Five Reasons I had to boycott ‘my birthday’ and spell Christmas ‘Christmess!’
‘The day you die is better than the day you are born,” says King Solomon, Ecclesiastes 7:7; and “It is
better to go to the home where there is a funeral than to that where there is a party”. So I went for the home where there was a funeral. The funeral was not that of Isaiah Abraham’s, which I had attended four times and still would want to attend if it were arranged 40 times! Definitely, finding myself among the thousands of the minions that attnded the last prayerful funeral in Juba on December 16, 2012, I have become a subscriber to the wisdom that is insinuated in the context found in the pretext of the death day – and not the birthday – being the best day. To further justify this, compare how many celebrants knew — leave alone attended — his birthday, and I will tell you how many attended his death day this year.
Un/fortunately, those full fools do not know that the best way to kill a writer fighter as such is by allowing him to live to die by nature. By facilitating his death by nurture, they have ignorantly promoted the lowly Isaiah Abraham from zero to hero and immediately shortlisted him in the company of the die-to-live fighters. This list is topped by Christ, Martin Luther King Jr., Garang…and still counting! Historically, he is the first Pen Martyr of the Republic of South Sudan.
I believe by now the bunch has realized that it is counterproductive to shoot people down in order to shut them up. Ironically, the more we are shot down the more we are shot up! Why not try this alternative: shout the opinion shouters down so that they shut up? Peaceful means, I mean. But then, the funniest story of the year is the government (police) forgot to include teargas in their previous years’ budget! Hope the same will not repeat in 2013 if they want to avoid repeating the 1965 Wau massacre in 2012. Oops, sorry, I was talking about why I boycotted my own very best day. It was not only because of Isaiah Abraham’s funeral.
The funeral I alluded in The Bible above is the death of the great year, 2012 itself, and the dearth of the freedom there of! The year has been killed; swept away by the ignorant rant of our politicians. She was killed by shooters of our information sources and looters of our economic resources. therefore, I beg that the year be cancelled with all its events and its victims counselled and consoled with the new events of 2013. I mean I want not a scare; what I want is care in the new year. Adieu 2012!
As I tried to pace away from Facebook in order to face my Faith-book this Christmas, I was confronted with a stark spark of wisdom against ‘witchdom’ – an ethical urge to not celebrate the birth of mine or of my Friend’s, but to deliberate on the death of our friends, the dearth of our freedom and of our knowledge. Woe to those jubilant Jubans, those who are jubilating for their own reasons during the humiliating season our country is trudging through. Woe to them who are slumbering when the innocent citizens of this country are lumbering through austerity: austerity of information, austerity of knowledge, austerity of freedom, austerity of the economy!
However hard I tried to avoid external attractions and personal distractions in an attempt to pray away any apocalyptic noise that might sound like a ‘big bang’ before the midnight of December 21, 2012, my Facebook friends were already celebrating and congratulating me on my 33rd (just guessing) birthday and forced me to remember that December 22 was my birth day, not my best day, though. They forcefully feasted on nothing but nice words on my ‘wall’, not knowing I was glaring at a blurring wall somewhere at the bank of the Nile. I didn’t say ‘Nile Bank’, for we are only associated with word bank, not World Bank, sort of transactions in our new country.
Yes, we write for fun, not for funds. For instance, no perpetual reader of this blog would ever testify that they have sighted my pun for fun elsewhere in the newspaper out there. We write for a ride. And we write just because it is our right to write. Alas, our country is tragically wading back into our bloody history of liberation during which the leadership seemed allergic to an intellectual point of view. Hope my fellow witnesses of the war would understand what I am referring to. Those who claimed to apply conventional knowledge in the bush are not partakers of the current government today. But they are the chapter one of our history.
“Merry Christmas and Happy Birth Day Buddy!” says one friend 12 hours before my physics clock clicked 22 and beforre my biology clock clicked 33! Indeed, the world is round! Unfortunately, Uncles do not agree with this geographical physics, which was denied them by history during the classroom days. Just as some of the excuse addicts believe Facebook was designed by an opposition group based in Khartoum, they think journalists and writers are born to oppose, hence, end up demobilizing us from supporting them! Alright, but my concern is on the pair of words: ‘merry and happy’ and ‘birthday and Christmas’.
In the first place, this Christmas is not very important; it is very impotent as I shall explain later. Then, I am not a happy man this month. Two, I am not sure if I was born on the 355th day of a year (Dec. 22). Why? If the government could legally fake homogenous birth dates for all the 8 million South Sudanese (January 1), why would my elder brother not forge a date for his now literate junior born of an illiterate mother? I mean, they just described the day I was born as two nights before the day of the great march of the end of the year (that anonymous year). And the great march could either mean Christmas or any political gathering of that time. So it could be right, could be wrong. And even if wrong, then why for Heaven’s sake did Christ, his Father and other family members such as the Holy Ghost, have to put up with the day that seems to have been made up by men other than themselves: December 25? Compusorily, I am a human being, characterised by both process of nature and nurure. Therefore, by nature, I demand an origin since a man without a birth date is like a cylinder without a bottom seal. It holds nothing apart from being used or abused by dancers by beating it up on the closed top end so that it is sonorous, for nothing! So if Jesus and millions of the South Sudanese minions are not even sure of their birth dates, would it amount to a sin if I postponed ‘my day’ sometime and save some dime?
Reason No. 2: And save some dime! So it was. I hope I am clear if I leave it at that point, except to somebody who does not know that Mr. Santa (does this sound like Salva?) is no longer these days a dollar donor like he used to be those days. Hmm, the Austerity Authority sent the ‘salaries’ to the bank on the last day of the week prior to Xmas (making it an Ex-mass) in South Sudan. And, of course, we had to be law-abiding citizens, so the three days of waiting for the money to ‘mature’ had be observed, which fell on December 25. This is when the Kenyan banks’ tellers are telling their tales in the villages and their managers feasting on chickens in Nairobi. So, God, let there be January as immediately as the boxing day! Amen?
Of course, a many times money does not buy happiness. So even if I were a salary earner of GOSS (that is my Vision Twenty20!), I would not celebrate. I said before that I would deliberate why we had to liberate. To celebrate the ghost liberation calls for a serious deliberation by the host of that birth day ceremony. Thank God, the ceremony was hosted – correction: I say ‘ghosted’ – on Facebook! And thanks to Mark Zuckerburg, the 28-year old American boy, who made billions of dollars by his classroom invention; this stupid thing called Facebook, just because his government has given them an open-source nation in which creativity is not dreaded as national security threat but threaded to the national economy grid. Why for hell’s sake would somebody warn me ‘not to publish that poetry book because we hear it has some elements that insult the government?’ And who is the government? And what is it? I think somebody has edited the Washington’s definition of the democracy as ‘the government of a people, by a people and for a people’, and ‘a people’ here is classified by the benefits.Point number 5: It is utterly disappointing that our own peoples’ liberation government has resorted into putting a girth to our liberties in a month regarded as a host to ceremonies for the birth of great liberators, Christ included. In this 12th year of the third millennium, what is there to commemorate in its 12th month? Well, I had prepared to celebrate our annual literacy event, namely book fair and book affair or book expo and book launch on 12-12-12, had it not turned into a mourning moment after our fallen comrade, Isaiah Abraham, was three days there in the bottom of the earth. So who else, beside his assassins, would celebrate a writers’ best day and a friend’s birth day on a colleague’s death day? What I am aware of right now is not the day of my birth nor that of Jesus’, but the day of my friend’s death, which symbolizes the death of my freedom, hence the dearth of my knowledge.
Therefore, this Christmas has been messed. It is a Christmess! Period.
The Black Christs of Africa,
By J. Penn de Ngong.
at this end
glad to spend
not, but to send
You this fruity tree;
I am sending for free,
In the name of The Big Three.
Reminder: this is called Christmas,
Be very careful lest you call it Christmess!
As others go to church, others go to maze or mess.
Get set for a holy mass on the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Whoever shall use or misuse it will in a big way be surprised!
Come such is a big day by which you will in any way be recognized.
In other words, I insist, not by Christmess you enter my feathery heart.
In other worlds, I intercede that by Christmas you enter my Fatherly Hut,
But not without prior warning lest on an opaque mind thou shall be hurt!
This is the season in which every creation puts their neck in the noose;
when from the year’s toil trying to snooze
Or from the year’s spoil trying to booze.
But the magi will think of a special gift;
Then, of their age, a balance of the shift.
Oh, the world is rocking us by age adrift!
To my dear Christlets, I wish you a very Merry Christmas.
To my busybodies, I wish you all a very cheery Chris’ mass.
To my boozy buddies, I wish you all a very cherry Christmess.
Alas! And of course, for your souvenir, it’s just happing near here.
At last, to all of you – brethrens in the Lord, Amen – a very Happy New Year,
With a permanent firmament over a firm foundation that henceforth shall never shear!
It was deemed a disgrace not to get drunk at Christmas; and he was regarded as lazy indeed, who had not provided himself with the necessary means, during the year, to get whiskey enough to last him through Christmas.
Frederick Douglass (1817? – 1895)
U.S. abolitionist, writer, and orator.
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave