Leadership, People, Cultures and Westernization


I might be an alien to some of you and to some of the topics that I will visit in this article: One, because I’m not from Old Fangak county and two, because I’m not currently residing in South Sudan to be grossly affiliated with our current politics. However, that happens to be my main motivation of writing this piece because neutral voice is expensive to earn in many writings. I’m also acknowledging that this article is not directed to any individual(s), but a brainstorm on a situation that persisted in our society. And due to familiarity of most of you with the topic you may feel some split over effect but don’t take it as (or turn it into) an ad hominem, instead take it as it is, just as an opinion!!!

It is usually said that Rome wasn’t built in one day, and so would we expect our cultures and traditions. The cultures and traditions that we have had for centuries were not contrived overnight. They were devised and bred over time to be accepted and practiced, and that is what we would expect when they begin to extinct.  They will take time to vanish and be forgotten. Such would also apply to the western civilizations that seem to be enlightening many aspects of our lives today. You might be untimely to believe that the current civilizations (Western or Middle-Eastern) started with our generation or to believe that cultures and traditions would be obliterated overnight. These civilizations have coexisted, in parallel, in many multicultural societies and so should they, above all, be treated with respect from both streams in our societies. That is, when you think of freedom of expression, for instance, you should as well bear in mind the ethic, immediate environment, applications and limitations from both the indigenous and exogenous perspectives. Although most of you may believe that our system is inferior, the fact remain that we had these natural rights and freedoms implicitly defined before the introduction of Western civilization. The main different in these freedoms, which is what we are struggling with today, is where to draw the line on limitations and applications. For instance, elders have had distinguished category in any society, but if our definition (i.e. anyone older than you) is arguably better than others definitions (e.g. someone above 65 years old) than should you stick with it where applicable. Caution though on cost optimization! I’m not suggesting that you should convince a customer service to grant you some special elderly treatment in a service or so!!

In sum, while we nurture the modern civilization, let’s define feasible boundaries where the new and the old civilization can coexist, let’s adhere to ethic, morality, limitations and natural rights, let’s give our community time to adapt to the new systems, and let’s retain our valuable traits such as dignity, respect for elders, leaders and one another.

High turnover of commissionership in Old Fangak and people responses!

It should be highly accepted that any important implementation needs (although not restricted to only) time and support.  I would expect a leader who would bring a long-term change to take at least half a year framing the structure, passing the by-laws, designing, documenting and distributing legal documents and equipment, if resources exist.  This is important because we need to have a progressive and continued development in the counties, instead of having commissioners starting a fresh when elected or appointed.  We cannot expect commissioners to be frequently changed by a governor, who hardly distinguish between his failures and successes, yet he has been in power for over five years, in a state full of atrocities and no one removes him.

Also communities should support leaders and suppress their differences because a commissioner by himself cannot build even a school in such a short time. Although, I’m not suggesting that Hon James Maluit should or shouldn’t have been removed, I feel that what he served (3 to 4 years) is what the counties should strike to level as a minimum term in the future, such that commissioners get time to implement community projects. Furthermore, we should sometimes be skeptic when we think that a leader has failed in a short time like one year because it could be our expectations, mindsets and perceptions that enforce such rationalization. In particular, if it proves NP-hard for an individual to agree with him/herself or to repeatedly perform an action in the same manner and gets the expected results, then how hard would it be for other persons to map our thinking and actions?

Fangak Ka Rew

Our current leaders are just a symbol of leadership; for many have led before them and so would many when they depart.  Such trend by itself has evidenced the fact that Fangakarew is bigger than any of her citizens.  However, I’m not despising that our individual success or failure can trigger a tremendous change in the society rather that our individuality constitutes the tiniest niche of fangakkarew’s ecological footprint.  But together we have a duty to play to transform and inspire one another. In life no one wishes to fail, even those who lose in elections or those who fail in classroom never wish to lose or fail, and it is never their fall but a force greater than their individual capacity (In science, I believe that is the definition of Netwon’s third law of motion). For example if 90% of a class fail, it might be due to some administrative bug(s) that was beyond students’ capacity, and if only 10% fails, it could be blamed on individual backgrounds (maybe their families, heath, financial status, early childhoods, peers, …, name them all)). Likewise, any community should be proud of itself when exceling and blames itself (not finger pointing) when failing. Like Paul Kagame of Rwanda once admitted, “I should admit it as a personal failure if for all the time I have been in power, I never prepared any leader to replace me”. Perhaps our earlier leaders (my dad included) ever modeled role models to fill in their footsteps if our current leaders are to be blamed. That is, if we once had great leaders, otherwise the community would have to accept any criticism from bystanders.  If a leader fails in our time, it should be considered OUR fall and not just his or hers.

To the outgoing, incoming Commissioner and their teams:

I believe you have handled tougher challenges before taking on the challenge of leading the counties in the past few years. I nevertheless believe that you were/are mentally prepared of what to expect from taking up these positions. Thus, nothing was (or would be) anew, however, I believe each situation presents a unique pool of knowledge that we should always learn from. Many a time, we tell our non-South Sudanese or non-Africans friends that our problems are complex and environmentally situated that they should visit and live on the ground with the people before they could classify them. However, the complexity involved is not restricted to just living with the people or the leadership skills of the individuals involved but some of the things that I already mentioned like time frame, resources, community support, high expectations, mindsets and perceptions. It will take a few centuries for our people to embrace the “change” that they dream for, because change is an abstract ideal, gradual and demanding. A good example of this concluding sentence would be Obama’s 2008 slogan of “Change we can believe in”, 232 years after the hard working Americans attained independent, yet much change is still awaited in Americas today!

Thanks for the services and good luck in your endeavors. We hope to see each of you to continue participating in our community development and the nation at large.

Thanks in advance for reading!!

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