OpEd, Politics

After all we have been through, we are living martyrs

Living in South Sudan is not for the weakest because the truth is you are always in for the biggest shocks of your life. As you navigate the rough terrains of life, this country has a smart way of taking you farther behind. 

As I have always mentioned, we are people who always find solace and fun in everything, good or bad. This is the way we cope with difficult situations. After all, South Sudan cares if we are happy or not. Even with thin hope of toothpick size, we still act as if there is no big deal.

Sometimes, I could get lost in my thoughts and some other times; I wonder if the president of this country is aware that we are all martyrs.

A martyr here is not any struggling person. I also mean men and women who are still pushing hard in a country of thousand problems. It is one of the hardest times to be alive, if you are still here, congratulation.

But wait, I have a different story. The government has forgotten that they are building a resilient nation where people can still stand tall without a saucepan on fire for days, for weeks. We are Junubins, our history was written with blood. Nothing is ever new to us; we can get through it all.

There is something I like about us is that we are people that never easily give up. You can see this from the soldiers, a body of the government that deserves the best in life. Better salaries and all the goodies but it is unfortunate that the price they can pay for being our liberators is to go months without salary.

For years now, it has been a mixture of triumph and pain to be alive in this country. For most people, every new day new day, month or even a year is a miracle. You are always not sure of your existence.  You don’t know if you will ever get a chance to be alive the next day.

In most families, one meal is a struggle and the next one is a prayer request. You don’t have the right to blame others for your situation. You have a solution, pick a hoe and dig. You can even dig your own grave. But the truth, which has been hidden for years is now lying bare, the government is not working but they are fine, have three good square meals a day and a lot of money.

Again, the petrodollars! This money is in excess that even the people who have access to it forget what to do with the money. For most men, this money is everything. They can choose whose life to terminate and whose life to spare. They can decide to kill themselves and buy a new life in a world that existed beyond the skies.

It is a survival of the fittest here. And the odds are always against you. I have a feeling that this country should be declared a survivor nation because everyone is a survivor. And the government having abandoned the people cannot imagine its survival without the poor South Sudanese.

The chain of survival has thickened. There are those who beg for foreign assistance and end up amassing this money at the expense of those who deserve it most.  Foreign donations must not break but build.

The new kind of martyrdom is real. Not to forget, there are martyrs, I mean men and women who laid down their lives for the wellbeing of our people. Those who said, this is all we have, our blood, our lives and we are giving it away for our country and the children yet unborn. This is why once every year; we come together at Dr. John Garang’s mausoleum to honor these people. I now say that there is a need to honor the survivors of this nation.

But before that, there is one thing that frightens me when I saw a gathering of people at the mausoleum. I still feel like the man, who gave his life for this country will wake up and cause stampede. I don’t see anyone coming out alive except the poor South Sudanese.

Since his death, Garang and most of his colleagues who are now buried deep in the ground have never found rest not even for a single second. The struggle in a young nation is one that comes with many blows.

Most people who died for this country are not happy for a number of good reasons. This is because their vision is now dead with them and it is gone forever. The new generation of South Sudanese is made up of people who want to live and that is all.  The government on the other hand doesn’t care about the people and never tracks the progress of the nation. Everyone everywhere is struggling with something.

It could be delayed justice. It is poor roads. It is a traffic jam. Poor service delivery and even delayed salary. But even when all is against it, most of us are still able to put up a smile and navigate life the same as if nothing is a big deal. We are all living martyrs.


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