"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.


Mi ci guä du ben
If your time arrives

Thiɛlɛ wäl mi deje pek
There is no sort of magic that can prevent it

Mi ci kuoth du liec
If God decides in your favor

Thiɛlɛ gok mi deje ŋak
There is no prophet that can block it

Ku widu cuoŋ nhial
Lift your head up

Ku guïc ni puar
And look up to the sky

Jiɛc ni widu nhial
Lift up your head

Ku guïc ni puar
And look up to the sky

Victory, victory

Wut mi Nuer
Nuer man

Buom de jɛn
Is strong

History, history

Rami mi raan
A true human being

Nei ti Naath
Real people

Verse 1

Kuic ŋuani

Ba ŋiec pɛl
Should be trained to be wise

Ŋäc ŋuani
If that person is wise

Ba tit
They should be honored

Well, well

Gaat ɛ mi la bɛh kɛ lɛm
Being young is only to grow more mature

Ŋuɛt ɛ mi la weh kɛ doŋ
To be mature is only to grow older

Cuit ni ɣɔa
The world’s obstacles

La nuar kɛ naa
Obviously weaken souls

Nyuän kɛ riŋ mä loc
It weakens flesh and heart

Bi cäär ku nuän
It limits your thinking

Kɛ buoth
Due to hunger

Ku tiäi puäny ro godh
The spirit is running out from the body

Ŋäc ni mɛ
Know this

Ram ken kon cuuc
A person that has never suffered

Kuɛ rɔ nyuany cuät
Can achieve nothing

Ram ci kon cuuc
A person that has suffered

Ŋäc rɔ kä run
Will plan for tomorrow

Gaa bɛc ɛ mi la beh kɛ guäth
Yo, pain is only for a season

Cuop wec ɛ mi la beh bɛ pek
Independence is forever

Ɛ loc du tɛth
Let your heart be happy

Ŋääny ni ɣä lɛc ti gɔu
Smile at me with your beautiful teeth

Kä muɔc jä mer
And give me a torch

Mer rɛ ɣä
Light me up

Gorä oh bä rap ɛ gɔa
I want to rap better

Kɛ oh biä kulɛ feel
So that you can feel me

Pain is temporary
Glory is forever
Love harder than any pain you ever felt

Wut mi Nuer kuɛ naa forgive in any way
A Nuer man easily forgives people in any way

Ŋäc nɛ guäth e tän nɛ thin
Let us be informed of where we were

Kɛnɛ guäth ɛ tän nɛ thin
And the place we’re at now

Liɛc ni wic muɔn demɔr piny
Look down to your brother’s grave

Bum rɔdu
Strengthen yourself

Cu locdu moc jɛth loac
Don't let your heart be sad

Verse 2

Ɣän de la refugee
How can I be a refugee

This can never be
Man, I must lead

Gäc, luär, diɛu, dhuäl
Poverty, giving up, self-doubt, disrespect

Kɛn tɔ ca nhɔk
People dislike them

Luäŋ, cuop, luth, mar
Power, independence, respect, relationships

Kɛn tɔ kua nhɔk
People like them

Mi riäŋ ŋi thiäk candu
If you are rich, you can easily become poor

Mi canni thiäk riäŋdu
And if you are poor, you can easily become rich

Kuale nenbe
Look and you can see it now

Tä piny kotdä wä nhial
I am down and now climbing high

Nhok mi luar aku thuar
Let the love flow more freely

Tek mi gɔa
Better life

Dhɔl kum kɛ ɣä kɛ buai
Brothers covering me with light

Jäl lä ɣɔu mi buoi ɛ tai
I’m traveling in a very peaceful world

La ka riäthä
I normally defeat them

Ɣän gat diäli
I am the true son of the land

La ka tiamä
I normally outnumber them

Tiɛdɛ guut riätni
Focus on my final words

Ɛ ŋut ku rual ci yäk mɛny
Let the women dance and celebrate, shouting loudly, for the dictator has now seen the wrath [of the victims]

Ɛ thiät ku biet
Let the coward keep quiet

Ci lony ŋɛny
The lion is furious

Dap ɛ la gat
You were born a child

Liu ni ɛ la duaŋ
So die only when you are old

Ben ɛ la can
If you are born poor

Lui ni ɛ ci riäŋ
Then die wealthy

You have struggled hard, so you have to achieve it all
We are your eyes
We are your eyes

Verse 3

Kuoth nhial
Heavenly father

Ce guän cuŋ kä bai
Does not fail to recognize the innocent

Jen ce yei cuuc bai
He does not fail to see the suffering souls

Ŋäc jɛ riek du
He knows your problems

Ŋäc jɛ lueg du
He knows how to help you in the best way possible

Somebody help [join] me

Ke lul tɛth kä loac
To cry the cry of happiness

Aku teh inono
Let it be just like that forever

Inono, inono
Forever, forever