JUOL ‘NHOMNGEK’: AN INDEPENDENT-MINDED YOUTH OF OUR TIME


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MY ACTIVIST OF THE YEAR: this young lawyer, as his surname sounds (nhom e ngek), is an independent-minded writer (campaigner) that I have ever come to respect.
 
He is even my new role model. And it shows. So I have many reasons for this.
 
Daniel Juol is an epitome of freedom of expression and independent thinking in our hijacked generation.
 
Not only that, his sense of politeness and humility that I recorded during first encounter at Makerere University in 2015 made me mistakenly keep him on the middle rung of the rank of the average youth of our nation.
 
Wele! This is the man I can now put first, then myself later. Why this near-exaggeration praising? Let us proceed here.
 
He is self-less. Prove me wrong. Go on his Facebook profile now and compare it with mine. I almost gave up looking for his personal portrait to use with these words. He has no single article about himself or the areas of his interest: the today’s self-endearment, indirect job application writing our desperate youth are engaged in.
 
In a separate paragraph, he is not a sycophant. During these days of our country’s geographical, political, social, ethnic and economic factorisation through Salva Kiir’s ‘divide-and-ruin policy’, this graduate of law school from Makerere University could instead be now writing a chunk of junk in appreciation on “His Excellency for bestowing trust on our son by appointing him governor or minister of X or Y”. Juol is not, for he has probably a bigger agenda for our nation.
 
Look at what he is relentlessly writing about at Paanluel Wel blog. I enjoy his longreads, not because of his daredevil truthfulness but because he has given me a break from this solo fighting by writing for our suffering people. I mean, he is hero!
 
By the way, we are not ‘friends’ on Facebook nor do I know which part of Lakes States’ Community he hails from. Do I even know his marital or family status?
 
This is owing to the fact that he, Moulana Juol Nhomngek, is not using his immediate background commonly as his form of identity. Maybe because he is not interested in becoming one of the state ministers or county commissioners.
 
He even does not know that I am courteously gossiping about him and his thing here. And I have no reason to ask him in advance lest my opinion be influenced. We are talking about the quality of one’s Independence in thoughts and action. For worth or for better, writers should not seek individuals’ approvals in matters public.
 
Not even that but also I have not his contacts; no phone number, no email address, etc. Here, he will not be tagged this piece of mine for his peace of mind because I said before, he is not my Facebook friend.
 
Of course, I am discussing at length about offering selfless services to one’s country or fellow citizens. Juol does it very exemplarily.
 
My OB (our Uganda slang for ‘Old Boy’) is very youthfully useful in offering himself as a sacrificial specimen for the opposite side of our current society’s story. It is risky, but worth doing for the good of all and for one’s historical records. I pity those young men and women tucked together, in thoughts and in deeds, with the outgoing generation: in old revolutionary​ terms, the Old Guard!
 
There is this new notion, which is against our nation. The youth on endearment drive, call it sycophancy, have christened this characteristic as ‘positive thinking’. I hear appreciating any proposition by the government or rebel authorities in now means ‘serving our nation’. I call I hypocrisy. Whereas any style of criticism, even, is rebellion. Some youth once commented on Juol’s article: “He is a rebel!”
 
Hypocrisy is that situational irony whereby somebody pretends to be positive when all odds show it negative. I call it, in Chinua Achebe’s extreme terms, bootlicking. I would rather choose ‘boot clicking’. That exactly is what Juol does in his intellectual presentation.
 
Dear reader, do not think I am even praising Juol Nhomngek as a person. He is a role model for our case, a lost generation’s ambassador.
 
However, in our camapaign for the betterment of our baby nation, it is my hope that the Juols, the Chuols, the JonPens, and those youth, would not allow their words to act as a tool for generational war– say generational coup.
 
For emphasis, records have it that no human society succeeds with a total take over of the reform by one solid generation bloc. It is a gradual but surely sustained phasing out of the old guard. Not the Old Guard per se, rather it is their system that seems to send us far aback to our ideological Khartoum as such.
 
I am on the case of what kind of services we are giving our nation. When I say ‘our nation’, it must be taken note that we have a nation, a country, a state, a government, and the people: these ‘Big Five’ are distinctly not interchangeable. Trouble comes when Juol criticizes the leadership (government), for example, and somebody thinks he has insulted the nation; hence committed a treason. They say that with a very vague, if not fake, reason.
 
That is why this youth is a ‘criminal’. That notion is also why our nation building project is a sham, which puts the government in shame, and the population in shambles. It is therefore what makes our new state the world’s No.1 ‘failed state’, because in our country, things have fallen apart.
 
In a nutshell, it is May 1: an international labour day in 2017. Do South Sudanese have the sense of it, when a top judge earns an equivalent of 22 US dollars and a soldier at $3? That is why we, ‘The Youth of the South’, must join Juol Nhomngek in questioning in unison why we are failing as our country is falling in the 21st century, especially after our long-fought independence.
 
So let us ask…! Let us speak it out like Manyang Mayom today on his Facebook status post:
 
“They fear to speak but they are in deep pain in their heart’s. How can I help really? lawlessness stage had overtaken Justice in my country. Unstoppable death and gossips are surrounding VIPs.”
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