Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

By Gilo Jr. Okwata (Guest)

I can’t remember the last time when South Sudanese from all walks of life came together to rally behind a common goal for the nation. This time the Bright Stars has put some smile and a ray of hope on the faces of South Sudanese. Football if it is well funded will unite us despite our sharp disagreement and one of them is the national flag, our identity as a nation, our national anthem something that almost dropped to tears back when it was sang during a football match played some years at Moi International Sport Center, now Safaricom Stadium, to mention but a few.

When was the last time we won a football match against any other team in the region, leave alone against the Mighty Cranes of Uganda?  We always go out there for damage limitation, thinking how many goals we would concede at the final whistle. We have got used to losing games one after the other. We have learned to design ways of absorbing heartbreaks and match defeats by claiming that we are still learning, we are a new nation and that we are undergoing some rough path and we shall improve in time and all other kinds of excuses we could possibly have.

We finally have something to smile about! The Bright Stars has won against the Mighty Cranes of Uganda! Don’t get me wrong for expressing my joy. I don’t even have a single biological brother in the team; however, I was extremely and still beaming with happiness and excitement because the country won. South Sudan won! The whole nation won and tributes from brothers and sisters of this great nation have been pouring simultaneously. We have got that commonality back with us, we are united again.

Now, if there is one thing that brings this country together, that draws us closer than ever to each other, it often reminds us of those beautiful memories we once cherished together. If the whole country would celebrate the win of the year and rally behind the national team, then we need to start building our unity from there. If sport is an opportunity for us to forgo and forget our differences, then we have to take the risk to build recreation centers which will bring forth the fruit of unity and harmonious living. 

Sport knows no tribe, color, origin, race, beliefs, cultures, among others but it really understands different languages, people, diversity and above all peaceful co-existence. Sport is a god of love, unity, peace, mutual understanding, respect and rights of every person ever created on the planet. It builds bridges and strong bonds among people of different faiths, nationalities and origins.

Where is a better way to build our unity of purpose through sport? You may know more than I do but I suggest all that you already know, that is building good facilities for our sporting activities from the grassroots to the national levels. There is need for sport curriculum that captures the ideals that embody those norms and positive aspects of our cultures which enhance and promote unity among us.

Let the country invest a lot in sporting activities even if it means pulling all resources in to bring peace and prosperity in our beloved country.

We can do better with these young, energetic and potential winners if we give opportunities to run on the sport tracks as athletes to give us medals. They have the versatility thrive in the world of sport. Let us all celebrate their achievement together as united South Sudan. 

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