By: Mona Osman Rahama
KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week awarded artist Abdelkareem Alkabli with a diplomatic passport in recognition of his role in disseminating Sudanese culture and arts.
The honors to melodist/lyric composer Kabli are a coupling of the UN Population Fund’s recognition of his talent and artistic contributions which earlier named him its Goodwill Ambassador.
Kabli is recognized as a pillar of Sudanese melody. In addition to melody writing, he is an established researcher in the Sudanese arts heritage. For that he was at a certain time called the ‘The Artist of The Intellectuals”. That was because of his knowledge of Arabic poetry and his selective taste in this art. For that he picked and performed several old Arabic poems and epics. That had endeared him to many Arab intellectuals and artists.
Kabli was born in 1932 in Eastern Sudan and grew up in the Eastern towns of Port Sudan, Kasala and Tokar.
As a novice in the Khalwa (Koran school or seminary), the young Kabli developed a sound pronunciation of Arabic words and expressions. Then as an intermediate school boy Kabli started performing school songs in a spectacular way.
These formative years and his experiences with the Koran and Arabic poetry helped him with a big talent of writing excellent verse.
As a young kid of 18 Kabli started singing within a narrow circle of family members and friends. In 1960 he ascended the stage for the first time to sing his famous patriotic song “Asia and Africa” in a gala attended by the late Egyptian Leader Jamal Abdelnaser (also known as Naser of Egypt). Composed by the late Sudanese Poet Taj Alsir Alhassan, the poem was a glorification of the non-alignment movement which was emerging and attracting developing nations at that time.
Kabli can indeed be described as a versatile person: he writes a poem, composes its melody and performs it in a sweet voice, all to the spirit of an intellectual who has his own philosophy about art and humanity.
The consensus of Sudanese about artist Kabli was also largely because of his deep research in the heritage of the Sudanese arts and folklore whereby he enlivened masterpiece songs from that heritage. This contribution had earned Kabli the recognition as the “king” of heritage. Some of his heritage songs are learned by heart by many Sudanese.
His song ‘al gamar Boaba Alaik Tageel’, that describes the unusual tenderness of a young lady that she does not bear the ‘heavy’ load of the golden earrings known in the 1950s-1960s as ‘Algamar Boba”, had loomed large in the Sudanese media for a long time.
His religious song “almawlid” that tells the story of the birth of The Prophet Mohammad and the accompanying miracles, is also one of those popular songs.
As an employee of the Sudanese judiciary, Kabli was transferred to Meroe district in the North where he got good company and enjoyed the greenery of the scenes along the River Nile. He immortalized all this by his famous song “Meroe”.
Kablki’s diction had addressed all aspects of Sudan’s social life and the values of goodness and humanness in the society.
The highly cultivated Kabli had researched into all aspects of art, presenting lots of lectures on the Sudanese heritage on the radio, TV and in public theatres and university campuses.
As a melodist Kabli did not forget his fellow musicians: He wrote the poetry and composed the music of the famous song yazahya (you real beauty) and gifted it to his fellow musician, the late Abudalazeez Da’ood.
In addition to his own verses, Kabli composed melodies and performed verses by several lyric writers like Alhaseein Alhassan, Ishaq Alhalangi, Abu’amna Hamid, Omar Aldoash and others.
Kabli left Sudan to the US on 26 August 2013 when the American authorities awarded him the residence for a person with “Extraordinary Ability.”
He returned to Sudan in January after the triumph of the popular revolution to a hero’s public welcome at Khartoum Airport.
The giant DAL Group organized a big celebration in his honor that drew a wide audience.
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