Creative opinion: ‘My Country’ by Mangor Adut Thiak
Mangor Adut Thiak, Juba
South Sudan Friendship Press is pleased to present a creative opinion piece from local writer Mangor Adut. Mixing poetry and prose, Mangor evokes national spirit in an ode to the struggles of the South Sudanese people following independence.
There is one question: ‘Where is the love for our people?’ I have divided this into three sections, for it has always disturbed my mind.
Where is the love for our people? Where has the love the used to exist gone? Who has stolen it?
I know we all have different answers to these questions depending on who you are. Yet, once you have read my piece, you will certainly get my answer.
‘When you have acquired a taste for the dust,
and the scent of our first rain,
you've hooked for life in South Sudan,
and you'll not be right again,
You can watch the setting moon on the same seat
and hear the jackals bark,
And know they're around you,
waiting in the dark!’
My country, South Sudan, is a country blessed with many resources. Yet, they’re being used by individuals, and not the nation. It is so naturally beautiful, God’s creation even though we don’t always appreciate it. We do not give every South Sudanese person the privilege to enjoy it through good services: good hospitals, good schools, timely payments in their different places of work, good roads, security and so on.
Dr. John Garang and his colleagues fought for our freedom, but it later lost its meaning on the stands.
‘The 64 tribes regardless of the colour, race and religion,
Regardless of them being a minority of a majority,
We're one nation divided into different fragments by some individuals who place their interest in political power,
Let us all hold on tight for our betterment and keep on pressing higher for durable peace in South Sudan.
No need of fighting each other!
South Sudan is our mother.’
‘Different parties, fighting for power ,
Look at where our economy is tripping to every hour, our people are dying every now and then, no good services are delivered to the citizens yet.
Time is wasted fighting each other for only political positions but not the well being of the citizens
Look at the future not the past,
The past was made colourful and unforgettable by late Dr John Garang with his colleagues’.
The future that began at some point in 2011 was destroyed in 2013. Since then, many have been pushing for its rebounding. It’s not about the SPLM-IG, SSOA, FDS, SPLM or OOP. Instead, it’s about how citizens suffer through economic crisis (devaluation of the SSPS against the USD), natural disaster (flooding across the country), insecurity (unknown gunmen all over the country), corruption, tribalism and so forth.
To sort these challenges, money leaders must become peoples’ leaders. All hands must be on deck to create a better land that suits all South Sudanese people, notwithstanding their background.By doing this, then the country will actually flourish.
To My Leaders;
‘When you look to see the elephants
or hear the coucal's songs,
When the moonrise sets your blood on fire,
then you have been away for too long
It's time to cut the traces loose,
and let your heart go free,
beyond that far horizon,
where your spirit yearns to be’.
All in all, the above stanza is what some of our leaders lack. There is no room for it in their hearts, which appear fully occupied by negative ideas leading us down the wrong paths.
However, merciful decisions must always be taken by someone who has the heart of humanity. It seems few of our leaders have this for the South Sudanese people.
To my fellow youths (the pillars of the nation);
‘South Sudan is waiting-------come!
Since you have touched the open sky
And learned to love the rustling grass
and the wild fish eagle's cry.
You'll always be hungry for the bush;
for the lion's rasping roar,
To camp at last beneath the sky
and to be in peace once more.’
Nevertheless, we must have our heads up to gauge the height we need to climb, motivated by ourselves and not by the interests of our self-serving individuals who aren't taking our well-being into consideration.
We can only achieve this if we don’t let ourselves be used by individuals as the catalysts to their success in politics and otherwise. We should prioritise those that have the ‘hearts of humanity’, and deliver to use good services.
To those who laid the foundations for us:
‘We set aside the Memorial Day
Each and every year.
To honour their lives they gave to this great gifted nation, South Sudan,
Defending what we hold today,
In all the dark and deadly wars for 21 years.
Their graves prove and remind us,
Our brave South Sudanese gave their all,
To put danger far behind us.
They made the ultimate sacrifice
Fighting for the South Sudanese way;
We admire them and respect them".
We are who we are today because of their lengthy and fruitful struggle. Hence, we should live remembering them, generation by generation. Thank you so much, may your struggle be used fruitfully such that all your children and your grandchildren enjoy what you struggled for.
Finally, to the Greater Upper Nile Region, Greater Bahr El Ghazal Region, and Greater Equatoria Region:
Let join our hands together to build a better South Sudan in order for justice, liberty and prosperity to prevail!
Michael Mangor Adut Thak,
Poet and writer,
South Sudanese child.