Tumor in Leadership: The Case of Jonglei State Wrestling Team

Posted: May 18, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Peter Mabior Ajak

By Peter Mabior Ajak, Melbourne, Australia


Thursday, May 17, 2018 (PW) — This analysis is for distraction within Team Jonglei at the recent inter-communal wrestling in Juba. ‘Tumor’ refers to issues that split Team Jonglei.

Keyboard warfare, Facebook Lives’ shelling, coupled with songs and lack of maturity is a cancerous tumor responsible for wrestling shenanigan within Team Jonglei. If you’re not appalled by the way in which issues within Team Jonglei are handled, and the state it is dissented to, then we seriously reach problem-solving crises.

Leadership is a beautiful thing. It is in every leader to do what is right and beneficial to the people you lead, in return help the people you work with and outcomes you would like to achieve. It is not always on how it is supposed to be because dishonesty in the form of disrespect and dysfunctional in the leadership of the organizing committee is a tumor that is responsible for Team Jonglei defeat.

What went wrong?

Tumor in wrestling: Since wrestling is a strength based sport, it doesn’t matter if one family represent Jonglei, well, in my view. In the first interview with Aluong Mayom, Coach Jongrir (Majok Jongrir) stated: “Magot gave the trophy to Terkekeka.”  Coach Jongrir claimed Magot Khot made demands that were not fulfilled.

Just like the rest of lead athletes who refused to attend the first two matches. It is fair to say that the leadership had failed the people of Jonglei by its lack of direction. In the interview, Majok is shifting blames to Magot, but it is far more profound than this. It is leadership.

Example: SPLM/A led the guerrilla warfare for over twenty years and negotiated and signed peace with the Sudan Government. Imagine Abel Alier with Southerners who didn’t go to the bush telling Dr. John and his leadership that he is taking over the government after the peace deal. What would Dr. John and the SPLA/M say? I will leave this to your best judgment.  Do you think Dr. John and his movement will accept Abel and his team?

Jonglei team will have difficulty winning wrestling matches if leadership continue to lack critical decision making in dealing with issues of similar occurrences in the future. Coach Jongrir is not there to please anyone; he is there to make decisions on his team selection, and consult with county coaches if necessary. County coaches should not interfere with his decision. Majur Machar needs to understand leadership had boundaries and should respect that fact.

Tumor in Leadership:  Majok Jongrir is the Head Coach of Jonglei Team of Wrestlers, his assessment, decision, and team organization with the help of his leadership team is final. He is the leader.  It is within the responsibilities of the Coach to line-up his wrestlers as he sees fit.

Equally, no wrestler had any right whatsoever; to demand by force, a position that is not allocated to him by the head coach. These wrestlers are mature and responsible people under the leadership of mature and accountable leadership and communities.

Coach Jongrir is a competitive and an honest leader. However, lack of executive decision making causes his leadership to be hijacked, hence escalation of the issues to the finals match. Defeat is not a problem.

Giving individual team members and other coaches an opportunity to dictate things, undermined the process and caused dysfunctional in Jongrir leadership. Wrestlers, who arrived at final and demanded participation after two matches, should never have been allowed to participate. That is a mature decision a leader is supposed to make.

It is crucial for leadership to foresee the precedent the decision you make is setting. Coach Jongrir didn’t see this coming and no indication of how issues of the same nature will be dealt with in the future. There is blame going around. At the end of this tumor, leadership is required.

What happened will happen again, mouths will be running, fingers will itch, shelling from live videos will continue, keyboard warfare will be launched. Leadership is needed to mitigate all these. Coach Jongrir and his leadership team need to step up.

Coach Jongrir is calm, humble, collected, and thoughtful. These are individual traits, his only weakness is laziness of leadership in his character, and this had undermined the great work he is doing for Jonglei’s wrestling community. The relaxedness in his leadership skills is abused by Majur Machar who I would say is responsible for reigniting the disruption within the team at the Finals between Terkekeka and Jonglei.

The Jonglei team members who refused to compete in the first two matches should not have participated in the finals. Not because they don’t have rights but because they disrespected the Coach decision and chose to remain in Jonglei.  No matter how unfair the coach decision maybe, they should have attended the first two wrestling even if they were not going to wrestle.

Their actions were not fair to Coach Jongrir and to their colleagues who had to let go of their egos for the respect of the state they represent. It is not about winning or losing the trophy; it is about the after effect.

I applaud Coach Jongrir, the Governor of Jonglei and the Community leaders for discouraging the wrestling between Lual and Magot in Juba. It wasn’t in good faith; it is “dhaal” (overlooked) rhythmic, and it stinks violence. They should go back to their respective villagers to organize their wrestling match without using the opportunity that is not their own to settle their scores.

Lual decision to wrestle Magot was impulsive. The Community Leaders who put their signatures on a hasty decision have a lot to explain to the people they lead for tarnishing the image of their communities. You are disrespected merely on how you treat others. Lual and Magot are lead wrestlers in their respective communities and currently at a national stage.

A gutful leader will be the one that is mindful of decisions that are made in their present, something Lual Matiop leaders led him down on. Ma’ngor (Lual) is upset for reasons known to him and people around him, and the leaders should have thought of a better way to grant him his wish but not in the manner in which that letter was sent to Magot.

 Leaders make unpopular decisions intended for unity and a better outcome for people they lead and the communities in which these people come from, even if that means not winning.  The wrestling fans need to know this in leadership – it is not what happened that is the problem. Humans live on problem-solving; how people react to decisions is the issue.

Therapy: Coach Jongrir is a humble character, and I appreciate his second interview. Leadership potentials, in him, emerged to the point that I forced myself to rewrite this article so I can be fair to him. He is the best coach to lead Jonglei. He needs some practical decision making tricks and strategic leadership skills to lead and earn his respect in the compromising situation he dug himself into by listening to self-centered voices, on both spectrums.

Your fingers maybe itchy, your nose may tingle, your mind may be spinning. If that is the case, you can start punching your keyboard my way. Mature discussion and dialogue are all it takes.

Calm your nerves using Jonglei’s Coach, Majok Jongrir style.

The author, Peter Mabior Ajak, a South Sudanese Australian who resides in Melbourne, Australia; he can be reached via his email: yarama.ajak@gmail.com

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 Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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