Opinion

How do they earn their money?

Over the past few months in Juba, I have been keenly following a certain class or clique of youth who seems to be doing very well in-terms of their lifestyles.

Some drive sleek cars and project images of doing well economically but the truth of the matter is, nobody knows what these groups do for a living.

When I toil to earn a living and I see many others do the same, it baffles me how some people would sit down daily, playing cards and still survive in these harsh economic times.

I have seen them literally sit down from morning to evening; they play cards, drink mineral water, take heavy lunches and enjoy their daily drinks before settling for their usual ‘miraa’ (curt) chew.

They don’t sleep at night but chew the miraa with utmost impunity. This group also smoke shisha and all these lifestyles are quiet expensive.

I have always wondered how life would be if I joined them to live their lifestyle. Unfortunately my father taught me how to fish and so I’m a fisherman. I have to go out early to the river to fish.

Indeed in fishing I accept any catch, whether small or big as long as it is out of my sweat.  I have tried convincing my ‘sitting-down’ friends to explain to me their strategy of earning a living.

I have always talked them into helping me understand how they survive yet they do not work. Whenever I come from fishing, I find them seated on a round table, mouths full of themiraa, big mineral water bottles on their tables.

My undoing is that I don’t admire their lifestyle because I’m a good student of the Bible and can always remember my Sunday school teacher advising me how important it is for a man to eat from his own sweat.

Charles, as I may recall used to teach us why it is important to work hard and earn your living from your sweat.

He told us that ‘man shall eat from his sweat’ and we grew up knowing that unless we worked hard, it would be difficult to survive.

This brings me back to my topic ‘How do they survive, how do they eat?’

I’m yet to completely understand them but unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to spend ample time with them. They can be intimidating indeed if you are not careful.

They can be psychologically intimidating especially when they become philanthropic. They can generously colour their large tables with alcohol.

I wonder how it is easy for anyone to just sit and drink and eat without working.

The other day I sought answers from a friend who understands the operations of this group.

He told me that some of them are genuine brokers who either sell fuel or construction materials. But he also talked of a clique that literally does nothing but whom he suspected could be engaged in illegal activities.

I asked him whether they could be bodaboda riders and where could they be operating from. My friend simply told me that the clique could even be drug peddlers or muggers.

This rang an alarm bell in my mind as to why certain areas in Juba’s residential areas remain unsafe, especially at night. These are the same pockets that host thesemiraa chewing clique.

Could someone unravel the puzzle of how this group earns its living?

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