Odongo Odoyo

Topical Commentary

With Odongo Odoyo

With the on-going lockdown of the coronavirus pandemic, the citizens were yesterday forced to celebrate the ninth Independence Day behind closed doors. Not that they wished, the majority wished to have had their days dancing it out in key celebration arenas from the capital city Juba to states and administrative areas headquarters to remember this important day in the calendar of this country. It was not to be what they had planned or anticipated, not because of anyone’s own making but because of the COVID-19 which has terrorized the whole world. I was somehow relieved although my work dictates that I among others must be in the office to ensure the information of the day was passed to the general public, when phone and laptop came full with messages of congratulations from different people in and out of the country to remember the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle, those who have left us and those who are still living. One such message said “may this wonderful day be a reminder for us to celebrate the power of pride, courage and faith that we all share. Happy Independence Day” This was not the only message l received. They were many and almost with the same tone of peace, love and unity among the different societies in this wonderful and beautiful country. ‘President Salva Kiir Mayardit’ national day speech which was delivered the night before and played on the state television SSBC in the following day was the climax of the day.  Some people formed groups and magnificently took to the streets waving the national flag ignoring the social distance requirements, some car owners  mounted flags on their vehicles hooting and driving along the roads to show their appreciations and happiness that would have gone with the day if there was public celebrations. The goat market in Gumbo was a beehive of activities with a number of people crossing the Kubri or Nile Bridge to and from to buy the goats for celebrations. One thing which stood out was the happiness shown in the faces of many citizens who wished this thing, coronavirus was of the past. For me and my colleagues we were not left behind although at work. We glued ourselves on the TV watching the national channel where a number of activities commemorating the day were taking place. It was as if the whole country came together to celebrate this day which was not to be because of the coronavirus pandemic. The big hope is that may be next year there would be no similar situation and the tenth anniversary would be different from the others. It is a hope we must live with because we do not know when this virus will go away from us and when normal life could be resumed.  A human being must always live with hope and expectation of good life in future if not now. This is what our expectations are all about. Peace, love, Unity and prosperity for ourselves and the future generation.

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