The eleven-year wait for a new album by Manasseh Mathiang — the vocal musician, activist, and entrepreneur — is finally over.
Hagiga, Manasseh’s second studio album and one of the most passionately anticipated new South Sudanese musical albums in years, is now available on digital services, with big hopes from fans and big questions looming about his next career steps.
The 12-track collection, Manasseh says, is his platform and drive to speak the truth as well as motivate and inspire young people in South Sudan and Africa to speak their own truth.
“In this album I really open up about my own fears as well my hope and aspiration, I also tackle issues in the society and offer solutions,” he opens up.
Manasseh took a break from music in 2011 to work on his company Marketing Solutions Co. Ltd. However, he would go back to activism a couple of years later after the war erupted in the young South Sudan nation.
“I went back to activism and paused working on my company. Between 2014 and 2021, I worked a lot on bringing change as an activist but then I realised that perhaps my voice was not heard enough and I was missing out on my most important communication tool which was my music. I then decided to work on my album because I did not feel I was heard enough.”
When compared with ‘Voice of my heart’ maiden album, released in 2008, Manasseh asserts that both come straight from his heart, as every song he writes has a special attachment and meaning to his life.
He, however, points out that the ‘Voice of my heart’ was mostly on his relationship with God, given his attachment to Christianity.
In terms of production, Hagiga took longer to record than albums usually do.
Manasseh says the recording of the album started in 2014 with the #WaveSouthSudan campaign, a moment he never imagined would amount into an album. He would go on to record other singles including Jinubi Asili, Bagara Dance and Giwaja, years later.
“After Giwaja in 2018, I now felt that I should actually take finalizing an album sooner a priority. During this time, I was working as the Initiative Coordinator of #Anataban, a youth movement made up of creative South Sudanese. I really did not have enough time to focus on my music. I resigned from my role in the movement in 2021 and embarked on finalizing my album, and that is how Hagiga was born.”
To Manasseh, this new album means alot as it reflects the truth and also addresses the critical issues seen in the society.
“I want to spread the album as far as possible for the next year. I want to tour and spread the Hagiga story to as many people as possible,” he says.
Manasseh adds that he is excited about creating an impact and is looking forward to hearing about and seeing the impact that the Hagiga album makes in the society.
Stream: Hagiga – Manasseh Mathiang