OpEd, Politics

Living on almost nothing in a country of plenty 


In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. This money came with many problems. The question is still the same, has this assistance improved the lives of Africans?

From the top to the bottom, Africa has been known for digging her own grave. From slaughtering her sons and swimming in their blood. You don’t feel proud of the fact that you are an African, you are proud of the way it has built your resilience. Why should I focus more on Africa? This country of ours is a living hell and not for everyone. It is the few who know what a curse it is to be here.

For most people, life has got no meaning and in fact, the independence of this country was just in vain. You don’t have to be here if you are weak. Each day, the clouds darken and the future blackened. With a country that rewards the corrupt and punishes the innocent, the only hope is constant prayer.

But this business comes with its own cost, one which is heavier than what you are asking for. In most cases, you get God busy attending to different people, who like you are asking for nothing but a loaf of bread. You know nothing about this country if you don’t walk in the city. In fact, there is no city. What we call our city is dirty and running with blood.

What kind of city would deny its citizens the right to move and run their businesses?  Everyone is a victim, there are a lot of criminals. They are jobless youth who have decided to be useless because they don’t have jobs. These young people don’t care and if you are not careful, you can be a victim.

For those of us who move daily looking for something to eat, we know what it means to be a forgotten youth. Sometimes I ask myself what if the president of this country was in our shoes, will he stand the storm? Will he manage to pull a wheelbarrow for a minute or two? I am thinking, the government of this country must come up with a government-sponsored company that awards certificates of survival to all the struggling South Sudanese every year.

You don’t know how it feels to get through the day not even a year or month. It is never easy, in a country where the majority are unemployed and soldiers get underpaid, and there is no need to say there is a meaningful life. Most of us are growing up empty and it is not that, the old continues to bury the young.

A couple of days ago, I lost hope in this country. I met this guy, thin and unkempt. From the way he looked, he must have gone through days without good food. He was in a military uniform. The uniform was a bit older and dirty. He vomited by the roadside, and nobody seemed.

As a human, I was moved. I bothered and asked what was wrong and if he needs some help. Indeed, you don’t need to ask that question because he was virtually in need of help, not from well-wishers but from the country he has served for 30 years. He was carrying letters of assistance. What shocked me was why such a national would live to beg in a country that should have given him all that a man would ever need.

I am sorry, my heart bleeds for our people who are so strong. I don’t know how they feel; I mean those who are at the top. Sometimes the strong must use what they have to uplift the weak. That is what we call a country. The government will not be settled until they resolve the problem of inequality and widening poverty.

This is three times the size of California in the United States, but it is rich. With a population not exceeding 15 million, the resources of this country without foreign aid that is often swindled by the big fish can change the lives of South Sudanese and put this country as one of the most successful countries in the world. Now one has to live on crumbs that fall down from the tables of those who are more South Sudanese than others. Sometimes you don’t get the crumbs, it is costly to be a South Sudanese.

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