Archive for April, 2012

April 29, 2012

“We The People” South Sudan Style

Outside the wall of a payam office in Hai Thoura Quarter, Juba.

April 29, 2012

Rumor City, South Sudan

Matthew 24:6

And ye will hear of war and rumors of war …

Talks that are not talks at all. The fear about a conflict so far from my reality, but so near. The military ever present on the sidelines; always present in our presence.

Rumor City, South Sudan:

  • The coup attempt on was Kiir really real; wasn’t it?
  • The SPLA violently conscripting young impressionable men in the countryside.
  • Sudan isn’t acting alone, but with the help of greedy oil companies in Asia.
  • Kiir’s visit to China a negotiation of a new arms deal.
  • Has the AU been bought to distance itself from South Sudan’s cause?
  • Is the road to the airport arbitrarily closed off throughout the day to prevent the public from seeing the return of dozens of dead soldiers from the border?
  • Did the town officials in Malakal turn a blind eye to the invasion of their territory by SAF on Friday night?
  • The cabinet too sharply divided over the “withdrawal” from Heglig to come to a meaningful resolution … that’s what I heard …

Hail Juba, Rumor City!

April 27, 2012

A Post Just Because

Just because it’s a beautiful backwards day in Juba and I’m glad to be here.

April 27, 2012

Swimming Our Way to Diversity

This is the team Uganda sent to Cana Zone 3 & 4 Swimming Championships in Maputo.

Photo credit: New Vision

We haven’t had this much diversity on a national sports team since the early 1960s. There’s something oddly intriguing about it …

April 26, 2012

Pole Pole Ugali Hupikwa

So you won’t get indigestion …

… or lose your appetite …

… or die of starvation …

Slowly slowly.
This is Henry Dilang Odwar (Honorable Member, distinguished geophysicist, eloquent debater, spirited political interlocutor).

This is Henry Dilang Odwar, respected chair of the committee on energy, mining, commerce and industry in the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly.

He has a reason to boast, Henry Dilang Odwar. Under his stewardship, the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly has passed a comprehensive oil bill that puts Uganda’s proposed legislation to shame. It leaves no room for debate about transparency and accountability. Born out of a long history of abuse and obscurity, it wants more; it demands more for all.

Henry Dilang Odwar on the legislative requirement to protect the oil resource:

These (oil) resources are vested in the people of South Sudan. We have learned from experience that vesting them in government on behalf of the people is a wrong move. Governments are unstable, but the interests of the people largely remain the same.

On use of oil revenue:

The bill requires government to put aside money for future generations. We must ensure that the assets exploited by us benefit our children; otherwise, what’s the use? Considering only a small percentage of the area with potential oil reserves has been explored, we have enough to ensure that generations to come will receive something.

All the right words, no? Slowly slowly.

On the legacy of past failures:

April 26, 2012

I want to be an African Man

This video from Mama Hope has put the largest smile on my face today.

Thank you for the tip GloMugs.

April 25, 2012

South Sudan: Making My Mistakes Backwards

“Learn from my mistakes!”

How many times I was told that as a child! How many times I ignored it and still do.

Force-feeding the wisdom of the ages to toddlers just makes them resentful.

It’s like this sculpture I saw yesterday at the Nyakuron Cultural Center in Juba: help is offense; passion is power; love is trial.

It’s easy for me to be frustrated by South Sudan. Angered even. Then I remember: the folly of youth is youth.

Ah, the endless possibilities! The world is for your taking, but it’s just out of your reach. It’s all exciting and new.

There’s so much you can learn …

… but you won’t.

There’s so much you can take …

… but you don’t.

There’s so much you can do …

… but …

Their mistakes are your mistakes and yours for your children’s children to inherit. Even when you have the upper hand. Even when you are growing backwards.

So the politics are as dry as the taps. The streets are filled with garbage. The city is an unplanned mess. The politics is as dry as the taps. The disillusionment of a nation so new is palpable.

Maybe there’s hope.

If only South Sudan can stop making our mistakes.


April 21, 2012

Save Miss Uganda. Make her Bleed!

The search for the most beautiful woman in Uganda is on. A woman with elegance, poise and the elusive ‘inner beauty.’  A tall, thin stunner with a small, but significant badonkadonk. A silver-tongued intelligent woman, capable, ambitious …

… but only if she has the longest, blackest, most plastic China-made flywhisk attached to her head.

Photo credit: New Vision


This is my hair.

April 20, 2012


Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now in the hour of our death.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now in the hour of our death.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now in the hour of our death.

Not-Catholic. Not-religious.  I believe. Sure, I believe. In God, His existence, His purpose. As taught to me. As taught to me to believe. As believed by me to believe.

I don’t know any other prayers. Real prayers. I don’t know that I should pray, but as I hold her hand, the liturgy is comforting and so I say. I say, in my head, over and over and over …

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now in the hour of our death.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now in the hour of our death.

She doesn’t know me. Not really. She knows my name, but never bothers to say it. She knows that we share the same class, my grades on that Literature test I failed. She handed it over to me with a smirk. I remember. I remember everything. Some things. Not-things. The smirk that said, “I’m better than you.”

Not-me. Better than.

Holy Mary …


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