Feb 10, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– In 2007 and right after I founded Nile Computer Solutions, I initiated a project of converting the old music cassette tapes of our first music pioneers such as Gatdet Chotlit, Moses Chot Riek and many other traditional South Sudanese music Icons into CDs as well as the SPLA’s liberation war video tapes into DVDs. The project objective was of two tracks and with the first being to rescue this crucial and important part of our history and culture from descending to extinction as old cassette becomes obsolete and being replaced by a more reliable and widely circulated better technology of the compact disc (CD) and USB flash drive. The second track of the project objective was as to make our cultural and traditional music as well as the story of our liberation war available to be known at our nation and world level as well. The project was a great success.
Through this project I came to acquainting myself with many South Sudanese music pioneers as well as our liberation Icons of all time. During the videos editing process, I have witnessed an enormous love for this country that has manifested in masterpieces of music as well as a drive that has made many of our heroes to abandon everything to the harsh bushes of South Sudan just to make this country and its people free and dignified. When it comes to history and culture of South Sudan, it is never fair to look at it from a biased angle that omits any part away and whether for better or worse and hence an inclusive approach to our history and culture, saves both its integrity and richness. If you can give Dr. John Garang de Mabior a space without late Gen. Samuel Gai Tut or Gen. Joseph Lagu within your own narrative, then that history and narrative will still be incomplete, biased and shortsighted.
Late Commander Lual Ding Wol or as popularly known as “Baba Africa” is our national hero as Dr. Machar has declared. He is one of those rare liberation Icons apart from late William Nyuon Bany and late Dominic Dim Deng that have quickly catched my attention while editing and converting those historical liberation war videos. The first encounter was at editing of the graduation of Red Army video which may be dated back to somewhat between 1987 or 1989 and as he was together with the late founding father of this nation Dr. John Garang, the then Chief of Staff of SPLA, Late hero commander William Nyoun Bany and our current Democratic Change Party leader Dr. Lam Akol as they were delivering their encouragement speeches to these young liberators who nowadays constitute a living history of the then liberation movement SPLM/A. As a distant observer and external Admirer to both his late person and the late Samuel Abu-John and many countless others who has led this country to its independence, I would rely heavily on my assumption of what a true liberator should be afar from the poison of the tribalism that has made celebrating our national heroes of our liberation war hard to be attained and celebrated. Too much tribalism is killing our national face, history and makes the contributions of our national heroes a waste. It encourages people to look at these heroes from tribal angle, biased and narrow perspective. It doesn’t worth it.
If my memory is not wrong, then I do believe that late commander Lual Diing Wol has as well departed the active political life at the same year this ongoing SPLM political turmoil started and as one of the sacked national government officials in 2013 and ever since, he has been in shadows during this civil war until his untimely death on Feb 8, 2016 at age of 83. Let me borrow some descriptions of those who personally know him and who have shown courage above our current oblivion and national limbo.
Dr. Machar described him as a “liberator and a great leader.” and “since his school days as a young man, Wol had spent the rest of his life in the struggle for several decades to free his people until attaining independence” Dr. Machar continued. On the other hand Amb. Ezekiel Gatkuoth, the foreign Committee Chairman of SPLM-IO has described the late hero as “General Lual Diing Wol was my mentor and a man to be happy to sit with all day long and will never get bored. He was my inspirational leader to be with all these years”.
In a nutshell, South Sudan is a country that was liberated through the courage that has defeated both our own bias as South Sudanese and the power of injustice of Khartoum regime and if we weren’t above the former, the victory upon the later wouldn’t be any possible. To give in to the greedy corrupt tribalists of our own and their foreign conspirators is like selling this country and its nation back to servitude, domination and marginalization. Late commander Lual Ding Wol contributions and national legacy stand above our tribal ego and political differences. We hope the government and the opposition alike will honor him in a manner equivalent to his lifetime national legacy. May he rest in peace and may the Almighty give his family and this nation the needed comfort and support.
Chuar Juet Jock is a South Sudanese entrepreneur, columnist and PhD candidate based in Omaha, Nebraska – United States. He has authored his new book “In a Nutshell: Opinions and Articles during South Sudanese Civil War (2013 -2016)”; a powerful truth that has been injected into the body of South Sudan’s history, it unearthed the truth of the current since war started on December 15, 2013 up to this month. The book is available at Amazon.com and other online bookstores. The author can be reached through email@example.com.
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