The shameless media propaganda and the concealed hatred for Ateny Wek Ateny

Posted: August 30, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Simon Yel

By Simon Yel Yel, Paloich, South Sudan

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Thursday, August 30, 2018 (PW) — Unless it is breaking news, there is no civil servant in the government of South Sudan that has been derisively dragged through the mud and unreasonably disparaged more than Ateny Wek Ateny on both social and print media outlets. Unimaginably, even the Facebook is heavily littered to the brim with Ateny’s name and I am sure you too do find it; that the Presidential Press Secretary either is a wrong man in the right place or a curse to the Presidential palace in disguise.

That is their opinion. And I have mine too. The gist of writing this piece of article is neither to glorify him nor vilify his critics; nor even to put his reputations into ignominy. Rather I have picked up my pen to share my thoughts with the readership about this very man in the Presidential press room.

To jog your memory, Ateny Wek’s oath of office neither extends across the entire executive branch of government nor parliament, but just to the President Salva Kiir and his office, and thus, he doesn’t speak for the government as a whole.  It’s only once you acknowledge this fact that you can be able to fairly judge his performances and passion for work.

Ateny earned his epaulettes when he was a columnist for the defunct Citizen daily newspaper. He was a prolific columnist whose pen neither knows a friend nor a foe. He writes black and white as he sees it and has a sting of deconstructing people with deplorable and negative adjectives to considerable displeasure.There is more. He has a gift of writing skill and great intellect. He can ignite an intellectual debate and win it hand down.

With that, many people did praise and respect him for his brilliant articulation of ideas and outspokenness. His thoughts were highly appreciated by many readers throughout the country and abroad. This earns him recognition in the media fraternity in south Sudan and arguably, it is one of the reasons that might have influenced his ferry or air-lift to J1.

Unfortunately, after he took up his role as a Press Secretary in J1, some people with ambiguous interest started to despise him for sleeping on the job and didn’t do what was expected of him in the press office. They also deprecated his work for it is always riddled with costly gaffes and incredible falsehoods.

His fiercest hired critics brand him as a stammer and bumbling who drops a clanger after another in rhetorical pretzels attempting to defend the President or clarify any issue.  In the eye of unfair media corps, he appears as  a rambling person with proclivity of always repeating “ you know” several times before embarking on a subject matter in either TV or radio interview. In other words, they brand him as entirely an inarticulate liar who deserved to be somewhere else rather in the Presidential Press room.

These are all what the iniquitous media corps and the hired guns say about the President Kiir’s Press man in that big building called J1. But it doesn’t matter. They are entitled to their opinion.

On contrary, many people still respect him for his positive and logical articulation of ideas and efficient communication for the President as for his intent is always to earn media on the current state of affairs regarding the President Kiir himself and indeed inside the Presidential Palace, if any, not spin nor earn media on government policies because Michael Makuei does that. Whether Michael does it rightly or wrongly, is a topic for another day.

I’m not asking you to change your mind about this man from Ajak Wek Ateny (Ateny Wek’s section). But for this, consider that he sometimes knowingly and willingly accepted to sacrifice his credibility and integrity in attempt to support the government stance by opening up some Pandora boxes loaded with arcane files.  And if that attempt fails spectacularly or ricochets, please, don’t solely blame him, he was doing it on the behalf of the government.

So, the question is not whether Ateny is a good or bad press secretary. It’s that, given the awkward position that the government found itself in with the unjust media corps and the emergence of diploma disease coupled with concealed hatred and wide spread of gossiping, how can the average educated human being in the person of Ateny Wek who does whatever he can to defense the government and indeed the President be well rated by this biased press and well regarded by such a group of charlatan people with vague interests who have audacity to loathe him even when he does what is required of him

To be fair for a second or two, Ateny has accomplished more than many care to acknowledge his work under these impossible circumstances where every media outlet has trained its gun on the government and indeed on the Presidential Palace in particular.

Despite that he is always mocked as a joke by his adversaries, Ateny Wek doesn’t answer to the public. He answers to the President. And as long as he is perfectly and efficiently discharging his duties as per his job description, no amount of bad wishes, gossips and unfounded allegations driven by nonsensical hatred concocted on him could possibly influence the President to give him the boot.

Contrary to the cheap gossips, Ateny is actually doing a good job.  He has temperament and aplomb of a good press secretary. Not for media or hired guns, which undervalue and deride him every day. But the avalanche of the truth is that, Ateny doesn’t answer to them, he answers to the President. And with the stroke of a pen, President Kiir can sack him if the once time useful Ateny is now becoming useless and unwanted.

To be honest, Ateny’s habit of ducking and dodgingthe brats and brad that are always thrown at him by bulldogging critics without him going bananas, is itself a manifestation of a person with good temperament. To say the least, he has perfectly undergone Kafkaesque transmutation into a temperamental press secretary who refrains from rebutting drivel written gossips and malicious articles. He always leaves them for the public to judge and discard them.

Ateny is a thick skinned person with a strong passion for work. None of these personal attacks appears to hurt him, no matter how low they go to exceed the level of nonsense; he always appears unshaken with his head high committed to fulfilling what his job requires of him. That is why has never refuted those allegations on Facebook of sleeping with other people’s wives and so forth. They are none-issues and that is why the public doesn’t buy them even if he didn’t say anything about their falsehoods. To paraphrase the famous quote of the late Fidel Castro, history will absolve Ateny.

This media hostility against him has nothing to do with his weak performances but stems from barely masked abhorrence for the Kiir’s administration. That is why media outlets and the hired guns are denigrating Ateny on daily basis with endless false allegations. I am not born yesterday. My nose can smell sesame paste from Jebel Dinka. And that is why my noggin doesn’t buy all these sorts of hypocritical circumlocutions that Ateny is this and that.

In conclusion, this ferocious and malicious group of people who use some acres on social and print media outlets to disgorge their venom of melancholic dislike for Ateny Wek without any reason, in pursue of dark forces’ interest, are misleading the public by portraying him with the contorted character he is not. However, at some points, these hired guns in the media and the biased media outlets will realize that in attacking Ateny, they are the ones who end up looking bad and Ateny will carry the day as the victim of the concealed and preposterous hatred.

Simon Yel Yel can be reached via or +211914474471

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 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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