The Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, who presided at the independence of his country half a century ago, once said:
“Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?”
South Sudan gained its independence in 2011 and took its place among the international community of nations as a free and sovereign state. Nascent and unprepared for the challenges ahead, our nation found itself both empowered and impoverished. Undeterred, South Sudanese both in the homeland and in Diaspora bathed in the exuberance of liberty. The promise of half a century’s sacrifice was finally realised and all that lay ahead was a peace dividend that all would share.
In such an atmosphere the dark clouds gathering in the distant horizon could be easily ignored. For with independence, the common enemy that bound our disparate nation of nations – our commonwealth of tribes – was in an instant gone, and old animosities, grievances and unforgotten feuds gradually resurfaced.
South Sudan now stands at a cross roads. In these coming years the future of our nation must be decided. We citizens must develop a narrative that tells the story of our nation. A narrative that reminds us of our fundamental principles. A narrative that speaks of our hopes and aspirations. A narrative that helps us chart our direction of travel.
“At the heart of our mass co-operation networks, you will always find fictional stories that exist only in people’s collective imagination… There are no gods, no nations, no money and no human rights, except in our collective imagination.” – Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
And so it falls upon each and every one of us who would call themselves South Sudanese to decide what it means to be a CITIZEN of our Republic.
This blog is a space for constructive debate on the current affairs of South Sudan. Through discussion of our nation’s challenges, successes and failures , it aims to help us answer this question for ourselves.
So please feel welcome. Wipe your feet before you enter and leave abusive talk at the door. And remember, there are no sacred cows on this blog – anything and anyone can be challenged.