Editorial and commentary

Alfred resolve to fight on gave him the momentum

By Paul Jimbo (Guest)

The demise of veteran journalist Alfred Taban brings forth memories of the late Dr John Garang De Mabior, the founder father and freedom fighter who believed in equality and freedom of his people.

In most cases, Dr John as many fondly refer to him, would use proverbs and analogies to deliver his points.

I was young then when I started following Dr Garang’s speeches and to be honest Dr. Garang was a go-getter who knew very well what was good for his people. He wanted freed from the bondage of oppression by a regime he so much blamed for the suffering of the Sudanese people.

This commentary basically draws examples from the bravery, selflessness, visions, dreams and aspirations of Dr John Garang the hero and freedom fighter and the late Alfred Taban the silent hero who used his pen and paper to open lobby and agitate for more freedoms.

Like Dr Garang, Alfred abhorred oppression and suppression.

I remember one day Dr Garang said, “Whenever two bulls want to fight, they have to step several metres back to gain momentum before charging forward to lock horns”.

To Dr John, that should be the spirit of a resolved fighter.

These are not mere analogies or words that come easy but from wise people who have the rare calling to liberate their people from any oppression.

I can only equate Dr Garang’s analogy to the late Alfred’s statement, “Journalism is not for the faint hearted but for the strong hearted who are willing to go extra miles to ensure freedom of expression”.

Media freedom is a subject that cannot be discussed in any forum, especially in Sudan and South Sudan without mentioning the late Alfred Taban’s name.

Whether you Google or search wildly, history on press freedom cannot be complete unless we draw examples from Alfred’s massive and immense contributions on the same.

He withered the storm, more so under the then oppressive Khartoum regime, despite arrests and intimidations to expose the ills of the leadership, all in the name of fighting for freedom of expression.

The number of condolence messages from well-wishers, more so from the government, friends, relatives, diplomatic missions and fellow journalists received so far at Juba Monitor offices has been overwhelming and telling that indeed Alfred was an icon who won the hearts of many people.

It is on this not that as Juba Monitor family, we wish to appreciate our sincere gratitude for the goodwill messages and support received so far to ensure Alfred is accorded a decent send off.

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