By Jon Pen
When your friend’s gift turns into a bomb! And the airport geeks be like those Greeks have manufactured a perfume grenade!
I explained that it contained only sweet-smelling liquid, and he was like, “Who knows you’re smuggling in a ‘liquid bomb’?
The rest of the drama is in ‘My Khartoum Diary’, a 24-day record of my funny experiences in Sudan.
This also makes a poem ‘My Liquid Grenade’ in my upcoming ‘poetography’ entiled ‘BEING TRAVELSOME’: From 1989 To 2019′, a partly poetry and prose narration of my Liberation Activism for 30 years.
‘My Khartoum Diary’ aside, the poetic half of this book kicks off with my Red Army (village school) mobilization song of 1990, entitled: IT WILL SIT INTO TWO! And its prophetic chorus (in Dinka) goes:
“This country of ours, we will negotiate it through the barrel of AK47, If it fails, it will split into two. We will negotiate it through the barrel of a pen, if it fails, it will split into two…”!
The next poem in the first chapter was our live presentation to Pope John Paul II in Gulu in February 1993. I was one of the 5 bare-footed, rib-protruding, half-naked, boy activists that travelled from Palotaka (Eastern Equatoria) to northern Uganda with a handwritten petition and a tear-shedding song, both reporting the behaviour of Antonov and Omar Al Bashir in our Grang-held territories.
It has this chorus: “We Are The Poorest Ones, Forgotten Ones (X2). We Are Children Of Sudan (X2). We Are Children Of South Sudan!”
Take note, the last line does not say ‘SouthERN Sudan’, so the idea of our independence ran in our minds against John Garang’s SPLM vision of liberating the Sudan wholesale.
“BEING TRAVELSOME: From 1989 To 2019” will be released in January next year, to mark the 3 decades of my Activism for Freedom in the Sudan and South Sudan.
This grenade thingy is important for introducing my first autobiography book today because it reminds me of the wooden grenade (real) that I had ‘borrowed’ from some SPLA arsenal storekeeper and hid in the bottom of my sorghum-nylon hand-crafted bag for 3 years in Palotaka…in case we were attacked in our sleep!