Eulogy to our Father: Tribute to the Glorious Life of Ustaz. Donato Deng Mayen Amet

Posted: July 15, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Mayen Ayarbior, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, People

By David Mayen Ayarbior, Juba, South Sudan

Ustaz Donato Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior

Ustaz Donato Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior

July 15, 2017 (SSB) — It has been three short months since our father, Ustaz Donato Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior, passed on to the next world to join a community of those that have gone before him. The gap he left in our family as a father and moral authority is still huge. And even though we have all accepted the fact that it was his time to rest, given his long struggle with a host of stroke-induced ailments, we still wish it did not happen. I guess that is the same feeling of those who have lost loved ones.

On Saturday 8th July 2017, a belated final funeral prayers (the customary 40th Day Prayers) was conducted at the family home in Denver, Colorado (United States), where it was attended by relatives, in-laws and friends. Like during the prayers in Kuajok, his spirit was felt in Denver too.

After much hesitation, I decided to write this tribute to him, at least for those who did not get to know him. Not that they need it, but just for them to know about a South Sudanese teacher and one among the first generation of the country’s political pioneers who devoted their lives to country and profession. They were a different breed of politicians and intelligentsia, some of whom are still active today, may the Lord extend their lives for this country.

Deng Mayen Amet Ayalbior was born in LukLuk Boma about 4 miles South of Kuajok, on the road to Wau. He attended primary school in Yithliet (South of LukLuk) and in Kuajok, before going to Tonj Secondary School, then to the University of Khartoum where he graduated with a BA in Education in about 1960. He was among the first groups of South Sudanese to join that prestigious higher educational monument.

His life as a student ended at that stage, and the life of Deng Mayen Amet as a devout teacher and shrewd politician began in the 1960s. From his nostalgic conversations, it was easy to notice that he had personally cherished the 60s as if his real life began from there; the life he had dreamt of when as a teenager he used to take a cow from LukLuk at every beginning of school year and walked with it to Wau to sell for school fees.

 As if, while singing to every cow he walked with for over 50 miles, he felt the long journey less tiresome by envisioning himself teaching in class rooms in Rumbek Sec. School, Tonj S.S., Busere S.S., Dungla and Al-Obied Sec. Schools. As if he sung about contributing to opening schools for South Sudanese IDPs in Khartoum such as Camboni and Rufaa (Shiekh Lutfi). As if he sung about being neatly dressed in a suit and tie as a Member of Parliament in Khartoum (1964) representing Gogrial Constituency and talking about “the Problem of South Sudan,” as it were know.

As if he sung about being a Deputy Commissioner (Minister) of Education in Bahar Al-Ghazal Province. As if he sun about being appointed Secretary General of the High Executive Council. As if he sung about being Director of Coordination of Southern Sudan (unitary region) in order to coordinate relief and education materials from Khartoum to Southern Sudan.

Surely, at that time the ‘Journey of life’ he sung had seemed so distant to him, yet, with self-belief, determination and patriotism, it all came to pass. He had lived all of it with a distinction and honesty that is typical of what came to be known as “the Addis Ababa Generation.” A distinction, dedication and honesty that is so rare to find in our generation today.

He fondly talked about some of his arguments in parliament where he passionately called for promoting service provision in South Sudan and how they loved themselves as South Sudanese MPs, without looking at their regions or tribes. Until his last days, he gave huge credit to what he called the SPLM generation for attaining independence, but wondered why it failed to deliver services to the people.

He always said: “South Sudan would have been amongst the most prosperous countries in Africa if we (Addis Ababa generation) had the resources available to today’s generation.”

He left us when he was very contented because he witnessed the Independence of South Sudan, and very optimistic that the future of this country will be a bright one.

From Son. Mayen Dengdit

You can the author via his email: Mayen Ayarbior <>

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is 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 from.

  1. Mayen Dengdit says:

    He was also a Cofounder of the Southern Front political party on his ticket he went to Parliament in Khartoum. As well, he was the first editor of a newspaper in South Sudan, The Vigilant Daily, which the cofounded with Ustaz. Bona Malual.


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