OpEd, Politics

If I’m to copy someone’s struggle, then it is that of my father

My heart is very strong. I’m fathered by someone who lost his parents at age 3. He was surviving on God’s mercy. Any time any material disappeared from the house, no one other than him could be accused. Any time food was brought and given to children to eat; my father could be accused of gluttony.

Everyone kept an eye on him, with some of them threatening him to throw his spoon down to excuse the children whose fathers and mothers were still alive. When children were taken to farms to practice cultivation, my father was always the lazy one, they alleged.

There is no type of torture he has not encountered, with mental torture topping the list. There is no emotional stress he has not endured. In fact, he suffered from a psychological disorder, but no psychologist attended to him. Fortunately, he got well spontaneously.

Growing up under his guidance, I never missed a day without a word of struggle from him. When he takes the courage to narrate how he got to where he is now, it breaks the valve of my lacrimal duct and all I do is weeping silently. One day, he told me that many of his equivalents joined the army following a frustrative thought that if they are killed, they are killed and if they survive, they survive since they have nothing to lose or gain.

But my father chose business and in business, he chose honesty and in honesty, he chose to be contented with what he had at hand. With this principle, it did not take my father years to own a property. According to him, he had touched almost every building in Khartoum, Sudan, working as a laborer. On the same note, he had also worked in many sugarcane farms in the periphery of Sudan.

One funny part about his struggle is that his name was too hard for Arabs to pronounce during a roll call for laborers, what they call “umaal” in Arabic. So, he was told to rename himself with an easy-pronouncing name. He had no other choice, but to accept the challenge. Because he’s uneducated, he asked Arabs to list for him easy-pronouncing names so that he could pick one.

They did it as he requested and he chose “Michael”, the name he calls himself to date. Imagine choosing a Christian name when he was not baptized. Thereafter, his labor work began yielding well. Sometimes, he could be appointed as a head of laborers.

When he got enough money, he bid farewell to labour and started running a business. The news of him ran home like fire in summer grass. A few orphans got inspired and followed him. The story did not end with orphans alone, even parented young men got inspired and followed him. When he returned home, he married my mother singlehandedly and settled with her. A few years later, he resumed his business, and he married his second wife.

My father rarely laughs. He laughs occasionally. One time, my elder brother asked him, why do you always look rude? He replied, I was orphaned at age 3, and thereafter, I survived narrowly. Nothing amuses me much. Our stories are different. He’s orphaned and I’m parented. But I have put myself in his shoes. I have only copied his struggle.

Young men of my age sleep for at least 8 hours, but I sleep for 4 hours only. I divide my night into three. From 8 PM to 12 AM, I read, be it medical books or novels. From 12 AM to 2 AM, I pick a pen and paper to write, be it opinions or drafts of my book. And from 3 AM to 6 AM, I go to bed to sleep. At 6 AM, studies pull my legs to wake up and when I ignore them, hustling whips me with a painful lash and there I must wake up whether I like it or not.

Whatever the obstacle, the struggle continues. I want a name bigger than my father’s. Of course, a name worth mentioning. Just like my father, I’m a solitary buffalo. I’m not a fan of entering someone’s pocket to catalyse my struggle. However long it may take me to succeed, I’m confident it will come in a blink of an eye.

The author is a medical student, University of Juba.

Comments are closed.