Opinion

Social Ceremonies are becoming too expensive

By Akol Arop Akol

I would have never believed that everything would become as expensive as they are in the country.  I am surprised by two experiences that made me to learn something from the economy of our fractured country. It was sometime back when I visited Nyakuron Cultural Centre, where I found a certain amusing juncture.

The occasion was well organized. The building was decorated from outside and inside. I saw many people moving in so I also thought it was publicly free. At the door, I tried to enter and they pushed me back and asked rudely, “Where are you going?” I replied, “I need to see people inside.” As I was observing from a distance, I noticed people who filled the hall to its fullness. One of the men with a white t-shirt and a card on his neck written “service” called me aside and asked me whether I wanted the entrance receipt. I took and almost entered but called me again and said, “Where is money? You must pay one hundred to enter.” I wondered and departed completely confused.

The occasion was a graduation of college students who had completed their courses. They wore beautiful gowns. And they were smiling, laughing and excited as it was their wonderful day to achieve the goals they had struggled for, for such a long time.

The program seemed to be well celebrated but as I did not go in, I had no idea of how they ended it.

Sometime later, the same thing happened to me. It was on Sunday. I moved alongside Custom market heading to Nyakuron Cultural Centre again. That place seems to be the only favorable place where big events happen. There was another event and it was like a graduation day too. People were busy in and outside, so I wanted to enter and find out. I was told to pay one hundred and fifty South Sudanese Pounds, but my pocket was empty. That gave me a condition.

Though I did not intend or prepare to turn up, the scene attracted me. I had to stand out there disappointed. “What should I do?” I wondered.

According to my observation and conclusion, the parties, weddings, concerts and many other happenings are turned into businesses where certain people or businesses make profits. How can people be required to watch the graduates with money?

No wonder, soon weddings are to be attended with payment. Now invitations are given to families, in-laws and close friends but other people from outside the family are not welcomed. Even if they go by their own, no one would take care or serve them. They would not even taste the pure water.

Nowadays there is a growing segregation and social festivals are made for earning money. Talk of musicians, it is out of topic. The promotion companies are so stimulated on making profits from the events they organize. When they want to make a show for artists to perform, the entrance ranges from 200 to 500 SSP which some poor citizens could not afford to pay. Whenever one says that he has 100, they never have pity.

This mistreatment has discouraged the youth from attending social ceremonies. No else opportunity for them to learn new skills and to share their ideas with their fellow youth.   Instead, they only use social media like; Facebook, Twitter, What’s App, LinkedIn, and Instagram among others, as the only source for advertisement or entertainment. They only post useless information that brings tension.

This piece of advice goes straight to promotion companies, especially the artists. You are the best since people hoped that you would change this country by your talents and abilities. Do not aim on making money. If each of us priors on getting profit without giving or serving people free, then development will not come. The time to make money for ourselves is yet to come. This time is meant for preaching peace through the musicians, their messages of peace and unity can be sung in form of songs. That means if you lower entrance fees, then young people would go to see and hear good things that will encourage and change their hearts and minds.  If these young people are not allowed to participate, they will be politically influenced. Although you may waste your money on arranging the events, do not hope for big profit. Call something little as to favor people. What matters is not the quantity of what you need to receive but rather the quality of your offer or services.

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