Jailed for love: Young 40 De Twitter bounces back with an album
His YouTube channel – Young 40 De Twitter de Commando Music Dancehall – is decorated with 52 video uploads. The first upload – Bamba – was uploaded on September 15, 2019. But as I later established, his music career started way earlier.
But the most striking music video he uploaded in January 2020 is ‘ Junubin ’, a song which urges South Sudanese nationals to unite and work together for the country’s betterment. It has the highest number of views on YouTube and is no doubt the most popular of all the recordings he has done previously.
“Junubin are still facing unprecedented hardships because of inadequate opportunities. But first, we need to unite as one nation,” he says.
He is training his eyes on an album launch at a date that he is going to communicate soon.
One of his top tracks in the album is ‘Bgorundi Kujong’ which he has composed in his local Kuku language, which means there can be no gain without pain, or when translated directly means ‘buying soil through sweating‘.
But it is the intrigues in his love life that is fascinating in as much as he aiming for a come-back into the music industry.
He started his music career in 2000 while he was still in school. His first love song ‘every day and night was dedicated to one of his lovers in Uganda. The following year he released another single – Jahazu – meaning ‘wedding’.
In 2002, he got a chance to go to Australia on a scholarship program, where he spent three years studying in Australia.
In 2005, Young 40 De Twitter came back to his home country, “South Sudan,” with a peace song titled “Ana dere Salam,” an Arabic word meaning “I want peace in my country,” including other songs that made him popular at that time.
He was working with DORECOSU Organisation in Wau, Western Bahr el Ghazal State and getting good money where he used to organize concerts every month.
Jailed for love
But unfortunately, in 2019, the musician met his dream wife, Mandelina Nura John. But there was a road paved with spikes ahead of him that he had to use. The spikes surfaced when he made her pregnant, angering her parents who were his prospective in-laws.
He was thrown into jail in Wau for a month after which he was released. But his troubles were far from over.
Being an artist, he would later immortalise his travails in a song – Mara de Malu.
“I suffered because I chose that lady (I needed her to be my wife) and I can’t imagine how I was tortured when I was jailed in Wau, especially when I was made to carry heavy metals, beaten every evening and morning, and a lot that I went through which no one can believe if I narrate it now, but it happened,” he says.
Upon leaving the jail gate, the organization he was working for would not accept him back because of the negative publicity that his jailing created.
But the family of his heavily pregnant girlfriend had put a 600,000 SPP bounty on his head for the ‘damages’ he had caused in impregnating their daughter.
“Despite the suffering, I remained loyal to her. She was my wife. I had to do all sorts of odd jobs here and there to raise the money. At the time, 100 would give you 25,000 SPP. I did every job, including the digging, which I had never done in my life. I did masonry, welding, and virtually anything that would help me put food on the table,” he says.
He advises the youth to learn to do what they can do, using his example.
His new album will have some new tracks like Bgorundi Kujong, Zoom Zoom, Swagga, Secret Dancehall, and Karen Kuwe among others.
Young 40 de Twitter is currently working as a driver for a local organization in Juba.
Since beginning his music career in 2012, Young 40 de Twitter has released over 180 songs. In some of his songs, he featured artists like AK Ricky, Young Bebe Cool from Uganda, and Lilly T from Tanzania, as well as other artists like Ben Ganda, Jay Solomon, and others.
He was also nominated by the South Sudan Union of Artists (SSUA) as Dancehall Artist of the Year and is now among the NAFA nominees that will be held in Uganda from June 15th to 16th, 2022.
He has set his eyes on winning the Northern Style and Fashion Award, which will take place in Uganda on the 15th and 16th of this month.
In May this year, De Twitter, a dancehall musician, was among other South Sudanese artists nominated for the Ugandan East Africa Northern Style and Fashion Award (NSFA). But he never made it due to some challenges he went through.
Because of his striking resemblance to Silver X, some fans have asked him to change his name to Silver Y.
“But I have been like, yeah, that is a cool idea, though I prefer to be Young 40 de Twitter,” he says with a chuckle.