Sheikh Salva Keir “Birneeeta” by Hatim El Madani
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Apr 13, 2008 - 10:25:48 AM
Sheikh Salva Keir “Birneeeta”
I remember early 60’s, only few years old in South Sudan, my father one late afternoon decided to try his state “VIP” transport usually provided by the government and comes with it’s feeding and grooming cost as part of the post perks for officials, in line with then the British civil service traditions they inherited, it was actually a tall horse that was well fed and looked after in our government house garden, but never been ridden since my “down to earth with the people Dad “ arrival to take his new post in the town of Wau. me on the back holding tight to him for dear live we headed through the jungle to the near by village, there were this crowed watching a bunch of intoxicated warriors competing in a spear throw tribal match, known in other part of Africa as Isipaphe ,kind of a Javelin throw competition, except of course then in the south nudity is the norms, neither the competitors nor the crowd are wearing any cloths not even the African common string round the waist, decorated their hear with all sorts of birds feathers and painted their faces with colours, we stopped there mesmerised watching the participant twirling around and releasing this loud scream before they throw their spears towards the target hundreds yards away, suddenly this drunken worrier jumping and waving his spear about walked toward us and when he got near my dad and after a silent funny dance in front of him he reached to my dads glasses and removed them carefully , while my dad showing this sort of cool calm mantra ,then the warrior wore the glasses and walked away with them joining the match, we stood there for hours till the match finishes and then the same warrior came toward us doing the same funny dance and again put the glasses back on my dad face pushing them carefully up my Dad nose without saying a word, afterwards we proceed to head back home, by then I couldn’t help to hold back my curiosity and asked my Dad” why this guy did what he did?” He told me the guy is showing him welcoming and respect by wearing his glasses, but he added: “that was stupid of him to wear his medical glasses and try in the same time to hit that target” bet he can’t even see the top of his nose wearing them. Such acts never amused me during the years I spent there and now seen the culture decaying fast I blame not “Canada” but the annoying imitation.
These memories came back to mind when the South Sudan leader Salva Keir went to visit Georg w.Bush at the White House and wore this ”wanna be like you” out of touch westerns cowboy hat that look like cross between a Derby and a Deer stalker, probably persuaded by an out of touch Milliner, even so Abraham Lin Coln’s himself said he only wore that hats because of lack of interest in his appearance, but here Salva think he is making statement!. Watching him on that visit I nearly brusted into laughter, I would have preferred to see him wearing the “twelve gallons “Mexican’s turned Texans hat for his Texas oil thieve friend because that would have been abetter statement, coupled with a smile that says” here come America’s nemesis Che Guevara from a communist fire brand to kiss the A**.. of capitalist exploitive Washington”, in a matter of facts now days all his so called comrades in arms locally known here as “the Hyena’s” or “Stalins mafia-groomed scion” acting like oil tycoons, religious right wing zealout .not to mention the irony of the SPLA communist propagandist turned entrepreneur speak volumes.
Talking about forgotten roots?!, This bunch happen to come from the same area I mentioned earlier where the dress codes not even a Fig leaf but that wouldn’t have been allowed by the Whit house protocols!.Would they?.
No wonder why the US aid to the starving south disclosed earlier happened to include transistors Radio’s and smoking pipes and the developments priority are tourist’s hotels. True the devil makes work from idle hands.
*Hatim El Madani
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