In Memoriam: Brigadier Gen. Abraham Malaak Lual Nhial

Posted: October 1, 2018 by aljokd in Junub Sudan, Malith Alier, People

By Malith Alier, Perth, Australia

Family history

Monday, 1 October 2018 (PW) — Nhial lual had four wives namely; Amac Gai, Nyakor Adol, Aluong Akec and Nyariak Agou.

Lual Nhial a single son on his mother, Amac Gai was married to Areu Guut Kuol and Achok Khang Yuot from Pale and Koc respectively.

Areu, before her demise has the following children: Gai, Malaak, Ateny (my mother) and Athou. Athou, as the name suggests was a result of mother’s death. “Athou” means death.

Had she (Areu) been alive beyond the fourth birth, many offsprings would have followed.

Achok Khang, the second wife has only three sons; Majier, Ayuen and Mabior. It’s Mabior’s family who organises this memorial service today in Perth.

Malaak among the four siblings was the only educated one. He graduated from Khartoum University business school in 1976. He later married Anai Johnson Kuol Kur from Ater section of Makuach Payam. They have three children, one son and two daughters.

His second wife, Achol Ariik from Deer has three children; Nhial, Areu and his daddy’s namesake, Lual. Nhial is now in Lenana High School in Kenya. The motto of the school is “Nothing but the best.” He is quit clever and we hope is the chip of the old block. He will possibly study engineering that his daddy missed.

Late Abraham Malaak Lual worked briefly for the regional Ministry of Commerce before moving to work for Regional Development Corporation also known as RDC in Juba.

After 1983 and during the war, he spent part of his SPLA life working for Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association (SRRA) as a Director.

Abraham Malaak who passed away on the 11.09.2018 in Nairobi, Kenya is survived by a step-mother, 6 siblings, 2 wives, six children and two grandchildren.

Hard work

Uncle Malaak graduated from University of Khartoum in 1976. He wanted to study engineering in Egypt after graduating from Rumbek Senior Secondary school but because of delays he joined University of Khartoum. Two years later his admission for engineering cause came but he thought it was too late for him to join the faculty. He had to carry on from where he started.

The Business Administration course he commenced could not be abandoned midway so he thought. He worked in this chosen field until 2018 where he is no more.

One day I urged Malaak to share work with the young ones especially his son, Nhial because he was not growing younger day by day. His grand daughter was gravely ill and he bypassed his son and daughter in-law to come to Juba town to seek exchange of money for her treatment in Nairobi, Kenya. To him however, no one else can do a better job. On this one thing alone, he will be sorely missed by those he served with this level of dedication.

Humility and Honesty

Malaak Lual Nhial was an honest man through out his entire life. Nowhere can you find a more committed and dedicated soul than in him. His life history tells it all.

While employed at Regional Development Corporation (RDC) and being the business manager, he was in charge of purchases and sales at the RDC.

One day, an Arab trader tried to black mail him by offering him cash. He grabbed that bundle of cash and literally hurled in the face of that unscrupulous trader – started battling the Arabs long before going to the bush.

After independence of South Sudan and working in Ministry of Finance and Planning, the big officials of his calibre have a luxury of driving or being driven around in V8 subs also known as “children are ok” (mith apol)!

Uncle Malaak turned down his V8 offer for reasons we all know too well. There was no point as we discovered later that V8 was the solution to South Sudan problems. Poor roads and expensive spare parts were among the problems that I believe my dear uncle foresaw. Further, V8 consumes too much fuel compared to other cars.

Uncle Malaak also turned down a job offer from Jonglei State Government because of the perennial conflict in that state. We all know that the state is afflicted by Murle child abduction, cattle theft and killings of vulnerable citizens. Malaak refused to be part of that mess. He abhorred working under a person whose community destabilises other communities. The then minister for Finance hailed from what used to be known as greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA) after Yauyau rebellion.

Consistent with his usual self-denial, uncle Malaak has no piece of land in Bor Town. He would have acquired several plots had he wished to but he chose not to.

Uncle Malaak knows his boundaries and those of the others. He on many occasions said that where your rights end is where the other people’s rights begin. He was fully aware that human rights simply are not unlimited phenomenon!

Bravery

Though he was not a soldier by design, he was one by choice. The 1983 Sudanese civil war found many people; great and small, educated or not unable not to take sides. The choice was clear. My uncle Malaak Lual chose to fight for his people and his country, now known as the Republic of South Sudan.

In the battle of Jekou, a small strategic military post, uncle Malaak nearly got killed by antipersonnel mine in a trench. The clever enemy had planted those mines and the rebel soldiers attempting to advance on the outpost faced it rough, some permanently lost their limbs and others lost their dear lives because they loved their country.

Uncle Malaak later sustained bullet injuries on other battles. On this, he’s a freedom fighter and a hero.

Generosity

Uncle Malaak was a very generous soul. He shared whatsoever in his possession to young and old and particularly those in need. For many years, he shared his salary each month of the year. This happened to some people at the time of great needs. While I was in secondary school in Kenya I remembered uncle Malaak returning from Sudan where he worked with an NGO. Each month, I received my share that really looked like a salary to me. I was in school but because of his generous soul I look liked a salaried person. Imagine receiving a salary one did not work for.

On a separate occasion uncle Malaak informed me that Gai Lual, his elder brother wanted bride price for my mum from Paleek. He was opposed to that. He said that each family should be allowed to survive or live their own life. The issue of old unsettled dowries did not bother him whether in time of scarcity or plenty.

Uncle Malaak furthermore, used to say that he was the first Lual’s “daughter” to be married. We as Dinka Bor know what it means for a girl to be married. Cows are paid to the family of the bride and other valuable gifts followed. Although Lual Nhial has two daughters, Malaak bore fruits first before them and that’s the truth.

That therefore meant that he was;

  1. The first to bear fruits or gave back to the family
  2. The centre pole (meen) of the family to the end.

To all Lual Nhial’s family, he was the unshakable pole (meen). No one else said so but his brother’s wife, Mary Ayor Kelei.

Hobbies

Uncle Malaak was fond of tracing and documenting his ancestry through ages. In his house are a number of family tree diagrams tracing his Biong and other relationships back many generations. Though I did not have time to get involved in that, at the time, I had no doubt that one day and after studying them we will be able to appreciate in depth what he was doing. The era of oral hand down of ancestral history was over the moment he went to school.

That is the real meaning of having been to school which we should all take. Write it down because we shouldn’t trust our failing memory with a lot of crucial information.

Malaak also loved gardening. In Juba where he worked as government employee, he cultivated and cared for a garden that provides vegetables for the family. Tomatoes, kale, spinach and other vegetables were some of his favourites. Yes, he could not pretend to be a highly educated man and things like farming as a hobby were below him. His unmatched love for what is green saw him planting a Ficus tree on his residence. The evergreen plant attracted people who came Lologo in the sweltering heat of Juba during the day. I for one, was a frequent visitor at noons for the very reason.

Uncle Malaak was also an avid reader of books. As we all know, educated people continually read hundreds of books each. He had a big library of old and new books on many topics.

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