National, News

How blood donors offered Single Dee, a second chance

By Kidega Livingstone


It was a life-threatening health scare that nearly ended the promising music career of artiste Deng James, known by his stage name Single Dee.

But thanks to the generosity of blood donors, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter is not only alive but back on stage performing his hit songs.

“The blood donors saved my life. I was almost dying; it’s because of them (donors) that we’re still seeing me alive,” Single Dee said during a World Blood Donation Day event in Juba on Friday.

The artiste, who is also a peace activist and member of the Anataban Arts Initiative, fell seriously ill last year and required extensive medical treatment, including time in the intensive care unit. Without additional blood donations, he may not have survived.

“I know the facility is in good condition, but if you donate the blood, the little you give will save lives,” he remarked, underlining the vital role of voluntary blood donors in the healthcare system.

In a YouTube video recorded after his release from the hospital, Single Dee emotionally recounted the overwhelming “love and care” he received from supporters during his health crisis.

Though he lost significant weight due to the illness, the singer said he is now on the road to recovery, thanks to medication and the determination to regain his strength.

“Emotionally, every time people talk about my sickness, I feel like crying. The love and care I got from the people was so heavy, and I did not know people would stand by me. Physically, I am here. I lost weight, but I will get it again because I am on medication now. I will gain it back,” he said.

Single Dee’s musical journey began in 2009 while he was still in high school, performing with his school’s band.

He later pursued a degree in medicine at the University of Nairobi, but was forced to drop out due to the conflict and economic challenges in the country.

Single Dee pivoted to music full-time in 2017, quickly making a name for himself in the South Sudanese entertainment industry.

In 2018, he received two prestigious South Sudan Youth Talent Awards, including “Best R&B Artist of the Year” and “Best Song of the Year” for his hit single “About to Go Down.”

Despite the setback of his recent health scare, Single Dee remains committed to using his platform as a musician and peace activist to make a positive impact.

He continues to perform at events organized by the Anataban Arts Initiative, which uses the arts to promote reconciliation and social cohesion in a country still recovering from years of civil war.

As he recovers, Single Dee is now even more grateful for the lifesaving contributions of blood donors – selfless individuals whose generosity gave the artist a second chance to share his talents with the world.


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