"I have decided" - sung by Nyachan Gatkuoth

Nyachan Gatkuoth, a choir member at a Nuer church congregation in Addis Ababa, sang this rendition of the well-known western hymn, "I have decided to follow Jesus" after service during July 2016. Many Nuer Christian songs, actually, are translations of Western hymns, and I heard several familiar melodies throughout the Nuer church services I have attended (stylized, of course, according to Nuer music aesthetics, with different vocal timbre and altered rhythms). Nyanchan learned this particular song when she was still a child, only twelve years old, in Sunday school.

When talking about why this song was one of her favorites, Nyachan said, “This song is about a promise. Once I decide to do everything in the name of God, I don’t go back…[These songs] changed my life. Especially when I get into temptation, I sing a song, and that makes me very strong.”

Credits and Bibliography

Gatwech Koak Nyuon (coordinating and translating interview)