OpEd, Politics

A soldier names his 5th child “weu aliu”

Many people may think I’m making it up, but I’m not. If I were in a free country, I would corroborate this story with that soldier’s identity. But because of the fear that I may be mistaken, let it go anonymous like this.

Dedicated to the liberation struggle, Simon did not get time to come back home and marry. He fought battle A to battle Z. When the CPA was signed, he requested a departure order but was denied an order. What else could he do? Simon kept on protecting his country.

In 2012, Simon was finally given a departure order and he travelled home. At home, almost 5 cows were slaughtered, one after another, to welcome him. Every family member was grateful for God’s protection. Two weeks later, a meeting was conducted and all the family members agreed to marry a girl for Simon. The marriage was conducted and the bride was handed over to Simon.

Checking on the departure order, Simon found it out that he has surpassed the date he was expected to report himself to the army. Two forms of headache at ago; the departure order has expired and Simon could not return when his wife has not conceived. The two headaches were weighed and the expiration of the departure order was found a bit lighter. So, Simon had to make his wife conceive. By the grace of God, Simon’s wife conceived and he was set to return to the army.

It was already 2013. When Simon came back, the Bosses of his Division could not listen to his explanations. He tried this and that, but there was no way. When 2013’s war broke out, Simon fought it tooth and nail to make sure he won his Boss’s heart, which he fortunately did. He was integrated into the Division and life went on normally.

Simon could wait for the salary only, whether after three, four, or five months. But this makes his wife suffer a great deal in the village. Every time his wife calls for money for upkeep, Simon could say “weu aliu”, meaning no money. Advised by a colleague, Simon picked an axe, went to a forest and cut down trees for charcoal. He makes this for survival as he waits for the salary. He could feed his wife and children.

When Simon went to the forest again for charcoal, the axe fell on his foot and injured him badly. He could not cut down trees for charcoal anymore and that, the only way to survive is to wait for the salary alone. This time, Simon’s family became hunger-stricken. But the worst thing was that, Simon’s wife was pregnant. Every time his wife calls for money for upkeep, Simon says “weu aliu”.

When a child falls sick and his wife calls for money, all Simon could say is “weu aliu”. One time, his wife faded up and said, you will one day pay a price for your “weu aliu”. Things were unfolding themselves. Simon’s wife was at her last gestational month and a baby package was to be prepared, but Simon again said “weu aliu”, mëya aliu.

Having nowhere to get the money from, Simon’s wife resorted to a traditional way of life. A week later, she gave birth to a baby boy and she phoned her husband, Simon to inform him about the news. Simon was happy and promised to send money when the salary comes. He inquired what name his wife gave to the child and his wife told him that she’s named the child “weu aliu”.

Simon almost laughed at her, but he swallowed his laughter and suggested to his wife that, why can’t you name him “mëya aliu” to differentiate it from other money I get through hustling. Before he agreed to the name, Simon shook his head and told his wife “I can’t blame you for that name, but I blame the government of South Sudan.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

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