Washington, D.C, November 28, 2013 (SSNA) — It is exactly six days since the 2013 Wrestling Finals between the Central Equatoria State (courtesy of Mundari Invincible Champions) and the Jonglei State (represented by the Bor Dinka team) were held. Sadly the public has been kept faintly aloof about the crystal outcomes of the most popular and authentic sport in the newest nation, which the MIC won by 7 to 4.
Both the South Sudan Wrestling Entertainment (SSWE) and the mainstream media outlets have dove low in disconcerting silence as though the only good news they report is that in parallel lane, but not just any news about, and of, any equal citizen’s achievement. The results of the November 23, 2013 match have not been published in any form, print or electronic. Equally conspicuously missing is the usual enthusiastic public buzzing boastingly about the victors’ valor. This stands in sharp contrast with the pre-Referendum preliminary Finals held in November 27, 2010.
Then, the news about the Dinka team, dubbed the “Referendum Stars” having controversially won literally went viral. Although the results were responsibly contested due to unprofessional refereeing, and partly owing to bias inclination on the part of the organizing agency, the MIC conceded defeat, knowing too well that what goes around comes around. Victory then belonged to MIC but squandered in broad day light. This fact has been firmly demonstrated in the subsequent three successive Wrestling Finals. The Mundari Invincible Champions have been indeed, unstoppable. However, the genuine or covert intention for which the wrestling competitions were meant to achieve are elusively shifting.
This brings me to the gist of this article: the fallacy of peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. Here, two premises suffice. First, peace and reconciliation are not destinations that once arrived upon the journey ceases. Instead, both as concepts and means to inter-communal and national cohesiveness and stability, these ingredients are continuous. They must be exercised, observed, and constantly renewed. Second, peoples and societies must not cheat on, and about, peace and reconciliation. Lying about peace and harmony is outsmarting oneself, not just others. The consequences are that by trying to swindle one’s way unfairly human brings to bear disunity, conflict, and distrust. This affects not only the humane compassion, but also the ecology, thereby causing disequilibrium in the ecological balance. Let’s think of it!
Yet the big question remains. Why weren’t the scores posted? Other than the unknown, two reasons are obvious. One, there was cheating involved. The most determined Ajang Mapuordit of Jonglei State violated the rules by stealthily grabbing the indomitable Jada Kenyi of Central Equatoria State from behind as the latter turned to celebrate his deserved victory. Two, it seems the wrong team won. Else, it is hard to fathom how in the middle of the capital city of a new nation where every occurrence is under radar the most luring sport could have not been reported? There is something fishy, so to speak. Could it still have taken this long had Jonglei won? One would doubt it.
The collusion by the media and SSWE to subvert the CES towering glory and their failure to educate the public about the purpose of the games, including their transparent outcomes, has sent out abhorring suspicion among the winners as well as to the public audience of good faith. It should be clear now that the motive of SSWE was not the promotion of cordial relations “between the cattle herding groups”as claimed on Sudan Tribune, but that of selfish, parochial interest.
Supporters and admirers of the traditional sport have been awed by this development. That there has even emerged gross, misleading propaganda in the social media to distort the facts is all revealing, uncomplimentary, and disparaging. Whereas the reality is known in Juba, the opposite is the case abroad. Fans of the Jonglei team are posting that Jonglei did win the match. Some of their agents have gone in great length as to using the fraud to raise funds for their nonprofit organizations. How despicable!
The Mundari Invincible Champions find these attitudes retrogressive, dishonest, and fallacious at best. As a society desperately seeking to restore broken relationships after decades of ethnic rivalry and build a cohesive state, we must be openly honest and award credit where it is due. Evading the truth, or distorting it when it disfavors us sordidly defeats the very moral ground for which it embarks to serve.
Otherwise, what is the guarantee that such mischievous action will not be replicated by the competitors when victory isn’t in their favor? SSWE, like the FIFA, must be equitable in dispatching information. It should set good precedence and avoid complicity. Peace, unity, and reconciliation are not the making of shenanigans!
Julius Nyambur Wani is a policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at [email protected]