Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

Odongo Odoyo

Something seems wrong between the national artists union and the UNMISS resulting in the organized performance at the Nyakuron Cultural Centre yesterday being postponed at the eleventh hours. In this case l do not want be a judge but truly there has emerged bad blood between the two. The union is pointing fingers against the UN body for exploiting and underpaying them whenever they are called to perform. They have walked up and down to have their issues be heard and attended to but nothing has come out of those walks. While the union is out to be understood, UNMISS is not coming in the open to tell the story as it should be told. UNMISS’s communication department is hard put to comment on the issue even when it was glaring open that the show was put off after all arrangements including setting up of sound equipment had been undertaken and dismantled for the obvious reason that it was called off. Art for peace as the name implies would have been a blessing to many young people had it taken place. We have always talked about dialogue in resolving or solving any outstanding issue. UNMISS and the union could work it out without creating much ado and help promote the talent of young up-coming artists only if proper procedures of doing things were following. There is a mother ministry in charge of such activities, it only takes the union officials to come together and discuss with ministry their predicaments and if possible, the ministry would approach the UN body for round table talks with a view of solving the existing stalemate. The UNMISS communication department need to be vigorous in its handling of the public issues. They should not behave as if they were doing someone or some people favour in responding to matters that concerns the general  public more so the citizens. I remember my colleagues tying for the last two days to get comment from one Naju Uboyih on the stand-off both through the phone and when the show was called off at the Nyakuron, only for him to give the or care l don’t know attitudes that are detrimental to the position he is holding as the mouth piece of UNMISS. There comes a time when all of us must take our work seriously for the institutions we represent, otherwise we are bound to give negative images which do not reflect the actual position and which would leave the public with question marks in their minds. Being a man who should understand the role of the media, he should be the gate-man for the UN body in articulating their role which is to serve the interests of all South Sudanese irrespective of their status and or being selective. The union could  be having or not having a case in point but if they are denied a hearing then we can all assume that UNMISS is having something to hide. Come in the open and be open. This is the message l wish to convey to the UN body.   

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