My peers remember very well how wining a girl’s heart in our time wasn’t that easy. You got to have a real good reputation at all social settings and personal qualities. Being Alcoholic, drug head and or a failure in school and life in general were not part of what you place on the competition table. In the back of one’s mind, you know well that there are guys out there competing with you on the real deal. Good character, hardworking, business or education-focused and future-oriented, community and social developer, things most of success-oriented girls and women are looking for. Those days, you can be talking and secretly communicating with your crush girl through beautiful and affectionate love letters, talking about the dreams of becoming great and successful and how you will make her, your queen to be, have all she ever dreamed about, exchanging gifts for years without any physical communication whatsoever. That was in our beautiful town Malakal and like it is in most of its sister cities of Sudan in 1970s through 1990s, our generation’s windows of seeing our girlfriends were either in schools, social gatherings or waking up early and lining up on those grocery markets and just to have a glimpse of seeing her while going to shop.
If she or her friends find you drunk or drugged, which was unthinkable in many ways and for many reasons in those days, leave alone using those for seducing her or harming her in anyway, it is over with you. Society and community are all like gardens, beautiful gardens, where each individual have stakes in keeping them clean, neat, healthy and beautiful. The beautiful flowers you planted today and care about on daily basis are the same flowers that would make your life happy and worth a living and those gardens (society and communities) worth a stay at. Girls are mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. Back then, mothers and grandmas first lesson to the young women was ” A girl is like an egg, once whole and compact but when she have fallen, she can’t be returned to her wholeness” this make girls protective and cautious through their whole lifetimes and in that context, alcohol, drugs and suspicious gatherings and meetings weren’t things for them, they must have their own precautions and plan Bs in place. Women are beacons of love, mercy and sacrifices and I have a strong conviction that God was a woman and for many reasons known to myself.
We all have learned the hard way in diaspora, America, Canada and Australia particularly but mistakes and bad behaviors cannot continue. By now, most of the South Sudanese who came in 1990s, either they are grandpas, grandmas, mothers and fathers or grown young people. I mean we have got people who know how life is here and can teach and help every young person how to behave or manage some difficult teenage issues. When just arrived here in mid 1990s, comparing the numbers of young people who take their lives abruptly between now and then, it is absolutely zero to 3 or 4 every 3 month in USA, Canada, Australia and elsewhere. 50% of the young people are lingering in jails or destroyed by drugs, crime and are unemployed. There must be reasons for that. Illicit Drugs use, increase in family disruption, divorce and other social issues and ills are all contributors. We say it is the system. Well, if someone designed a system to destroy you, it is your duty to design your own system to avoid to be destroyed instead of succumbing to someone’s desire and plan fully without saying “BIG NO”, defend and strengthen yourself and I don’t mean using violence here at all. Use your mind and knowledge or seek guidance, don’t abuse illicit drugs and alcohol or destroy your girlfriends or boyfriends with that, work hard so you earn and sustain your life and needs, be independent not dependent, respect the law and life, have a good attitude that will carry you through no matter what the circumstances and challenges are. America, Canada, Australia and most of diaspora that most of us became their citizens now are full of opportunities for education, businesses and tools for self development.
They have advanced technologies and tools that you can use to create great projects that you can utilize efficiently to build yourself, businesses, development projects and help our people in our birth country South Sudan. Some people back home can’t afford a meal a day, cannot afford to buy a pen and notebook, to have electricity and clean water and much more that we take for granted here. The dollar your are wasting and destroying yourself with can be a blessing to many. Don’t destroy yourself, your own and your future for just a quick and short pleasure. It will all come back to you, sooner or later, in a way or another and don’t forget that a shame induced by one person can destroy the whole community image in many ways.
Finally and most importantly, our elders in Diaspora must come together and work to address in an inclusive and rational manner the many challenges our communities in Diaspora are facing and the future of our young people. Elders have to differentiate between politics and community. The political divisions in South Sudan have affected our communities here in a major way. Before the crisis of 2013, the health and unity of our communities in Diaspora were intact, hopes were up, communal relationships were good and thriving. Our elders most be above their political differences, personal grudges and interests and look into the future, what kind of community and future they want to leave for the next generations in the Diaspora? Giving up to those challenges isn’t an option.