Contributor's Opinion

Opinion: Forcing people to shave beards by the president is a sign of failure

By Daniel Deng Mario

Salva Kiir, president of South Sudan, speaks during the 66th annual United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York, U.S., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. Kiir said that his nation, the world’s newest, will use its oil reserves to create an “agro-industrial powerhouse” in Africa. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

February 7th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – When the Commander-In-Chief fails in his duties, he becomes the imaginary beards inventor and protector. It is only in South Sudan where one gets the President deploying the army personnel to torture people who have grown beards naturally.

A beard has been defined as the hair that grows on the chin, upper lip, cheeks and neck of humans and some non-human animals. In humans, usually only pubescent or adult males are able to grow beards. Some women with hirsutism, a hormonal condition of excessive hairiness, may develop a beard. Beards according to male dominated society is known for man and it is the right of every man to grow them as he or she wishes.

According to Wikipedia, beards throughout the course of history have been part of humanity though they widely varied depending on factors such as prevailing cultural-religious traditions and the current era’s fashion trends. In fact as we normally see in some religions such as Islam, Traditional Christianity, Orthodox Judaism and Sikhism, beards have been considered to be absolutely essential for all males able to grow one and mandate it as part of their official dogma or doctrine.

In cultures where facial hair is uncommon (or currently out of fashion), beards may be associated with poor hygiene or an uncivilized, dangerous demeanor. In countries with colder climates, beards help protect the wearer’s face from the elements. The issue of beards is something rooted in history.

As Wikipedia tells us, there was a time in England when growing beards was indirectly banned through imposition of taxes. For instance, a beard tax was one of several taxes introduced throughout history on men who wear beards. In 1535, King Henry VIII of England, who wore a beard himself, introduced a tax on beards. The tax was a graduated tax, varying with the wearer’s social position. His daughter, Elizabeth I of England, reintroduced the beard tax, taxing every beard of more than two weeks’ growth, although it was poorly enforced.

The same thing was done in Russia but it was done through legal means not as it is the case in South Sudan. In South Sudan where there is no law and order, everything becomes disorganized and every person becomes a law enforcer who abuses the law himself or herself.

I was really chocked to be subjected to inhumane treatment over something no one can own anywhere in the world except the President of South Sudan H. E. Salva Kiir Mayardit who is not sure of what he is doing. The way I was treated sometime back in the country though I had not committed anything wrong gave me a second idea of the ability of the President who I saw to be very serious bully and outright dictator.

In my life, I have never known a person claiming the ownership of beards to the extent of employing soldiers to force people to shave beards as if South Sudan is still in medieval period. Even in Medieval period, there was the law and shaving of beards was done as a way of enforcing the law.

In 1698 for instance, Emperor Peter I of Russia instituted a beard tax to bring Russian society in line with Western European models. To enforce the ban on beards, the tsar empowered police to forcibly and publicly shave those who refused to pay the tax. In South Sudan, the President has owned beards which are arbitrarily enforced by his unruly soldiers.

It was on April 14, 2013 at 3:25 pm when I was beaten and tortured and left in a coma by Kiir’s men just because of beards. Moreover, in 2015 I was also detained for 3 hours just to answer why I have beards. After undergoing such mistreatment, I began to question myself that “Am I the problem or God who created me with the beards?” The same inhuman treatment was also made to the current Commissioner of pagor or Watadol county of Gok State, Hon. Makuer Majuec, who was forced by the president himself to shave his beards after three days. Upon that order, he shaved and he kept on shaving beards up to date.

There are many people that I might not have mentioned here who went through such mistreatments because of something that grow naturally on their body beards went through this mistreatment. The above are some of the examples to explain that the President has nothing but only beards which are his Kingdom and the country under his control. The way the President is doing things by concentrating on trivial issues though there are many serious issues shows that he has totally failed to manage the country.

Today citizens are massacring each other in greater Lakes State but the President is not concerned. The president has further destroyed the army by dividing and put the pure civilians in charge of the army. The President has allowed corruption to control the nation. He is ideologically bankrupt and this is why the country is confused. A sensible President who is concerned about the welfare of citizens can’t use the national army in protecting beards yet there is rampant in security.

In short, the President has failed to run the country and this explains why he is concentrating on non-essential issues like prohibiting beards which he does not have a right over it.

Whatever that comes after publication of this article, I shall carry the cross.

The author can be reached at mariodeng88@gmail.com

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