The young artists of Blue Nile

English, math, science and...cartoons! These boys at a UNICEF-supported school are bursting with creativity and promise

Aaliyah Madyun
Boys write on pads
UNICEF/Mohamed "Keeta" Faisal
05 March 2020

A classroom at the Jamhouria Basic School in Ad Damazine in Blue Nile State is buzzing with activity this morning. During a short break in math class the boys flip to the back of their notebook and share their latest drawings, stories and even one boy, Dedere, shares a song.

Riad, 11, is originally from Sinnar State, wants to be a doctor when he gets older but today he is one of the most talented cartoonist in his grade six class. Riad also writes stories with his friends Khalid, Dedere, Awad, Bashir and Wail. The stories are mainly about their favorite super heroes and characters from video games. 

Dedere loves to sing and has a beautiful voice. His friend Bashir giggles and says that Dedere is too shy to sing at weddings he attends with his family. But, maybe one day he will be the most famous singer in all of Sudan!

Prinicipal Saifuddin El Amin is responsible for 850 boys at the school, which instructs grades one through eight. He knows all about his students extracurricular activities, in fact he jokingly tells the students that he  "knows about everything they do in class and outside of class. All jokes aside, Principal El Amin doesn't believe in punishing students and is proud of their creativity and talent. He wants the best for his students in whatever path they decide to take.  

Drawings on a wooden school desk
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
A collection of drawings from the students in Grade 6.
Boy smiles at camera
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Ahmed, 11, likes to draw Japanese anime characters.
Child's drawing
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Child's drawing next to book with UNICEF logo
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
In class 6, on the back of all the student's UNICEF notebooks are drawings from superheroes to video game characters. The school, which is run by the State Ministry of Education, is supported by UNICEF with educational supplies, learning materials, latrines and a water point.
Boy smiles
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Hassan, 12, is in grade seven. He loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Child's drawing of a turtle
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Boy in green top looks at the camera
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Mohamed Khalid, 12, in grade seven works on his very own comic book when he is not studying.
Close up of comic book
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Mohamed's comic book.
Boy smiles at camera
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Riad, 11, is one of the best cartoonist in his grade six class. He also writes stories along with his friends Wail and Dedere.
Boy singing
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Dedere, 11, sings a song to his class. One day he might be the most famous singer in Sudan!
Boy smiles at camera
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Wail, 11, writes stories and shares them with his friends Riad and Dedere.
Cartoon drawings
UNICEF/Aaliyah Madyun
Break time is over! Back to studying.