OpEd, Politics

We aren’t only resilient, but also hopeful

By Chol Peter Majoh

South Sudanese are more than resilient. They are both resilient and greatly hopeful. Look, the world wonders how this small, young, landlocked country’s people dare often stand their hardships and adversities.

In this case, I can no longer talk about our 21-year struggle for self-determination; that’s a history already known to the world.

After our independence, two years from the year we lifted our national flag up in the sky as an independent and sovereign state, we were severely hit by war in 2013, the first tragedy the world’s youngest nation experienced in her infancy as a country. Just only two years old, baby South Sudan was in a shocking mess, befell upon by the deadly tragedy. Who knew she would settle down again?
People, instead, thought South Sudan would fall and never stand up on her feet forever. Many people ran away; others were internally displaced and became IDPs; and many ran to the refugee camps. Only a small number of people remained.

Nevertheless, the warring parties tried their best to bring peace, which later collapsed in 2016 and left people hopeless.

This time, it was unbelievable that South Sudan would overcome, but because of our resilience, our leaders put down their political interests (only for the sake of peace), and they finally brought South Sudan back on her feet again.

The world marveled! It was a surprise to see South Sudan standing up on her feet and beginning to talk about development, peace, and economic recovery after her leaders revitalized their broken agreement in Addis Ababa. Indeed, this called back a few investors who fled the country as a result of the war to come back for development, and here we are today, a peaceful country.

Never to forget, as we sought to bring peace, the economic crisis had just come in. The dollar began a war against our local pounds. From SSP 290 per $100, it jumped to 10,000, 20,000, 40,000, and 100,000 today. This was (and still is) another tragic, dire situation we had to face (and still facing).

Up now, the economic war is still hitting us in the face. This battle is never an easy one. Instead, it’s more than a physical war. As this economic war escalated, the pound continued to lose value against the US dollar, and the situation also deteriorated. The world thought South Sudanese would go on the street to call for a regime change, but never did. Instead, we pressed on and continued pressing on the bottom of peace implementation, hoping for the general elections in 2024.

Marching out into the street has never seemed like a solution to our problem. It can’t even fix our economy. Instead, it may worsen it. As there are a hundred ways to kill a rat, with resilience, we will fight this economic war amicably and slowly but surely.

Fortunately, Mr. President doesn’t rest and never sleeps. If he does, then he may sleep with one eye open to see how this economic problem will be fixed, and that’s why he (Mr. President) keeps firing ministers of finance and economic planning now and then.

Therefore, yes, as South Sudanese, we will never give a damn until a victory is realized. Alongside our government, partners, and well-wishers, we promise to improve our economy by all means. With the help of our new minister of finance and economic planning, there’s hope that his reform strategy will work and our economy will be restored.

However, something is fascinating about the resilience we have. People often ask about it. They are often astonished by the kind of resilience South Sudan has. So far, what intrigues this resilience in us? The world asks this question as it sees us overstepping our challenges, fighting our good fight, and standing our adversities.

Well, wonder not. The secret is simple if you want to learn about our residence. Our resilience is hidden in hope. We are hopeful people. There’s nothing we never faced, be it war, be it economic downfall, be it marginalization, be it racism (yeah, the people we separated from treated us, hmm, let’s not continue), and a lot more. We suffered enough for centuries, but what keeps us going with unwavering resilience? Simple; that’s our hope. We are hopeful. With this hope, we then believed we would make it to independence, and indeed we did, and that is why we are now proudly South Sudanese. We are now a nation.

The same hope makes us continue to overlook crises and all other hardships. In this crisis, we are hopeful that one day we will be free. Though the situation we are now in is thwarting, dire, horrible, painful, sore and unpredictable, we hope things will improve and we will one day be free from hardship.

We aren’t just resilient. The fact that we are independent makes us overlook hardships. There’s nothing so pretty as having your own country. In our country, no matter what, we are forever hopeful. We will never betray our beloved motherland.

We will instead strive to build it and take good care of her reputation, hope, and resilience. She’s our motherland, and we’ll continue to adore her. For her sake, we will continue to be resilient, hopeful and strong. South Sudan is a land of great abundance. She (South Sudan) was purchased with the blood of our martyrs and the limbs of our living heroes and heroines.

If you see a limbless person in South Sudan today, just know he or she was amputated for the sake of this country’s independence. So, those amputees you see here in South Sudan (along with our martyrs) paid more than just a price for this country.

They are living martyrs. They are symbols of our struggle. To me, they are living museums, living histories, and symbols of our resilience. They are not from one tribe; they are from all our beautiful tribes.

As a matter of fact, they tell how united we were in the struggle for us and the entire world. We are not only resilient; we are hopeful. With one leg, arms, eye, and ear, they are left to witness the fruit of their struggle. Who knows if they were left by the dead ones to taste for them the fruit of the struggle they died for?

As I conclude this, let our living martyrs be treated with respect. Finally, let’s continue to uphold our resilience and hope. Let’s be proud of ourselves, of our beautiful country, and of our resilience.

Let’s forever cherish the spirit our forefathers had, which is now seen in our basketball team, the bright star. The spirit of resilience and oneness Yes! The spirit of unity in diversity

The author can be reached via email: cholpetermajo@gmail.com,
Cell/ WhatsApp: +211(0)922295373

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