it be just like that forever
Forever, forever

Kuoth nhial
Ce guän cuŋ kä bai
Jen ce yei cuuc bai
Ŋäc jɛ riek du
Ŋäc jɛ lueg du
Somebody help [join] me
Ke lul tɛth kä loac
Aku teh inono
Inono, inono