Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, once referred to as the most selfish city, is still a hostile, dysfunctional, toxic and elitist city, but at times all may not be so bad. Life in the capital is experienced at polar extremes, several times a day. The pendulum constantly swings from a place where the difficulties of daily life don’t seem so bad and perkys of life in East Africa are more apparent, to a place of deep pessimism that in fact nothing works and that we are in fact doomed. Most agree that in spite of all the hardships, there’s this unique inexplicable magic here that seems to hold everything in place. This magic is mainly conjured up but the resilience, kindness, strong sense of community and timeless goodwill of the Sudanese people.
Sudanese identity has long been complex and highly disputed, with tensions around race, colour, religion and gender often played out in the political arena, at home and in people’s hearts. Dated notions of race and colourism are slowly fading and coming to terms with the racism instilled through propaganda. For example, Sudanese women with darker complections are moving away from the use of skin lightening creams brought about through politically driven Arab-supremacy and anti-blackness. More and more people are exploring this newfound peace and freedom and are going beyond to redefine what it means to be Sudanese. Finally, long overdue conversations about sex and sexuality, sexual harrasment, full gender equality, and not just L.G.B. rights, but also fully understanding T.Q.I. and A. seem to be some of the many social hurdles ahead. If left to the youth, these can be easily overcome, but if we go back to a redundant traditional mindset, then we’ll once again fall at the first hurdle and continue to struggle.