​I am not a Turuk: I am a South Sudanese to the Core

By Ayen Deng

In the last week, everywhere I go I sit peacefully doing my work, or reading a book or walking by, getting on with my business because I have a lot to achieve.

When they see me (mostly guys) clearly getting on with my own things, they come to try to make me feel inadequate, or as if something is wrong with reading a book. In a place where people gossip too much and focus on other people’s business, I think they are the ones with the problems.

They have the audacity to come and tell me I am a ‘Turuk’ or a foreigner. Am  I black or pink? Don’t I obviously look like a south Sudanese? I am dark like the night and I am 6′ 3. I have been here, serving my nation in many capacities,  I have been here in South Sudan, through thick and thin, in war and in peace. Heck, I believe I deserve a medal.

One of my rural superiors from the days back in Khartoum, who should have been civilized enough, called me to his restaurant just to give me a back-handed insult disguised as concern. My spirit told me did not hace to stay but I entertained him, anyway.

I was only through 5 percent of the Aradep (tamarind) juice when he threw three very insulting comments within the space of three minutes, one insult per minute. This elderly gentleman, who had previously uttered defamatory information about me, was really trying to annoy me, as I drank that tangy Aredep.

With my pinkie sticking out of the pint glass, I carefully placed the glass on the table said, “Thank you! Much as I am a turuk, watch me not entertain you. This is not a nuugara, ‘bul ë Jieng’ or a traditional dance field whereby any man can just climb on nerves of every lady passing their way. I will not entertain you, time is money and I don’t have time to waste.”

I had to refrain from calling them villagers.  If someone bullies me for being a Turuk (a deragatory word for a metro naive of folks experiences), then I have the right to call them villagers.

I am so comfortable in my own skin nowadays. That people come trying to piss me off means they leave pissed off, themselves. Live and let be, be yourself. Whatever judgements pronounced on me is due to their limited thinking and, in fact, those who judge others are preparing a judgement for themselves.

Whoever goes around only to inform a comfortable person that they should not be comfortable with how their life is going, is nothing but a busybody. Only those who are uncomfortable with their own lives need to focus outwards.

I see people are very co-dependent. I haven’t had that luxury, and that’s why I liken my self to Joseph in the Bible. I am a co- dependent to God.  He has protected me every step of the way, Jesus You a Lord over my life.

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