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Ajak Kwai at Penny Black - ONE SHOW ONLY

  • The Penny Black 420 Sydney Road Brunswick, VIC, 3056 Australia (map)

Ajak Kwai is an icon of South Sudanese music in Australia. As one of the very few women playing and writing music, Ajak carries the torch as cultural ambassador for her community and more broadly for women in the music industry.

In 2018, Ajak performed at Dark Mofo at MONA FOMA and completed a highly acclaimed national ‘Afro Frequency’ tour with Lamine Sonko and the African Intelligence.

Ajak debuted at WOMADelaide in 2016 and followed up with the release of her third CD Of Cows, Women and War.

Playing countless festivals and cultural events throughout the past few years, some highlights have been the Port Fairy Folk Festival, Alice Springs' Eye of the Storm Writers' Festival, Melbourne International Arts Festival and The Age Music Victoria Awards.

In 2014 Ajak was awarded the African-Australia Community Female Singer of the Year and performed of her one-woman theatrical work Of Cows, Women and War at La Mama theatre (Melbourne) and the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Ajak Kwai and her band are a four piece percussion based outfit based in Melbourne. Hailing from all corners of the Earth, the band come together to produce a rich, soulful sound, infused with traditional beats representing both the fullness and depth of her South Sudanese roots. Her performances are filled with vibrant sounds and her distinctive voice has mesmerised audiences nationally and internationally.

Singing in Arabic, Sudanese or English, Ajak conjures a vivid picture of her Dinka heritage.

Music is the vehicle for her stories of extraordinary life experiences as a refugee, exiled from her home and her family. Her moving tales of exile, hope, freedom, love, and cows - beloved animals of the Dinka - in turn reflect her optimism and belief in the best of human nature.