Contributor's Opinion Paul Ruot Bayoch

Opinion: How South Sudanese Value Dressing Code More Importantly Than Desire for Knowledge & Wisdom 

If We Could At least Feed Our Brains with Knowledge & Wisdom, Sharpened It Smartly as Beautifully as Our Dressing Code, the Future Could Definitely Be Brighter

By Paul Ruot Bayoch,

Author, Paul Ruot Bayoch(source: owner's profiles)
Author, Paul Ruot Bayoch(source: owner’s profiles)

Sep 17, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — When it comes to the dressing code, fashion and design, South Sudanese men and women are the champions.  South Sudanese are so concerned about what they wear than what they feed their brains with. You can find a person smartly dressed with expensive fashion designed clothes (Suits, Neck Ties & Shoes) with empty head. The low literacy rate and poor reading habit is a contributing factor in this extravagance behaviour. Physical look is a priority. I am not saying, it’s not importance to dress nicely. But it becomes obsession among the lazy youth and senior citizens who want to always look young and rich. Lots of resources are being wasted on expensive clothes, perfumes, shoes, creams and lotions.  Everyone want to excel in dressing code devoting much time and resources on purchase of new fashion designer clothes, expensive perfumes, and laundering and ironing service.

This gives less room for other fruitful activities like creating a business, doing some manual work, engaging in agriculture and cattle rearing, setting up a saving account, going for further studies, doing some research, writing books, taking some online courses, and/or reading life changing books and news articles. 

A South Sudanese would extravagantly spend all he or she has on clothes, perfume, creams, and shoes just to observe a dressing code deemed acceptable in the eyes of the community. He/she would be looking for perfect places to show off the new fashion clothes/shoes/perfume/gold necklace/rings/watches/car etc…

The Church, Markets, and work places are perfect places for the show off given the population and compositions. All day long, youth engage in fashion show around the town with no significant benefit. The desire to fit in the acceptable dressing code is increasing dependency rates and begging among the poor youth who wanted to look great. It also created more room for political manipulations as they would be engaging in dirty politics to gain financial support from the big politicians they’re supporting

 On Every Sunday, when you go to churches, the inside look like a designer studio with beautiful women and men properly dress in styles as if they’re contracted to market the designer clothes.

 If we South Sudanese could at least feed our brains with knowledge and wisdom recorded in the books, set up businesses to create our own employment opportunities as smartly as our wearing styles and the dressing code and the love for fashion and designer clothes, no wonder South Sudan can be a great nation. 

However, to the contrary, despite improvement in literacy rate in some States, South Sudanese men and women have poor appetite for reading and great appetite purchasing the new fashion clothes, go for show off and lazily doing nothing to profit them all day long.  How can we possibly change our poverty stricken country with this poor behaviour of spending more on useless items and doing nothing to maximize our income?

Currently in South Sudan, two things seem to be of more importance – Gaining body weight & Observing Dressing code acceptable in the eyes of government officials as imitated by the general public. It cannot be surprising why many of my South Sudanese women and men live a copy and paste lifestyle from the North Sudan, and other African Countries. North Sudanese men are not too lazy like we do. They may dress better but they are hardworking. Why are we pretending to be who we are not?   Many of us richly dress when indeed we’re not rich. We spent all we have in buying clothes and gaining weight to fit our clothes. There is great misconception associated with people who are gaining weight. They’re considered “rich” and “Zol Kabir” when they are only big in bodies and nothing else. 

Gaining body weight and increasing belly can never elevate you into certain social status. Instead, it’s a risk factor for your general body welfare and may slow your progress and shorten your lifespan.  People who are obese are generally too lazy and may look dull.

 In other parts of the world, young people are extremely engaging in healthy diets and exercises to keep their bodies fit.  But in South Sudan, in every three big belly people you met, one or all of them are “Zol Kabir” by default. We may not know how they make their bellies but they’re considered wealthy by the community.  Many pretenders would yearn to develop their bellies faster so that they would have the status of “Banydit” or “Zol Kabir”.  In this country, being wealthy is measured by how much you gain weight and increase your belly. This is South Sudanese perspective of richness as many are living in poor and pathetic condition. Gaining weight is a rare opportunity and it’s dream to be for many of my young colleagues. 

This is far from the truth but as a matter of fact, many government officials and military officers who are high ranking officers have swollen bellies. Some looks like balloon fill with air and are extremely in bad shape.  If big bellies don’t imply getting rich, how would you convince someone who hardly had nothing to feed his/her kids? 

It’s obvious that those who are put into public offices develop their bellies faster than the constituencies they are to serve. Big offices are usually furnished with expensive furniture, and the officials wear expensive suits, neck ties, shoes, and possess big bellies. All the non-officials and villagers are also copying the officials dressing code and are obsessed by it.

Not to mention that if you visited ministerial offices, you would find nearly all the staffs outside their offices in tea and shisha places pretending to be at work when they are literally doing no work. Where is the future my dear Jinubins? I rest my case. You be the judge. 

This bring me to the conclusion that dressing code is not what matter most in life. There are others key priorities that we should look into. It’s said, “Knowledge is power”. Let develop good reading habit and minimize extravagancy in the name of the dressing code. Wear clean, and decent clothes not the one designed for millionaire.  If We Could At least Feed Our Brains with Knowledge & Wisdom, Sharpened It Smartly as Beautifully as Our Dressing Code, the Future Could Definitely Be Brighter. Let work our ass off and get our clothes dirty while working hard for better tomorrow.

Paul Ruot Bayoch can be reached at paulruotbayoch@gmail.come 

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