Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ideals of a nation in its advertising

When will Racist Commercials come to an end? In US, Australia, Italy, Japan and now China? Commercials want to identify with their audience and demean the rest of the world. So has this Chinese detergent commercial. The Shanghaiist wrote ‘Thanks to traditional beauty standards valuing white skin, many Chinese people have a well-established phobia of dark skin which unfortunately also breeds racist attitudes towards people of African descent, who are viewed by some as ‘dirty’ simple because of their skin tone. When will Ad makers listen to Norman Douglas who said “You can tell the ideals of a nation by their advertising.”

Rio Sudan

Dal Drinks
If you google ‘Rio Sudan’ you will get to know that Sudan is scheduled to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 5 to 21 August 2016. You will also get to know that Rio was the second mineral water brand from DAL Food Industries, second to Safia. I guess Rio water which was launched in 2007 is no more around, but the name Rio has come back with more juice. Rio Juice I must appreciate is a timely launch well in advance for Ramadan. Rio Juice not only comes in Guava, Pine apple, Mango but with perhaps for the first time in Tamarind and Hibiscus. You can now have a 330 ml pet bottle of the popular ‘Karkade’. Was the ‘Tamarind’ a brainchild of an Indian in DAL Food Industries?

India Sudan Meet in Omdurman



Sudanese Indian Friendship Association (SIFA) is an entity of Alumni from India, affiliated to the Council of International People’s Friendship, Sudan. SIFA aspires to link the Sudanese graduates from Indian Universities with the Indian community in Sudan and to have cultural and social activities besides serving the graduates and their families. It was in keeping with this mission, SIFA joined hands with the Indian Community in Omdurman and held a Bazaar and Cultural programme at the Indian club in Omdurman on the evening of 21st May’16. Ambassador of India H.E. Amrit Lugun opened the programme saying that such functions should happen more frequently. Moulana Abdelbasit Abdelmajid of the Council of International People’s Friendship spoke at the event mentioning that the bilateral relations between India and Sudan was historically the oldest compared to any other nation. He spoke highly of Dr.Anil Mithani the President of Omdurman Indian Community.
At the Bazaar there were many stalls of Indian dresses embroidered specially for the ladies. People enjoyed the popular Indian snacks sold at the bazaar. The Cultural programme comprised of a dance performed by a young Indian girl named Priyanka, a presentation cum quiz on Indian and Sudanese culture by Amani Abbas Sidahmed and singing of popular Hindi songs of yesteryears by Mohamed Hamid in his melodious voice. The event was well attended by both Sudanese and Indians and Abuobeida Abdalla Vice President of SIFA thanked one and all.

Why the change ‘Safia’?

The first good piece of advice I received when I first landed in Sudan was to drink plenty of water. It is said that one who drinks the Nile water keeps visiting this dry hot country. Drinking straight from the tap may not be a good idea.Bottled water or ‘Mineral Water’ is a better option. There are many brands from different companies. The brand with high equity is DAL group’s ‘Safia’. I have always preferred it. But once you are loyal to a brand and one fine morning you find that the labeling design and colour has changed and there is no communication from the company as to why it has changed, it is difficult to gulp down the water. DAL group is known for their Public Relations or communication with their consumers. We need to know why the change? Apparently there are no changes in composition.

Barid Barid Cool Cool


Made in India, Navratna oil is a stress buster. Made from a combination of 9 herbs it cools you down from daily mental and physical stress and related headache and body ache. It also promotes hair growth and removes dandruff. So here is an oil for both hair and body massage. It is endorsed by Amitabh Bacchhan and Shah Rukh Khan. I don’t know whether they have used it but my wife has benefited from it. After a stress full day as a school teacher when she returns home in the heat, Navratna relieves her headache. Luckily we found it in the Sena Hypermarket in Al Riyadh area of Khartoum. Indians in Sudan familiar with the ‘Thanda Thanda Cool Cool’ effect of Navratna may rush to get the 300ml + 100ml free pack, till stocks last. Will this product be accepted by my Sudanese friends? Will ‘Barid Barid Cool Cool’ induce them to use and see whether the high inflation, the increasing rate of Dollar and the regular power cuts help them to keep their cool?

German friend of Sudan – Rudolf Decker

It is expected from a German Parliamentarian who has written books on Africa, ‘Im Innersten Afrika’ and ‘Rwanda’ and who has been to the innermost of Africa, to be a genuine friend of Africa. Rudolf Decker who has been a member of State Parliament 1968-1992 from Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany visited Sudan for three days. Prior to his visit he had been to Kampala to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. When asked about his views on the walk out of Western officials following President Museveni’s remarks about ICC as bunch of useless people, Rudolf Decker said that it had no effect. On the contrary President Omar El Bashir received a big applause. During his stay in Sudan with his wife, Engineer Rudolf Decker met the Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. Ibrahim Ghandour, Engineer Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, Assistant of the President of the Republic, Prof. Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, Speaker of the National Assembly and Prof. Hashim Ali Salim, Secretary General of the National Dialogue. In every meeting he expressed his genuine concern for Sudan’s peace and development and a strong and friendly relationship between Sudan and Germany. His meetings with the Sudanese leaders was organized by the Sudanese Council for International People’s Friendship.

Shakespeare inspires African voices

“William Shakespeare is UK’s greatest poet even after 400 years. Shakespeare is not commercial but is about culture, people and humanity” said Charles Nuttall OBE Director of British Council, Sudan. This was at the Horn of Africa Sonnets Festival organized by British Council and the Ministry of Culture. The event held at Corinthia Hotel on Saturday 30th April at 8 pm, presented Sonnets of Africa featuring Dan Tsu of Lyrix Organix; Dan Boyden of The Change Collective and Deanna Rodger actor and spoken word poet from London. The anchor Mustafa Khogali aptly named the visiting British team as ‘4Ds’ including David Fitzpatrick who has been documenting the workshop and the final event.
The evening opened with the recitation by Mr. Charles Nuttall “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow” one of the most famous soliloquies in Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth. This was followed by Dan Tsu’s self-composed poem ‘I have a dream’ and others. Deanna Rodger’s ‘Being British’ was received with a loud round of applause from the selectively invited audience.
Dan Tsu, Deanna Rodgers and Dan Boyden had conducted a week long workshop with the young poets and singers from Sudan, Ethiopia and South Sudan. At the final event, the African voices came across in sonnets and songs with the background beat of Sudan Drums. Their performances were well appreciated and made us feel proud of the talents in the Horn of Africa. The theme in African voices challenged racial discrimination. Shakespeare in his sonnets referred to the fair youth and the dark lady .It is often argued that Othello, the moor of Venice, was someone from North Africa. If Shakespeare was reborn today, would it be in Africa? To be or not to be, that is the question.