The Sportsmanship is alive in Kolnyang Payam: Achiek Mabior is a living proof.

Posted: November 24, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Kur Wël Kur, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Kur Wël Kur, Adelaide, Australia

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November 24, 2016 (SSB) — Will it be the last wrestling in Bortown? Will the wrestling culture last? What will save our wrestling culture?  On the 19th of November 2016, a wrestling that would have gone down in our wrestling history as one of the historic wrestling ended in a dispute.  So, many people posted   negative posts on Facebook. Some people rang me to ask my opinions about wrestling and the accident that happened in the wrestling. I chose to be calm and laughed off every wrong word, misplaced words from my callers.

 I took a side of not elbowing my way to my younger cousin and the best wrestler, Gongic Achiek Nai to support his wrestling abilities by a mere ego. Because wrestling has existed in our blood for long, long time. The ownership of sportsmanship belongs to us. The greatness in any sport doesn’t mean you can’t lose, but to absorb the shock waves that come with your opponent attacking or defeating you.  As per Boma, Adol’s wrestlers have mastered this fact and they face wrestling with a light and sport-warming hearts.

Achiek Mabior Ngueny is a living testimony of our sportsmanship. Achiek’s own sons have led and retired in wrestling. And as you’re reading this, Deng (Malou), Achiek’s younger son is growing and practicing in wrestling. He isn’t only mastering wrestling technicalities, but he’s breathing in sportsmanship. So when he lost, he smiled as he strolled to his side; and if he won, he did the same, taking it lightly, celebrating less.

As per Payam, this question begs: In wrestling, which position does Kolnyany hold?

The Kolnyany Payam rings louder in the ears of wrestlers and their fans because wrestling legends have come and gone in the watch of Jonglei’s population. Just to name some of them: Achiek Mabior Ngueny, Alier (Tier) Ngong and Chaar Nhial Goor. I don’t need to name the current or the wrestlers who retired recently because you know many of them.

How lucky were Achiek and his age mates?

They were a lot lucky because they enjoyed wrestling without a tincture of poisonous politics. They would wrestle or dispute the referee’s decision without dragging negative politics into their wrestling affairs. In fact, the stupid political polarisation didn’t exist.

And now?

A slightest incident for example, an injury or unexpected result (a draw) in wrestling can create ripples of hate. I am afraid we will lose the last common bond of our culture. The political divisions have pushed us to the edges of our relations.  You can’t find the shreds of truthfulness among many of us because our political elites have set us on a poisonous political path. Many of us are living in a contaminated radius of some divisive elders or educated young people.

So, we see everything on basis who’s doing what supports our stances. Anybody that’s contrary to our desired results is an enemy, enemy of our pride, enemy of our existence.  As I am writing this article, our communities are on the verge of disunity. Disunity is real because every time we try to stoke the fire of our unity through sport such as wrestling, some invisible negative forces pull us away. Facebook is one of these forces.

How did just two wrestlers spoil the day of many (thousands) spectators in Bortown?

I know many fans boarded planes, buses, cars and boats from faraway places to Bortown for the two lead wrestlers: Gongic Achiek Nai and Magot Khot Ajak. However, when accident happened, as expected in any physical sport like wrestling, “responsible” adults shouldn’t have lost their tempers just like that. There’s always a second chance. I have watched the video many times and I realised even without a bleeding mouth and a bleeding head, the lead wrestlers were gearing and steering towards a draw or to your disappointment. I believe, Magot exhausted his bouts.

How can we save our unity and our wrestling-culture?

First, sportsmanship is the key. Wrestlers and their supporters must adopt a high level of sportsmanship. This will stop the outside noises from infiltrating the wrestling affairs. Noises such as Facebook’s addicts. Facebook fanatics must stop their half-baked information.After the match was discontinued, a lot of misunderstandings happened because of incomplete or wrong information being posted on Facebook.

For instance, before the video footage of Gongic -Magot’s wrestling was posted, many of us gave assumptions. That Gongic was saved. That someone from Gongic’s side came running and stopped the wrestlers. However, when the footage appeared, none of the assumptions was true.  A guy yelled, “Someone’s head is bleeding”. And the guy wasn’t from Gongic’s side. And when the referee stopped the wrestlers, Gongic had already stabilised or had gained his balance. And Magot wasn’t attacking as fast as he did in the beginning of the match. In wrestling, bouts count. Young wrestlers empty them as quick as their energy allows, but experienced wrestlers wait for their opponents to exhaust theirs, then attack in an inch of a given time.

Secondly, we must leave wrestling and village affairs to people who know them best. And who knows wrestling than the wrestlers themselves and villagers.

Thirdly, “give Caesar’s what belongs to Caesar and To God what belongs to God”. Meaning, tell the truth.  Gongic had wrestled for 15 years; he has led and defeated many wrestlers; so if he retires today, he has nothing to lose. Gongic is the most gracious wrestler just like his uncle Achiek Mabior Ngueny. He has no time with inexperience wrestlers who take wrestling as a fight.  Magot deserves the lead. For: His energy. His wrestling style.

However, he must have an organised team. A team with wrestlers who can resist the opinions of others so next time they couldn’t be forced to give up the whole match because of a draw or a defeat of the lead wrestler, Magot Khot Ajak. Also, Magot has to challenge Ajang Garang. That’s the procedure to his wrestling supremacy.

Otherwise, that was the last match in Bortown.

Kur Wël Kur has a Bachelor Degree in Genetics and Zoology from Australian National University (ANU). He was the former the General Secretary of Greater Bor Community in Adelaide, Australia. He can be reached via his email contact: kurwelkur @

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address and the country you are writing.

  1. Malith Alier says:

    One observes that there is too much emotion connected with this thing. People feel that if one of their own loses that is the end of the world. This sport is too popular and efforts should be made to modernise it. It must also be commercialised so that the competitors, organisers and support staff earn a living. Government can also levy taxes. Everyone gains!


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