OpEd, Politics

My Lost Plans


By Theem Isaac Machar Akot


Mourners are not only those who have lost their loved ones or are the pained ones who are undergoing extreme agonies in the sickbeds. They are also those who have floating plans for the future. I had big plans for myself to accomplish at the age of eighteen to twenty-one. I am now at twenty-six and have not yet met any of the arrangements. 

The plans were to own a big house in Juba, lead the alter in the last two years, and become a millionaire in 2024. However, I now stay in a small rental house, still struggling with studies, and earn a monthly pittance that can barely sustain me.

I have just learned that I have lost my set goals within a demanding period. Since I am in a country where we do not decide on our own but the country decides for us, I am stuck in a miserable quagmire, but all the same, I still have an enormously clear view of the future ahead.

When I got enrolled in school in the early days, my first plan for the future—a bright future that everyone yearns for—was to attain the primary certificate and work with the government. I did not know of the government’s true colours because I was one of the uninformed and thought the government would employ anything that holds a certificate despite the low level of education. I eventually learned soon after I completed primary education that the government employs professionals, experts, skilled, and experienced in different areas of work based on careers.

As such, I gathered the courage to continue with my secondary studies and kept the promise close to my heart: one day, I will be a great man because of my intrepidity, indefatigability, and dedication to achieving a goal coupled with education. I completed my secondary education and went back to the village, hoping for employment from NGOs as long as the government opportunities were hard to get. Things kept falling apart because NGOs are the true definition of employing people depending on their academic qualifications.

Although there were ample chances at my disposal that could have been granted to me based on merits, I was treated disdainfully by the early birds. Naturally, I love positive competition, so I wouldn’t mind mingling up with politically-minded people. To say that aiming higher academically is a mad scramble for our generation. It is one of the most turning points playing a significant role in our lives.  I chose to study, and that’s when I moved to Juba City and enrolled at the University of Juba. I am now studying without any of the arrangements I made.

The tale of my perception towards getting rich or employed at a younger age in South Sudan isn’t about lacking realities. The narrative does not only suit my life. This suits the lives of all the ambitious young people whose dreams are in a dustbin.

Success is climbed like a tree or a storey. Without buds, you can’t climb up trees, and without the ladder, you can’t climb up stairs. I know nothing comes from idleness, but given the fact that whatever you do needs assistance.

In countries where governments prioritize youth empowerment, young people between the ages of 26 and 30 are the right age for success. In my country, the story is different. The elderly keep giving us words of courage: “Your time has not yet come.”  Making a comparison, the future is another far-high distance, like a sky 150 million miles away from the Earth. We keep waiting, but it does not come. We keep trekking along, hoping we might get to the destination soon. But it doesn’t come to pass. The future should be one of the less talked-about aspects because it means impossibility.

The worst is that we don’t pray to God in order to change the hardships, but to grant us the next day to pray again.

Have a blessed day!

The author is a third-year student at the University of Juba School of Education, Department of English Language and Literature.


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