OpEd, Politics

A retouch:  Letter to unborn children [Part 5]

I am seated here, tears in my eyes, helpless with a cup of warm water without sugar in my hand. It is useless, but I have no choice because tea is expensive. If I had a cake as an escort, then I would be reminded that few individuals leaving us the poor to scramble over the crumbs are eating the national cake.

Dear unborn children, I am a youth of this country, roughly 25, each morning, I take water on an empty stomach as I prepare for work. I don’t have a job, I hustle, and sometimes it hurts for a tiny young man like me. But do I have a choice? I have papers but they are useless without an uncle, oh forgive me for my manners.

I had an uncle before, he was an army general. He fought for this country, but when the victory was pronounced, he and many others were not so lucky, they were thrown out of the dining table.

He had children and that was one of the reasons he enlisted in the army as a young man to be a part of the liberation struggle. He was very right, if I were in his shoes, I would do the same. He did this so that his children experience the best life. That was the only foundation he could lay for his kids.

I am sorry, things didn’t go as planned. In this country, the smartest don’t always succeed. I have seen him go through the toughest times in his life.

I wept bitterly, I didn’t weep for him. I wept for his children, they were so young. This was because their father took a long time to get married because he was fighting for the country that had just forgotten him. How I wish he knew.

One day, this uncle got sick and died. It wasn’t sickness, it was depression. That man represented a million others outside. This is the country we call home. With a history written with our blood, dying in poverty is going, until the world comes to an end, be the only price we can pay.

As a youth, I have to accept the truth. It is a hard truth, there is no future. The future is now. But was this life prepared for us? Few years ago, the government promised to create jobs and own its factories.

This was very encouraging, poor South Sudanese sacrificed themselves by selling everything they had to educate their children to prepare them for those jobs.

The government itself sent some of its young ones abroad for better education but most of those young people have stories to tell. They were most of the time forgotten, how sad.

People waited in silence but nothing changed, except killing of the same poor and corruption. I have come to realize that the only thing the government has taken from us is trust. And getting it back will take years, but do they really care?

As a young boy, I have lived my life like an adult. It is a law of nature here, you are made an adult before your 18th birthday, then struggle for the rest of your life and till the end. Every day comes with its own punishment.

I cannot call myself youth, even at my age, that part of me has been taken from me. It has been sucked dry. I don’t have an idea how I will be when I reach the age of 30.

In this country, it doesn’t matter how hard you work, if you don’t have anybody to support you on the way, you are always working on the wrong thing. The reality hits when you finally arrive and realize hard work does not pay in a country like this.

Talk of school, the brightest students are always the last students. I don’t want to crack some jokes here, I am not a comedian. But we have many of them, these young men are doing all their best to fight stress.

To put smiles on their people’s faces. They also do it as a way of survival but nobody enjoys their joke. There is no happiness here. Everyone you would meet is fighting a very tough battle.

Even behind a cherry face, there is always a well of tears therein. Our people are really suffering. Have I ever told you my story? Why should you hear it? You have dear little ones in your own world to think about.

Who knows that it would be the worst country when it comes to your time? Let me tell you the secret, our leaders have borrowed a lot of money over the years. There is no free thing in this life, if our generation fails to pay the debt, you are bound to do that but where will you get the resources to pay all the debt, as am speaking now, the country cannot feed its citizens.

The population we have is small and it is even smaller than it appears to be. Do you know that the resources we have can feed these people? If you don’t know, this is the question you will have to ask the rest of your life.

I am sorry, but this is not a country, it is hell and heaven combined. I now believe the biblical teaching that the way to heaven is narrow. It is true, you need someone to lead you there. You don’t have to play your cards well, you just need that big person to open the gate.

It appears like this, when you have access to national cake, you can build your house and buy a very nice car and three good meals a day.

That is heaven, it has everything. But one very crucial thing is missing. You cannot buy a car and eat the road’s money. That is why our roads are merciless but those who always pay this price are the poor.

I tell you, it is very expensive to be poor in this country. You can atone for everything. One time, I witnessed with horror how a young man was killed one day because he had refused to stop moving when one of the big people was passing.

I was greatly touched, this young man was a student, a bright one in his final year at the university but his dad was a charcoal maker. He was the only child in their family but he was killed like a dog by those who should have taken care of him.

This young man was obedient, but he was having an exam. So he had to rush and that was the end of his life. These people don’t tolerate anyone walking when they are passing. You can imagine, they move with a convoy but you have to wait for minutes for them to pass.

This is a sign of importance, they feel that they are more citizens than others and this is true. They can even decide if you live or die. This is the story of that young man. You can imagine his parents, the day when the sad news was brought to them that their only son was gone, killed by the same people who made them poor. And also imagine the amount of money they have wasted to push their son ahead.

This country really hurts. And who knows if he had lived, he was going to get a job? It actually makes no difference, there are thousands of young men there with papers but they are living as if they are dead. They don’t have jobs. This is the behind the scenes of the country you are going to meet, peace.



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