By Riak Marial Riak, Juba, South Sudan
January 16, 2017 (SSB) — After my Arba tachar I moved to the other bank of the river wanting a better life, for sure a betterment. I thought about this, where is life? In the beginning or at the end. It’s never happy, it tosses about your hand making inactive sights while reminding one of that life, that poor life is again now our challenge. But there some more and more life lie to us, life as they said is often fully filed on itself.
I grunted and little bit gloated but full of nightmares, a mere dream caught us between the end and hard rock, in search of knowing and civility we are there biting our teeth for naught. In search for betterment I made many flatteries and promises that this is how I will be faring with your place, calling myself talented, competent and honest but the only answer follows them back was who sent you?
A question never to be forgotten here in our republic. I could remember when I was in Rumbek senior secondary school our deputy headmaster use to question about whether Yirol was a steep land that it rolled us to Rumbek, for his own ignorant he failed to know that this place was for all of us, south Sudanese and Africans.
The same phobia continues after me, here again I got notification of someone sitting in an office to serve the public but he care no about some people, in juba, our comfort zone where you see by beautiful houses and prohibited to enter if you’re not in suit came the time my school sent me back to do my internship, in an office meant to serve Public I for the second time got the same answer I got in Rumbek that did they sent you to this office?
Are there no other places you know other than this? It was terrible, I couldn’t answer such an absurd question, I decided to follow the road of frustrated people, to be a gangster, as kisinga put it to Chuma that to be a thief is the shortcut to riches.
But would this come so short like this, never, life is full of struggles, one must keep up his head to achieve a betterment, a life’s betterment. At the meeting point of the road I found two ends, one leading to appeasement and another one leading to frustration but seeming to meet at a point of disappointment.
I opted to cross before I meet the right end or the wrong one but sorry I failed in the process, this time it is a wonderful end I got, an end where you sleep hearing gunshots, an end you sleep worried of where to get ten pounds for charging your phone tomorrow. I sat at this end, before crossing another bridge like Chuma, the society bridge. I thought of this beautiful end, my fourteen and the tea.
This would be where my life rest because I am fed up of life’s unrest, all the time weighing war with life thinking it would understand my conditions and allow me to lay down the terms but instead pulling me to the dirt like pig I was living. Two ends mean nothing to me but a ruin to live a disastrous life, a useless life.
After I left juba I came to see whether the fruitful end has come but lord my God had opted to make me a subject for teaching hardships and struggles, it seems He enquired his angels to identify who the subject of hardships should be on the earth and they, out of ignorant and subjections pointed at me where I became the ladder for climbing frustrations.
My case was then debated, I know those who wanted my fate to be judged rightly were Jesus and Moses because this film stars have ending on wrong road thus they couldn’t think of subjecting hardships to one person but those who were the main challengers to my defending lawyers were Elijah and Angel Gabriel for they had never tasted any difficulty.
This time I came to see out my hometown but was tattered like place for pigs, it was dull and smelly, I don’t know whether the smell was sweet to their noses when they see birds terminating the whole town instead of coming to see the right end for this they’re busy inscribing their names on contracts while also signing contracts of their uncles, sons, sisters and brothers and those claiming their right ending taken to oil factory and receive 291 strokes for their disobedient.
Oh this home where someone’s right became self-poison, it is terrible. After then I came to my arba tachar and heard my testicles crying like orphaned gnats under the hollow sea lamenting the death of their father, woe unto them. While their cry became insistent I attend to their need and begged a crowd of unemployed if there will be someone to buy me a tea, my testicles are hot, and I need to cool them down.
I was hoping for an answer but quietly they instead grunted nothing, I recite for them this verse. There was once a man living, he always attend to public gatherings and out of good fortune he found his education from old men. He loves to sit down and write a verse, when the sunset he was much worried about solitude, by the work of his self-dedication and hope he starts writing a book up to now he is still writing that book, he titled it my house in the village, three years down the road the book continues. It’s seldom to find a person who is engulfed by poverty thinking of some verses.
Here the verse goes…
You love to sit down and waste time
All you do is count people in your crime
You love to waste time and to do nothing
You love to see street children and to do nothing
You love to see people dying and to do nothing
I wonder why an orphan is not elevated
I wonder why widows are being raped
Buy me a tea I am thirsty, my throat had run dry for quite a time now. I am burning up, call for someone to appease me and I don’t need disappointment again because I am sick and tired of this life, when will a black child be elite. No better life, in hot juba others are not feeling it because they were the people created for this comfort zone, even those in Australia, America and rest of the world knows sweating but jubians are always cool.
Here I struggled between the three giants rivers but still my neck is touched by fateful water, when I throw my arms the hard touch Of a wooden table bounced back my arms, inside me a cry came but only myself would feel the lament, like a man who borrows so much I went sorrowing, I tried all means but nothing than being jeered at I got from the knock. Who sent you? Where is your recommendation? From which tribe are you?
All those questions out of blue made me pregnant of hatred because I hated myself being asked such unless you buy me a tea that’s where your bribery will take effect on me. But when you transport a box of money out of cheer inconvenience the last you’d done because I hate taking something out of my reach.
~Riak Marial Riak, is a south Sudanese poet, actor/director and self-driven philosopher. You can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org
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