LIFE IN JUBA

By Tearz Ayuen

Hehe. What’s happening in Juba right now reminds me of one evolution theory that I learnt about in high school. Or was it primary school? Damn. My memory is dull. Or have I aged already? I didn’t like biology, anyway. I’m talking about survival of the fittest.

Life’s getting harder in Juba. To survive, some non-Barkazeel are now learning how to speak thong Barkazeel (Dinka Rek dialect). Hehe. Let me explain.

This crisis has affected every citizen in one way or another. Domino effect unarguably applies here.

In South Sudan, specifically in Juba, economy is dying. Others would say it’s already dead. Businesses are collapsing. Others have already collapsed, dead and RIPed.

Market prices, like Jesus in Jewish mythology, have ascended. You would need a telescope to see some of them. Again, some basic market commodities are scarce. Thanks to US dollars. Fuel is hoarded by oil dealers. Some people have parked their cars. They walk to work. Others have sold their vehicles at throw-away prices to meet other living costs.

Irrespective of all that, salary remains the same. People are desperate, broke. Those who were able to afford a beer bottle before just can’t afford now.

Rich businessmen and senior government officials who used to pelt friends and relatives with bundles of money for fun have changed their phone numbers.

Others have moved to hotels. Why? To avoid platoons of relatives who keep knocking on their doors to tell them stories about their own problems.

Virtues and values are gone. And honesty is the first casualty. And this is widespread in the business community. Cheating, especially amongst businesspeople, is on the rise. Friends are setting up friends in fake deals. Some have been jailed for failing to repay huge amounts in loan. That’s the general state of affairs.

I don’t know why some of non-Barkazeel are undergoing dialectical assimilation right now but think about Aristotle’s’ deductive reasoning. I believe Barkazeel monopolize public money, power and influence.

In order to get a business deal, a contract, one needs to get close to or use some influential friend from there to push for it. To get into his or her head, you need to bribe him psychologically – appease him. So, speak some Apuk or Aguok or Awan Chan or Kuach, speak your way to big fat government deals. Lol. ‘Aye wentui’ ‘Mith apol?’ ‘Ci bak?’ ‘Kontrak dan awar to kedi?’ lol!

***

Recently, a scuffle between a pedestrian and a motorist caused a huge scene in Juba, along Tombura Road. A man charged at a Nissan X-trail driver, reached for his throat and dragged him out of the car, head-butted him right in the nose, turning it into a blood tap. He beat him into a one-minute coma.

People rushed in and pulled him away. When asked why, he shamelessly said: “He refused to let me cross.” And he walked off. Really?

The driver cut off the man from crossing the road, according to eyewitnesses. As fate would have it, a traffic jam built up just about 200 meters away from the point the would-be attacker tried to cross.

So, the driver slowed down and eventually come to a complete halt. He was just there, seated in the car, in the jam, listening to music. And that’s when the man descended.

Why would I fight a motorist for ignoring my signal to allow me to cross the road? What amount of anger?

I’m not saying that the attacker had some sort of bad-economy-induced-trauma but you never know. With these crises, economic crisis, to be particular – everyone is getting his or her share, in one way or another. It comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors.

If this general situation persists, though, some of us surely will relocate to the UN camps in order to get free meals. Lol.

***

However, as young people who do not wish to see or imagine this country come down to its knees in the nearest future, we tend to refuse to acknowledge the negative impact of the SPLM war of seats has had on the people of South Sudan as a whole.

Irrespective of the dying economy that comes as a result of ever wanting leadership, we still tend to make others, particularly the anti-government brothers, believe that the war hasn’t affected us in anyway – that everything is alright.

We still dress up smartly, hop into our rickety Japanese-made SUVs and sedans, and drive to work places just like before. We still crack jokes with our colleagues in office as we work.

As youth – Nuer, Bari, Shilluk, Dinka, name it – we still gather at nearby food joints whereby we dip our fingers in the same dishes as colleagues. In the evening, we offer lift to friends or colleagues.

We still worship our nightlife. On weekends, we put on tight outfits and dash to our favorite joints – The Mask, Signature, Nile Secret, Panafric, etc – where we try to dance, drink and smoke away the realities of South Sudan.

Tearz of Economy © 2015

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s