by Charles Wote
Singer T – Manager holding one of his Awards after interview with Eye Radio on Thursday, 23nd February 2023. (Photo: Lou Nelson/Eye Radio).
The rise to fame of talented South Sudanese singer T-Manager was not easy, as he tells the story of his musical journey and his songs, to which many South Sudanese now find courage and inspiration.
T-Manager, whose real name is Taban Awet erupted in popularity when he released his album Rabuna Gi Ayinu (God is Watching) in 2021.
The song, which is basically about his life story, also preaches about hard work and faith in God that things will work out for the better.
“For me, I didn’t know this song is going to inspire a lot of people in the country. I thought I was just writing my own story about the things I have gone through and the hardship I faced when I was young,” T-Manager told Eye Radio in an interview.
The Afrobeat singer said he faced many challenges at tender age. He says he faced starvation at some points, and was unable to acquire proper education.
To make ends meet for himself and his family, T-Manager resorted to bricklaying and worked as a bus conductor.
Speaking exclusively to Eye Radio, the singer said he composed the ‘Rabuna Gi Ayinu’ to give hope to many South Sudanese who have experienced similar difficulties in their life.
“So the message is no matter how things are hard on your side, no matter how you are facing the ups and downs – just keep going.”
“Nothing comes easy like you will never find somebody born with money. So the key message is work and hope that one time, one day, things will change.” he added.
Passion for music
T-Manager hails from Minkaman, in Lakes State. He was passionate about music from a tender age and used to listen to different songs and did lip-singing to family members.
He says some of his favorite music include Hip-hop, Reggae genres especially from Jamaican music legend Bob Marley, and some South Sudanese songs as well.
“I used to listen to Gordon Koang, John Kuduse, there was Mary Bartul, there was Nyakol Mathiang so these are the people I always listened to and they inspired me as well plus reggae music.”
“I used to listen to Bob Marley some of his songs I can sing them word by word.”
Despite his many years of struggle to make his musical dreams a reality, T-Manager said he never lost hope once.
Then everything changed when he became a studio manager in Juba in 2015, where he earns his stage.
“Before I actually became a musician, I was managing a studio……so they used to call me Taban De Manager by then.”
“So when I came with the idea of becoming a musicians, then I said since I am popularly known by this name why can’t I just use it?”
T-Manager, who started his music career by recording traditional songs, has now recorded nearly 20 songs from two albums.
Some of his popular songs include Rabuna Gi Ayinu, La La and Romantic where he featured Mary Boyoi.
Although he doesn’t earn enough money from the music industry, T-Manager said he is happy that his life has changed.
“Well I am not making a lot of money, you know in South Sudan music is not paying that much but things are not the same like I can’t spend a month without a show. I have been moving up and down the payment is just little but you know I am good with it.”
T-Manager and Mary Boyoi dating rumors
In December last year, music enthusiasts speculated that T-Manager and legendary musician Mary Boyoi were dating.
The social media criticism emerged after the two announced a collabo project for a song titled “Romantic.”
“Me and Mary, we were not actually dating but we use that as a strategy to market our song titled Romantic,” T- Manager told Eye Radio.
“Well it was good actually when I released the song in one day only, the audio reached 6k.”
He went on to say that “we knew this thing is going to trend so the industry is about brain, it is about the strategy, it is about how you plan your things.”