QUITTING CRITICAL, POLITICAL ACTIVISM FOR ACADEMIC, COMMERCIAL, COMMUNAL ACTIVITIES
This is it. It is my personal decision. No party, individual or circumstantial influence has come by this tactical rebooting of my activism system. I am shifting gears of my focus in the social media, especially from blog, Facebook and Twitter.
I started this social media campaign 10 years ago, in 2007, with The New Sudan Vision (www.newsudanvision.com), after a security-generated withdrawal from the main media, namely The Sudan Mirror, Radio Nile and The Southern Eye, in the aftermath of my precarious survival from kidnapping and stabbing at Makerere University, Kampala, in 2006 and 2007, respectively. This is before resuming with The Star Newspaper and my Younique Magazine in 2009 and 2010.
This social media campaign was later heightened with the plethora of WordPress-hosted blogathon, kicking off with my:
- Political blog: www.weakleak.wordpress.com, in 2010,
- Peace activism blogs like: www.thejongleijongleur.wordpress.com, www.gunpipeace.wordpress.com,
- Talent promotion blog: www.ustassgroup.wordpress.com,
- Then these rights defenders’ blogs: www.aftabboss.wordpress.com, www.crisscrosscaravan.wordpress.com,
- Followed by the faith-based blog: www.faithbookmission.wordpress.com,
- And my literary blog, www.thetextcollector.wordpress.com,
as a few to mention.
Having enumerated that, it should be noted that the period between 2007 and 2011 was majorly dedicated to liberation (referendum) campaign, all my arsenals emptied towards Khartoum. These gears were changed in 2012 to nation building politics, which gave rise to rights defence blogging that went hand in hand with my literary activism. This trend was phased into peace activism from 2014 to 2015, making me to dare going after the illusive peace stakeholders to Juba, Pagak, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Arusha, Kampala and so on. With the advent of the peace agreement (ARCISS), I slipped back to political criticism of those mismanaging it. It is these characteristics of politics by critics that I am hereby purging from my brand of activism.
As seen from the heading, QUITTING CRITICAL, POLITICAL ACTIVISM FOR ACADEMIC, COMMERCIAL, COMMUNAL ACTIVITIES, I am hereby announcing the shift. Again this is for the good of my reorganization as a progressive writer and a once aggressive activist, as well as for the betterment of my beneficiaries (readers, leaders and colleagues). I will explain why and how.
Of course, I have to acknowledge that the first ‘victim’ at the receiving end of my campaign among other activists is The Government, especially to whom the buck stops with; in this case, the president.
It is also noteworthy that I fled my country in January 2013, about a year before the rest (rebels and activists) joined me. Capt. Mabior Garang de Mabior was already on the ground in exile. We were later joined by Dong Samuel Luak in May 2013. We vividly knew, as manifest in our writings of those days, that, given the nature of the leading going on in Juba, the nation would follow suit in our footprints (God failed to forbbid!).
My changing gears in my campaign machinery is therefore not informed by the fact that I have done enough. No enough is yet enough. On informing my friend of the decision, he commented. “I believe you have done enough self-avenging war on the Regime since you slipped out of their hook.” I do not buy it, but have to move on on a new path, anyway. Total quitting is not in my vocabulary. It is put straight in the preface of my poetry book, The Black Christs of Africa:
“To Mr. Aluetluet*, Chinua Achebe reaffirms in his Anthills of the Savannah, “Writers don’t give prescriptions. They give headaches.” If so, then I shall have achieved the main aim of this wordware: written to hurt; to give heartaches and headaches to whom it must concern! Ironically, it can also give heart ‘eggs’ to whom it may console. Since my work does my readers both service and disservice as much as such, if one discerns what concerns them herein, one must employ one’s sixth sense. That a friend once gave me compliment in complaint of my being complex, so is my work: complex in the sense that no single theme is addressed in it, and complex in that no simple title could befit me. So if asked, I am not only a poet or a musician, I am a poemusician, and not a politician but a poetician as far as socio-poetry is concerned.
Therefore, my critique as a critic through the spectacles of a journalist and a columnist, a preacher and a teacher, an artist and an artiste, an actor and a director, a blogger and a broker, has revealed to me one principle: to pamper the boiling ego of a politician, flatter him orally; to tamper with it, clatter him morally. Either – but the latter – is well catered for in this book. This is to let you watch out lest they wash you out by their rapid motions of their rabid emotions! It is also my belief that politicians are poly-teachers. They reach out as if to teach how…as you yearn, but if from them you do not learn, they from you do now earn. That is why I have stopped relying on their lying and promised Jon Pen de Ngong, my inner man,
‘Until it won’t work out, still I won’t walk out. Lo, we go…!”
As from the title, academically, I am not with my papers. Well, I do not professionally regret that, but I have a lot of studying to add on, both formally and informally.
Commercially, I have got 5 biological mouths, plus mine, to feed. What I have so far in my intellectual store is enough, for now, to sustain these innocent lives. So I have to dedicate them more time in some economically taxing activities ranging from the work of my hand to that of my head.
NB: To those who think and sing that I am “selling the country for survival”, I have never solicited any penny for any of my ‘pennings’, be it a blog article, Facebook post or a tweet, if at all there are social media posts’ sponsors. By the way, a lot more selling is being done in Juba than anywhere else. What the bloggers feast on is but some residue. So I sustain my living with my own skills, including ‘writing for earning’ (personal projects), the major one being that of an ‘assistant lecturer’ in a Dinka-English research class (what I always call ‘Jienglish’) in a certain German university. Need I expose this? Hell no now!
By communal activism, I mean any project that deals with the non-political lives of my people. That, I will shout out loud about on social media, main media and physically among the communities, including on the pulpits. Mine is bordering the Martin Luthers’ Activism—from church to community and vice versa.
Therefore, the indicators of this intellectual migration include the change of my politically critical blog, The Weakleaks. The title and content will change from this to ‘THE EASED AFRICA I WANT’ with an immediate effect by the posting of this article. This title is temporary, though, for marketing purposes of my upcoming poetry book of the same title of ‘The Eased Africa I Want’. The content of this re-branded blog will be a mixture of literary and literal writing in both prose and poetry. There will, of course be Facebooking, ‘Faithbooking’ and a lot of ‘Twitterature’ reflecting the said content of my Literature.
This does not mean that I am censoring the political ‘Jon Pen’ in me. Everyone has the right to express themselves. In literature is a lot of politics but sugar-coated with literary devices in such a way that Riek Machar or Salva Kiir will not appear in full glare as the case has been. Intro paragraphs on ‘The Weakleaks’ such as this may not remain active:
RIDING AND RIOTING BY WRITING: DURING THIS ERA OF ERROR, THE WEEKLY WEAK-LEAKS OR BLOGGERHEADS-101, IS HEREBY PRONOUNCING WACKINESS, RENOUNCING WEAKNESS, DENOUNCING WICKEDNESS OF POLITICAL WEAKLINGS. REALLY, I RARELY ENJOY POLITICS; BUT WHEN SOME WANNABES TRY TO PLAY POLY-TRICKS, I WOULD RATHER I WERE THEIR HANGMAN!
However, the ‘Freedom Bike’ header picture (by Akut Mac) will remain as the welcoming title of my The-Eased-Africa-I-Want blog. Some of the content will go regional as dictated by the title.
Before I conclude, let me include this one liner. I hereby humbly and sincerely take this opportunity to apologize to any individual, community, party or organization aggrieved by my ‘rioting by writing’ campaign. It is, of course, a form of war, only that it is ‘fighting by writing’. With this apology in place, I am also leaving behind a mild warning here, that should my space be still encroached on hereafter, I can be tempted to pick up my little gun (literary gun) any time. Liberation is never enough until it is enough.
To my colleagues and fellow penmen, including the ‘unknown penmen’ against the ‘unknown gunmen’, I will be there, handy as usual, behind your back. What I am doing is technical, not tactical, withdrawal after the 10 years of my critically and politically intriguing activism.
Wait a minute, did I remind you that my activism did not start in 2007? You will get it in the next eulogy article entitled “MY 20 YEARS OF LIBERATION ACTIVISM UNDER USTAZ SEBIT WILLIAM’, to be published soon on my re-branded blog that will deal with professional and communal social media campaign.
In conclusion, I present you with a certain Bor Dinka wrestling champion by the name Lual Deng Thon from Kongor section of Twic. .
“Ajɔ̈ diɛ̈ riɛl ë kaam acï kɛ̈ɛk wɔ baai. La yuïr puɔ̈l ke ŋadiɛ̈ bë ŋueet, aŋum ë raan ɣɔn yuɛt akënë laar luaŋda…
The power from my own arm has brought me such enmity with my people. Even if I quit communal wrestling, whom of mine will starve to death? After all, the loin of the man that I smacked down has not been carried (as meat for meal) to our luak.”
For this and other reasons, I hereby admonish my fellow South Sudanese and other wannabes, truth is the most expensive and the most expansive and the riskiest virtue to pursue. However, I swear to still say nothing else but the truth; to never quit it nor allow it to quit me. So help me God!