LEAVING BEHIND A MARK OF HONOR

Press Release,

By Payinjiar Association of Canada,

April 23, 2019(Nyamilepedia) — Human legends are scarce and high-quality. They live among men with humility, selflessness, courage, and brevity. Few know them well yet their work and selfless sacrifices are only brought to public decorum upon their death. This week, Nuer mourn two public figures, Gen. Peter Gatdet of SSUM and Gen. Peter Gai Joak of the SPLA-IO. They both were men of higher purposes and ideals yet enchanted parallel paths and contributed differently to their communities as reflected in their eulogies and mimicked throughout the social media by those who knew them and affected by their leadership. The latter whom this tribute is dedicated to his honor. In our lifetime as humans, we celebrate three important events. First, our 18th birthday marks a milestone as we graduate stage from the adolescence to adulthood. Here, one no longer remains a child but a promising young person readies to confront and learn about oneself and the world around. We find friendship, intimate life partners we sometimes attach special value on them, start an educational path and occasionally experiment with the harsh reality of life as we slowly abandon the confined space and custody of our parents.

In the second event, we become jubilant in the height of our achievements after graduating from a post-secondary institution. We make our parents proud and community notices the potentials within us, especially what we can offer to our extended human family. Also, we personally feel proud of our individual achievement as we have broken the mold that once obstacle loved ones, relatives or friends. We acknowledge the love and the tremendous burden we placed on our parents in bringing us up and caring for us when we were wild, disobedient and placed too much emphasis on some of our misfit friends and truth in the strangers. But now that we become almost fully grown adults embarking on the fulfillment of our destiny, we become different from childhood and college years.

On our third event, we step into the familyhood prepared or not. This becomes our last rite of passage and the final journey of our life as human beings on earth, procreate and take care of the environment, parents, and the nation. It is within this lifetime that our nation relies on our servitude and care. We become the makers of our own history and the public court of opinion, peers and loved ones become the jurors of characters, moral convictions and things we gravitate toward This is the stage where the peers gauge our human worth and sum up our final memoirs to which a judgment can be passed upon us at the later  times, or when we are gone.

This is our fourth celebration in life except, of course, we are not active participants in this mass gathering. We are presently laid in a casket stifled, without being called to best witness to our records and lifetime achievements. We are controversially lectured over and over by friends and foes alike. Those who liked us and those who resented us, people who once closed the doors in our face and those who complimented and lent a hand to our success. This last passage is rendered upon us while we are gone. Our worthiness while living can now be brought to public scrutiny despite the fear of death which grips the mourners, something true about us will touch the hearts of our loved ones, something that perhaps they did not know about us can now be thrown into the vultures and the scavengers of the wild. Like Gen. Gatdet who has moved on to another universe, Gen. Gai Joak has since passed the test of human judgment on earth, especially from his beloved Nyuong nation of the Western Nuerland or what was until recently known as the Unity state where he serviced as a commissioner and a state minister of education. Gen. Joak won the hearts and insurmountable admirations from his community and had served them with honor, valor and wholeheartedly.

The numerous funerals held across the globe and farewell praises accorded to him by his community are the testaments to his humble and leadership qualities as Payinjiar citizens from diverse political, economic, religious, age and gender come together whether living under the UN’s protection sites in Juba, Bentiu or free from the bondage of subjugation at the county itself where their sacrifices, strength of character and perseverance halted forces of destruction, leaving the county the only haven in the Western Nuerland at the time of despair. He is also being mourned wholeheartedly by Nyuong diaspora from the Bwayle camp in Uganda to the shiny and glittering skyscrapers of the civilized world where Nyuong of all ages humble him for his glorious and honorable service to their community. Their tributes and farewell speeches give a sobering picture, a clear conscious of a man only a few have heard about in Nuerland or in South Sudan. A man who had served his people well with their own customary laws and defended the county from both illegal and legal outlaws who set out to rob its natural resources and human dignity despite having no particular external aid. Despite being marginalized, its population overlooked and tormented by greedy leadership in Bentiu.

Today, the same verdict applies to all public figures throughout South Sudan whether in Juba, state or at the county level, people from the bottom notice your daily dealings, misgivings, and servitude to the nation. They might not be fully your equals or pair with your ideological convictions while you walk the earth, but they possess the power to render final judgment on your legacy whether you are dead or alive. It is up to you to change your ways, leave behind a legacy or a speck of dirt that would be sprinkled upon your tombstone and descendants as you lay in the dirt somewhere. For the Nuer and Nyuong, Gen. Peter Gatdet and Gen. Gai Joak have passed the final test of final judgment with dazzling colors because they redeemed themselves, repented their sins and are now peacefully settled in the final destination of their souls.

You can reach Payinjiar Community Association in Canada through Chadi Michael at chad8204@gmail.com

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