OpEd, Politics

If I don’t lose, there is no way you can win [Part 1]

There is no doubt, it is too expensive to be a South Sudanese. And it gives a sense of relief when we are in continual denial of this fact.  Each day, we find something to either blame or appreciate as a way of escaping this reality. We are a people who find meaning even in the simplest of things.

This is because we have nothing to celebrate. This country is not for the weak and if you are strong, South Sudan will prove you wrong.  Nothing works here. All systems are dysfunctional. I am sorry if I had used the wrong phrase, but it is true that everything is wrong.  Even the ones who will prove me wrong will be very wrong.

It is a cocktail of joy and fun to be in South Sudan because in reality, you don’t have control over almost 100 percent of what happens to you. The only way to get something is to act like you don’t need it. Even   riders will over-charge you when you seem to be in a hurry.

Sometimes you need to put up a rude face. There are several ways to survive here. There are also different ways this country can prove you otherwise.

We all carry our crosses. The difference is where this takes place and the size of the crosses we carry.  For some, it is in the hospital beds.  A lot of folks are fighting for their lives in the hands of medical doctors who want more patients to make more money. In this country, if I don’t lose, there is no way you can win.

For the politicians, a common man must die for one to live and because our independence was not easy to get, we find every reason to fight ourselves. Living in South Sudan comes with a heavy price. You must always be ready to pay more than what is required of you.

Everything is always a struggle. There is no way you can get something of value without bribing your way through. This is in our genetic make-up. You cannot order food in the restaurant and get exactly what was on the menu.

When you need tea, it will not come exactly the way you want it. One thing or two will be missing.  It could be too much sugar or little of it.  You will have to ask again and there are high chances that the tea maker’s response will be very disappointing. This is because she has a lot of things in mind. This country is for the fittest. The weak don’t survive here.

For university students, they have to read their handouts to pass exams. It doesn’t matter if what is in the handout is enough or not, it has to be short and must be easily understood. The future of a South Sudanese student is in that 60-page hand out.

There is a way South Sudan can teach you that what you are doing will not amount to anything. We just have to believe that it will work. This is what keeps us going. There are also those students who buy handouts one week before the exam and later complain that the exam was hard. There is so much God can do for this country if he still cares.

For students who are doing their masters’ programs. They have the same story. But for them, they have hundreds of students who are mastering the same course. We don’t know who stands out but whoever does well, we have a message for you. This country is waiting to teach you a serious lesson.

And for your information, you don’t have a job. If you don’t mind, you have a cup of tea and a copy of the newspaper. And a freedom tree where you will be discussing each day why the government is not doing enough for the country. How can you master a course that is being taken by hundreds of students?

Don’t blame high school students who cannot construct good sentences when they get 90s and 80s in their exams. This is normal. You don’t always get what you deserve in this country and for those who work hard, they don’t get exactly the price worth the effort. You should be very worried about the parents who sold cows and plots of land to see those kids through.

This is why I say, this country needs deliverance.  The government doesn’t care if all is well or not, the best thing our able government has done over the years is a successful business of appointing and reappointing the same people who face the August house.

This is because they have nothing to do. It is fun to be in South Sudan. We are in the business of counting our days. That is what a common man can do. You don’t always know if you will come out bruised or dead. This country has a way of equalizing us.

At least one thing that has remained deeply seated in us is the spirit of making fun of every situation. We don’t mind our own businesses because we have a lot going on in the country and we may feel like we are missing out. If the government sacks or appoints a high-profile person today, it will be the talk of that day. But on the same day, we go home, and the reality will hit us that the person we have been discussing is not our uncle and he is going to make a lot of money.

There is a bliss that comes with being an MP in South Sudan. First of all, you don’t represent people but your family and your stomach. The rest who counts on you for service deliverance should go to hell or they should hang themselves. We don’t care about that as people but the way you behave is what we don’t want.

An MP will go to the funeral and shock the mourners with promises they have never heard in their lives. They will say as long as they are alive, the children of the late shall never lack. They will bring back the memories of how they dodged bullets during the war with the late and how he was a good man. They will tell the mourners about their last night conversation with God and that the deceased is now in a good place with the angels.

For these MPs, they don’t talk a lot because they don’t have time. They must rush somewhere, even when they are going to the bar to drink. The mourners must know that they have a lot to do but they still find time to come for the funeral. Before they are gone, they will tell the mourners about the elections and why they should vote for him.

If you think the people we have as our leaders will save us one day, you are wrong. This time, your personal responsibility is what counts. You have to carry your own cross. If it is too heavy, then you are not fit to be here. To be continued.



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