A Giant Salute To Mama Rebecca
By: Firdose Abdelrhman Dosa. High School Student-Khartoum
In fact, I have not seen Mama Rebecca in person before, although I saw her photos with my mother.However, I have known a little bit about her in the past through the repeated stories that my mother( Fatima Dosa ) used to tell us about her friend “ Rebecca’’the tall graceful Lady from Southern Sudan who had lived years with her in Ames, Iowa, USA.
During my elementary school years, I used not to pay much attention to stories and things that concern adult women. On the contrary I was much fond of adventurous stories being told about animals and lost children.When I grew up I started to develop interest in geography especially that of South Sudan.I kept wondering about the rich nature of the South. I started imagining the high rainfall, the tall trees and grasses, the diverse wildlife, the great mountains and the tall smart Dinka men who willingly and happily pay more than 200 heads of cattle as a dowry for a single beautiful bride.I kept dreaming of visiting that beautiful land one day to see with my own eyes the giant crocodiles of the White Nile,the enormous hippopotamus, the colourful zibras,the gigantic elephants and the muscular longhorn buffalos. Moreover, I was verymuch eager to watch the fast deer being chased by a swift leopard and even to see the ugly bush hog.Since 5 years ago I kept asking my mother when she would take me to the South to fulfill my curiosity for seeing that beautiful land that harbours all those wonderful creatures. She used to say: “When Rebecca sends us an invitation I will take you to the south’’.Then I asked her ,” When will Rebecca send us the invitation?” Her answer was, “ when she comes back from the bush to the town”. Then I asked: “Why is Rebecca living in the bush after she had lived with you in such civilized country like the USA?” her answer was, “Rebecca has a justifiable case for the sake of her people that requires the struggle from the bush.” Then I commented,”In this case, she could use a lawyer to take her case to court.” My mother replied, “ Her lawyer is Uncle John.” I innocently asked her ,” Who is uncle John?” she answered in short, “that is Garang the Great.” I could not quite well understand who is Garang the Great, but I decided to pospone my other questions to another opportunity.
When I joint High School I started to understand what is going on in the South. I realized that why Mama Rebecca is living in the bush.Then I developed interest in political issues and started to follow such news concerning the struggle and fight in the South and Darfur.I came to know who is Uncle John.He is the political rebel leader of the South who faught for 20 years for the rights of marginalized Sudanese and finally won the case. Well and good! But is it not true that behind every great man there is also a great woman? That great woman who was the real power behind all the success achieved by John Garang is Mama Rebecca.Had it not been for her loving care, sincerity, insistence, determination and encouragement, Garang could not have achieved those goals.
Then suddenly and unexpectedly came out of the blue sky the tragic death of Dr. Garang.That sorrowful event was a real test to Mama Rebecca’s character.Despite the emotional pressure left by the accident on her , she stood solid, responsible, brave lady having strong character.This can be noticed by the indurance and patience she had shown in the aftermath of her husband’s sudden death . She showed unbelievable stability and strength in facing that tragic situation. She courageously demanded from all who believe on Garang’s cause to support the CPA,to push for unity and pursuit in his footsteps.“ It is the only way to achieve the objectives for which Garang had sacrificed his life,” she said.Under such tragic circumstances of losing a beloved husband you can rarely find a lady that can show such endurance and stability.So let us Salute Mama Rebecca and wish her a long healthy life.Iam anxiously waiting for that day when I can see that great lady by my eyes!