Archive for the ‘Socio-Cultural’ Category

Pastoral Education Initiative in South Sudan: A constructive approach to create positive social change among the pastoral communities

By Ustaz Abraham Mabior Rioc, Kuajok, Gogrial State

Cattle keeper in Jonglei [photo] Jongkuch Jo Jongkuch

Thursday, September 19, 2019 (PW) — In his own words, one of the great world iconic statesmen Nelson Mandela had pointed out that “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”. His popular quotation has been adopted and advanced far and wide by education actors and partners to encourage human kind to purse education exclusively. This is also in line with the commitment of the UN Agencies and other international organizations to posit that education promotes peaceful and inclusive societies as well as preventing conflicts and heals its consequences.

In the context of South Sudan, pastoral communities have been primarily depending on traditional subsistence farming activities for survival, which is discernibly of poor yield. Indeed, some of the pastoral communities in South Sudan include Nuer, Dinka, Murle, Mundari, Atuot, just to mention a few. 

repatriated Dinka Cattle camp in Bor

However, the most striking examples with frequent communal conflicts include Tonj sections among themselves and with their neighboring states such as former unity, former westerner Bahr El Ghazal, and former Lakes states. In the same vein, communal conflicts extended to Twic state with cattle raiders from northern liech state, Aguok and Apuk in the recent years of confrontation which claimed hundreds of lives in Gogrial State as well as Murle versus Dinka Bor, Nuer versus Murle, and Dinka versus Bor, mention them.


By Malith Alier, Sydney, Australia

Sunday, 21 July, 2019 (PW) — Nothing generates energy and passion among the above communities than traditional contact wrestling. Wrestling among these communities is the number one sport that may defy the onslaught of western games like football or tennis. It’s even continued to be imitated by people who migrated to the western hemisphere decades ago. It’s supposedly one way of keeping attached to the motherland.

In this review, I will focus on the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of traditional wrestling not only the one of yesterday between Bor and Aliap but also what has been going on in the game since time immemorial.

This undying traditional wrestling is a game with minimal rules and regulations at best. It’s a game whereby no elaborate body sets the minimum standards and this is where it’s pervasive to participate in it with confidence. The concept of time is nonexistent in the sport.


The burning of traditional attires by the Diocese of Bor in Jonglei state is a clear reflection of moral and theological deficiencies within the Episcopal Church of South Sudan

By Michael Mading Akueth, Juba, South Sudan

Thursday, April 11, 2019 (PW) —- There is no dearth of literature on the origin and growth of religion, as is evident from the vast bibliography of the subject. Most of the popular works, however, especially those of the nineteenth century, are based on an evolutionary hypothesis regarding the -origin of man, and in many cases they took for fact another hypothesis which eliminated God from human history.

Therefore the debate for God present and not present have been living with human kind for ages and the extremists of either side were always confronted with facts of tolerance. Theorists structured them into two main school of thoughts those who belief in God (Atheist) and those who don’t belief in the existence of God (anti-Atheist).

Retired Bishop Nathaniel Garang Anyieth and Bishop Akurdid Ngong of Bor Diocese

Furthermore, theistic and anti-atheistic are two the theories of religion which have shape human thinking and they are allow to live together in the communities.


Dinka culture does not practice and encourage auction of Dinka Girls as claimed by some feminists, media outlets and activists: A Case of Nyalong Ngong Deng from Awerial County of Eastern Lakes State

By Ustaz Abraham Mabior Rioc, Hong Kong, China

Fake News

Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang, Awerial County, Lakes State

Nyalong Ngong Deng Jalang, Awerial County, Lakes State, whose bride price consist of 500 cows, 3 V8s, and over $10,000

Wednesday, January 02, 2019 (PW) — In the past few months of October, November, and December 2018, the alleged auction of Nyalong Ngong Deng went viral on the social and international media outlets preached and entertained by some feminist campaigners and civil society-based activists. The misconception of the marriage that was labeled as auction as well as the girl being considered underage was furiously condemned at local, national, and international levels and the government was urged to investigate the matter.

As far as freedom of speech and expression is concerned in South Sudan, it is not bad for one to express his or her viewpoints on the prevailing social, political and economic issues besetting the nation. However, what is required is a professional code of conduct that guides the freedom of speech locally and internationally. With no doubt, I have been a feminist by practice and advocacy, nevertheless, I am so cognizant about my professional conduct that does not allow me to invade the privacy of any community member or organization.

With regards to expressing one’s views, it should be noted that keeping your argument in check with one’s privacy is a prerequisite of freedom of speech. This means that a writer, an activist, or any other concerned person in the community or outside should not interfere or invade one’s privacy just like the case of Nyalong Ngong Deng and her families. I would like to acknowledge that freedom of expression is fundamentally important, but it requires every profession to consult the concerned elders or community before making any information public. (more…)

By Mabil Manyok Nhial, Gweru, Zimbabwe

Corruption genesis

Sunday, December 30, 2018 (PW) — I have, with an iota of audacity and unflinching certitude, been telling a plethora of my cronies that this world is sadly standing in between a black devil and a deep blue sea of aversion. It has always been my strong conviction that there is no shortcut to modernity as our young people hurriedly take a dim lit path to what they wantonly call ‘civilisation.’ I am not always ashamed of vetoing anything that touches morality, which is supposedly a fulcrum of secular values. Being a strict defender of morality has given me a laudatory epithet ‘RIGID MORALIST’ as my colleagues oftentimes dub me.

Human life militates against three pillars namely culture, religion and most importantly, the law. These three pilasters on which every society leans, must, as a matter of  living truth, be jealously observed with a hefty amount of reverence. A society, which doesn’t live up to these three stanchions has indubitably triturated itself with a kamikaze effrontery. It is trite that our own world is getting mad every day in every way as a society so chooses to bend or even jettison one or all its standing stones; the societal values. Hasn’t it opted to be in a devilmaycare state?

The definition of marriage has traditionally been silhouetted. Marriage has since time immemorial been defined as a legally or socially recognised union between a man and a woman, which establishes rights and obligations between those spouses. This means that any definition that falls outside the ambit of this classical definition is as good as anything placed on nothing! (more…)

By Morris Madut Kon, Kyoto, Japan

Pyramid Continental Hotel

Pyramid Continental Hotel, Juba, South Sudan; photo by Emmanuel Ariech Deng


Monday, June 25, 2018 (PW) — Japan is regarded as one of the world’s most innovative nations. Its dominant automobile industries lead in the developed world and their auto-products are conspicuously present in all the corners of the earth; from the famous Pennsylvania Avenue of Washington DC to Ayien Amuol Village of Twic State, “the car in front is always a Toyota”. Needless to say, Japan hasn’t always been where it is today, and their enterprises haven’t always been successful, not until they decided to incorporate the idea of “Kaizen Philosophy” or “continuous improvement” and the FIVE “S” in their management systems…and as we shall see below, South Sudan enterprises, like the rest of the world, have a lot to learn from this philosophy.

The 5S method is a tool for continuous improvement in “lean management” processes, whose task is to create a highly efficient, clean, and comfortable working environment. It is a collection of 5 simple guidelines that allows you to control the workplace visually. Enshrined in Japanese philosophy, the 5S tool encompasses five basic elements: Seiri (selection), Seiton (systematization), Seiso (shining), Seiketsu (standardization) and Shitsuke (self-discipline). (more…)

Wrestling, Politics, Contradictions and Solutions in Jonglei State

By Junior William Deng, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania


Friday, May 18, 2018 (PW) — Jieng nation is variably blessed with uncountable ways of expressing happiness or various social aspects of athleticism and artistry; ranging from wrestling, singing, high jump, bat game, dancing and more. Without wasting time beating about the bush, this article gives analyses on “traditional wrestling”. I called it traditional wrestling because it is largely crudely organized by communities and not enterprises like WWE, FIFA organizations or NBA in the Americas. South Sudanese communities are not organized to give wrestling economic value for the betterment of social, economic and political growth. This means that wrestling in Jieng sportsmanship is not economical, it is rather an empty vessel that generates sense of belonging to the community to whom a wrestler is born and source of group pride – in fact a consequential pride.

  1. Jieng Understanding of Wrestling

There are a variety of meanings of wrestling but according to Biordit Aguer, “wrestling is a residue of fighting.”  This gives us direct understanding of what wrestling is about. As we get it from the above definition, it tells us that the two individuals or more who are involved in wrestling do it bitterly tussling over who should win it. It is not full blown fighting but it perpetually generates unhealthy communal feelings leading to repulsive precipitation of social frictions. It also tells us that conducting wrestling requires customary law governing the conduct, exercise, behavior and attitudes of social parties involved. Since fighting is not a luxury among the Jieng people, wrestling should not be mobilized by elders and leaders, it should be understanding between wrestlers and camps that accompany the wrestlers but rested on rules and law. (more…)

By Ang’ok Arok Got, Eldoret, Kenya

young girl with a gun

A young lady with a gun on guard during Governor Philip Aguer visit to Anyidi payam, Bor County, Jan 2016

February 17, 2018 (SSB) — I know vividly that by the time I finish typing the last word of this article and post it, I will have lost 1001 friends especially ladies. Call me a prejudice, call me a mongoloid, call me a dwarf, call me a traitor, call me a male chauvinist, call me all those sorts of names you think are barbaric, those big hee vocabularies you can think of, but alas! I will not conceal the truth from thee thy Kingdom Come. I have pondered over this topic for so long. You might go numb with series of plethora thoughts but truth and transparency are a formidable combination that encompasses a human life cycle. Insects can either have a complete or incomplete metamorphosis but humans tend to live their thousand life cycles in one lifetime. There we go ladies;

Dear ladies, how dare have you misunderstood and misinterpreted the term “civilization” and totally camouflaged from our own culture and customs, moral values and behavior, self-respect and family dignity to this weird and lackluster kind of lifestyle of the foreign people? I suppose you screen the foreign culture from your colonizers and take with you what is good to make home a better place of stay, rich with ideologies beautifully crafted from your own ideas and knowledge combined. I swear you people will die as copies due to those stupid minds which make you copy everything you come across. That you are civilized ladies, civilized ladies of the modern era, “civilized ladies”, my foot.


By Deng Akok Muoradid, Juba, South Sudan      

Taban Deng in YUAI

Taban Deng Ghai with top army officers of the SPLM-IO in Yuai, Greater Akobo area, January 2018

February 8, 2018 (SSB) — In South Sudan, there is no culture which condones corruption, criminality, selfishness, prostitution and indecent dressing. All the cultures of the 64 tribes never tolerate corruption, indecent dressing, greediness or any act of crime and that is why the people were in peace among themselves during the pre-independent period.

The South Sudanese in the pre-independent period were God-fearing people and they were well administrated by their respective kings and chiefs compared to the current situation in which some citizens have reached the level of undermining God. South Sudanese cultures are the best among all the cultures in the world and they are in accordance with the Holy Bible because bible itself doesn’t allow the people to corrupt the public resources, dress half naked or practice prostitution.

However, the introduction of western culture has put our cultures under the threat of extinction and some have already extinct. In addition, the life difficulties that were created by the current austerity and inequality in the distribution of public resources have forced our people to turn into robbers, others are killing their brothers because of the cattle, others are corrupting the public resources to satisfy their needs, others are abducting other people’s children, others have become gangs and drunkards in order to forget the conditions that are facing them, our ladies have joined prostitution and some of them have bleached their skins to attract the wealthy people.


By Deng Akok Muoradid, Juba, South Sudan

The Wedding of Amer Mayen Dhieu and Makwei Mabioor Deng, 14 October 2017

The Wedding of Amer Mayen Dhieu and Makwei Mabioor Deng, 14 October 2017

February 2, 2018 (SSB) — The indigenous people of Jieng Community define the word “marriage” as a relationship between the two clans of the couples, which totally contradicts with the white man’s definition. The Jieng’s definition of the word “marriage” has been in implementation since BC till the signing of CPA in 2005 that marked the introduction of salaries inform of currency and the use of luxurious vehicles and buildings.

In Dinka perspective, to marry a woman does not mean separating her from her relatives but it means creating a permanent relationship between the two clans and this explains why a man always cooperates with his in-laws throughout his life. Even in case of an emergency death of the man, the responsibility of looking after the family is taken over by his in-laws and the same thing is applied by the man in case of any emergency death of his father-in-law.

The marriage in Jieng community is very unique from any marriage in any community. It is also more systematic and understandable than the modern marriage. The view of the woman, her elder uncle and the senior clan elder are first considered before both sides sit down in kraal (luak) to agree on the number of cows to be paid as a bride price.


By Philip Thon Aleu, Juba, South Sudan

girl child education

Let’s educate our girls

January 24, 2018 (SSB) — In most traditional South Sudanese families, a girl’s future was decided mainly by parents and male siblings. Boys enjoy some autonomy in making choices – from early sexual education to choosing a future wife and earning a living by any means (being cattle raiding, stealing from relatives, any coercive channels or through an honest accumulation of wealth like rearing cattle, tending a garden or hunting.)

In contrast, girls were strictly prohibited from unauthorized boyfriends, sexual partners, barred and highly restricted from engaging in activities that garner incomes and their future was nearly 90% determined by their fathers, brothers and other male relatives. Mothers also ensured their daughters follow community’s accepted norms. A girl who resisted this highly controlled life has to rebel. She was cursed, disowned and subjected to extreme conditions including punishments causing death. A good girl is that who does not have sex anyhow but wait until marriage. She can be a fool, arrogant but being a virgin was sure deal to brag about and place her at the top in the community.


He was a great guy. Lovely, adorable, cute and handsomely awesome. The first time I saw him, my heart beats faster than normal. He squarely stole my heart on that very first sight. He is superbly mature, in mind and in the body. He is a guy who all ladies would want to be with. A guy you can never take your eyes off him when you look at him. This guy was solely my guy but as I talk to you now, everything has ended in jeopardy.  I hate him now, I hate him tomorrow and I hate him forever. This is a tale of a lady who divorces in three days after the honeymoon. Here is what she told me about her so called “lover”

Peter Okello – Human Rights Activist and Political Journalist

Peter Okello – Human Rights Activist and Political Journalist

July 24, 2017 (SSB) — It was a year ago when I met this guy in Juba grand hotel around three o’clock on Saturday. I was with my colleagues, just going out on a weekend vibes as usual. My friend Achang, left me shortly to receive her boyfriend who was at the hotel main gate. I was there seated waiting for her to come back.

Just in a blink of an eye, this guy who later called himself Johnny appeared from nowhere and ask me if I could allow him to seat beside me. I look at him, beginning from his legs to his forehead, he wasn’t bad at all. He is smart, cute and handsome.  Not to shame to the devil, I allowed him to the seat.

Guess what happened after he sat? This guy asks for my names, can you imagine! A total whole stranger asking for my names, wonders shall never end! Anyway, I had to tell him my names after he insisted for long. This after knowing my names, he started asking me if I could drink Blue moon and I diligently told him that I don’t drink but will try it in my honeymoon time. He said really, and I was like, yeah!


By Zack Mayul, Nairobi, Kenya

SPLM reunification3

SPLM Reunification: President Museveni meets President Kiir and G-10 leaders in Kampala

July 24, 2017 (SSB) — With this generation, some parents will either break down this brick built mind ideology of over pricing their daughters, or ‘sell’ them off at a throw away bride price or maybe, to take what is available in the hand if they are not willing for yearly installments.

As far as am concern about this generation, where my brothers run away from responsibilities, and where the entire community toil to sponsor one son to study. How is it even necessary to satisfy one’s need before that of the people he wants to help? Where does self-actualization goal come in here?

Through struggle from primary, high school, and at the university, this boy has been helped by his father and mother in the village, brother in the USA, and his sister if there is any. Aside from that, cousins, uncles, or aunties have been giving a hand into making him a scholar, too.

When he graduates and get a job, all these people will all look up to him to divide his salary into equal halves. Apart from salaries, they will expect him to marry a decent girl from a known family because this is what the community requires him to do. A girl whose her father had been a wrestler, chief, or a traditional lawyer, or maybe a neighbor if he is lucky.


Have you ever gone out with your boyfriend, just to chillax during the weekend at the riverside or in a classy hotel and then, when time for paying bills comes, your guy starts to pay for you or you boarded a taxi and this guy of yours claims to be paying everything and anything that your fingers had laid on, Ladies … “this gorgeous guy is controlling every second of your breath in his palms” Don’t allow your guy to pay for you, Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t allow your man to pay for your bills in a golden plate.

By Peter Okello, Juba, South Sudan


Sabina Dario Lokolong, deputy minister for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Nov 2011

July 22, 2017 (SSB) — Today, many people question the validity and viability of relationship and openly wonder if it should continue to be esteemed as the bedrock of modern social development. Ladies are habitually becoming the first hand victims than usual as men claims all the million responsibilities in this modern society.

What is the reason as to why your man wanted to be paying all the house bills, studying fees, transportation fares, lunch bills, cinema or games tickets, all the time, why? Why are you so reluctant to object his claims of being “Mr. responsible guy?

Listen ladies … men pretend to be very clever and they will tend to find many ways to persuade you so that you fall into their traps. There is no problem with your man paying bills but the mountain problem here is “he could be acting as being a nice and a responsible man now but in future trust me, this man of yours will starts excuses” just wait and you will see!

Well the world is a global village right now. So if your man is abroad or within Africa, you have nothing to worry about. You can call your man anytime and video chat with him. You have this sophisticated gadgets, don’t you? You own IPhone 7, Samsung 8, Techno 6 or Techno 6 plus, Black Berry, Sony Erickson, Infinix or Huawei phone.



Posted: July 19, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan, Peter Okello, Socio-Cultural

By Peter Okello, Juba, South Sudan

ladies can say I love you too


July 19, 2017 (SSB) — Did you ever fall in love? Have you ever seen this gorgeous-handsome guy, and his marvelous face glued to your mind! When you saw a guy and immediately your heart start beating so warmly, lady … you are invited by a beautiful friend called love!

Love can take place anywhere and everywhere. You can fall in love with anyone, anytime. You saw him at the movie theatre right, along the street perhaps, in the award winning concerts, or in a class lectures session, at the weekend party galore … wait a minute, you might have seen him in the public transport and that got you thinking!!!

You look at him, then you start imagining. Wow! This guy! This handsome-gorgeous guy. You can’t afford to turn your eyes off him, can you? All your mind wanted to know is to look at him, keep starring at him, just a little longer.

Love is not an act … it is a feeling. Where is it written in the Bible or Quran that it is a duty of a man to say I love you? I guess not. If I am wrong, then proof me wrong!


By Chol Luka Awan, Juba, South Sudan


Sabina Dario Lokolong, deputy minister for humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Nov 2011

January 5, 2017 (SSB) — Our people have had a very wrong perception about the educated girls or those who have gone to school. It has been and it is still a burden to most girls and really an abuse for them. After staying in schools for years till their late twenties or possibly thirties, they are misjudged by the public most especially the illiterate ones who are considered in today’s modern and traditional marriages.

To call a spade a spade but not a big spoon, they are said to be prostitutes, spoilt and old. They have been also falsely believed that when they are hurt after marriage, they immediately run for a divorce with an excuse that they are fit to survive anywhere since they possess their academic documents.

Though the public’s perception about educated girls may have an atom of the truth at some circumstances, I absolutely disagree in the following ways. As we understand very well that the world is growing daily into a better modern one, there is a high demand and a struggle to marry educated girls so that it becomes much easier to catch up with the speedy world of modernity.


Barely a minute into start, the wrestling match ended inconclusively: Is it a draw or a cancellation?

November 19, 2016 (SSB) — The highly anticipated wrestling match between Gaduate Gongic Achiek Nai from Adol, Kolnyang payam of Bor County and Simba/President Magot Khot Ajak of Abiong (Ajuong), Maar payam of Twic East County,  what Philip Thon Aleu called “half a century wrestling match“, has ended inconclusively, with rival supporters debating whether it was a draw or a cancellation.

Traditionally, a wrestling round is about 3 minutes, but this one was halted about a minute into the match mainly because of some injuries sustained within the 1-minute interval. Graduate Gongic ended up with broken teeth while President Magot had a bleeding head. Possibly, in the heat of the moment, Gongic accidentally hit his teeth at Magot’s head, or conversely, Magot hit his head against Gongic’s teeth. See the clip (from Deng Dinka) above for more details and your own analysis and judgment.


By Kuol Mayiir and Andrew Gai, Australia

RSS at Rio

South Sudanese at the Olympic game, Rio, Brazil

August 8, 2016 (SSB) — As over 200 countries converge on Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics Games, there is one country that has never been there before and that country is the Republic of South Sudan. The historic appearance of South Sudan in the world’s most populous and biggest event came after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) accepted it as its 206th member nation in August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.

Many South Sudanese around the world who were fortunate to see their country’s flag passing through the magnificent Maracanã Stadium during the opening ceremony, would have been filled with mix emotions; considering how far their country has come and the resilience of their athletes.

Participating in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio give South Sudanese something to celebrate under one banner (the flag) since December 2013 when the country went back to war against itself. One would hope that South Sudanese stop in-fighting for a moment and observe this historic occasion.


By William Abur, Melbourne, Australia

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July 31, 2016 (SSB) —  I’m writing this piece of advice to my own South Sudanese people in Diaspora and particularly in Australia. People can take it or leave it, it is an intellectual advice. I’m pointing out the few problems that are sitting with us in Australia as community and lack of considerable of some good values in our culture as South Sudanese people.

It is about maintaining your own culture, values, and moral as people from the South Sudan. We had witnessed incredible and difficulties in our lives, but we also had witnessed incredible opportunities in our lives as individuals and as the community at large.

Our people migrated to a different part of the world, including Australia, a country where I’m living in as I’m writing this piece of message. There is what called freedom in Australia, a freedom which we literately mistake understood because we were misinformed by the people who were providing services for us.


By Riak Marial Riak, Juba, South Sudan

girl child education

Let’s educate our girls

June 30, 2016 (SSB) — Father will I be sleeping a lone in the room for this quite long? Tell me my father; if this life is good for your son, Wadas questioned his father. My son I built the hut for you, what do you want that I should give you for a roommate, see the beautiful carpets I have bought for you, see the beautiful beddings in your room, what do you want my son that I should give you? His father said…..

My father I want someone to be around me, solitude is killing me, and birds’ mockery had satisfied my flesh, and always loneliness in the house, what do you think I am my father? Do you see me like an oasis that animals use to quench their thirst? Tell me if I am your son that you had sacrificed for live-days in the jungle of silence and solitude; tell me you the father of my sister Wadas said…..

I have last in your talking known that you want someone to appease you, someone to take over your stress, someone to quench your appalling heart, isn’t so? I have understood my son that you need a roommate to share with you words, to meditate together with you. Put me on top son, your father will call back your lovely brother whom you shared words together when both of you were still young, I know you’ll love it son, his father said……