By Jon Pen de Ngong
Gai Mayen Luk takes over as South Sudanese students’ leader in the University of Nairobi! The inauguration for the South Sudan Students’Association in the Universitumy of Nairobi (SSSANU) took place on Sunday, 25 February 2018, in one of the university’s halls.
I knew he would do that. Gai is one of the youngest South Sudanese students who has gone ahead of his age in conducts, speech and actions. He is always the winner in a very kind and creative way. He is one of the AFTABOSS Internet’ional’s 3 bloggers of the year 2017.
For the first time, he could be the first government critic to win the SSSANU chair, and this shows true politics; winning the hearts of the voters and not their pockets like I have been seeing with many student association leaders who promise their voters on government grants. One of the students told me how this soft-spoeken law student approached them and asked to lead their without ebticing offers but his manifesto. He said they were impressed.
As for me, I was impressed the first time Gai asked to meet and greet me in Nairobi downtown. He said I inspired him a great deal abd that he is my zealot. I immediately developed a close watch on him and was satisfied he would make such a refined young leader. Gai is below his 30s!
As usual, I witnessed the Education Attache demanding association’s reports from the SSSAK leaders, and had to remind them that student organizations are by law part of civil society, not government. They should instead write project proposals to NGOs and take part in community development initiatives like peace activism, not raw politics.
In my message on the ongoing HLRF process and the campaign hashtagged #SouthSudanIsWatching, I encouraged the student leaders to be writing position papers to IGAD, AU, UN, etc. and not congratulatory letters to some foreign president-elects and pro-government protests against the interests of the people of South Sudan.
I read a poem, ‘South Sudan Is Watching’ from my book, The Eased Africa I Want, and promised them myvreturn to the same hall for a book signing and career guidance day.
Well, I was not the main speaker. The guest speakers were Marial Dongrin of KCB and Dicho Elizabeth, Education Attache from South Sudan Embassy, both of whom are PhD students in the University of Nairobi. They spoke wise counsel from their fields of expertise into the attentive audience.
After the few remarks, I led them in closing prayer for success in their student leadership and careers and then the attainment of sustainable peace and good leadership in our country.