‘It takes a leader to serve his community, but takes a community to raise one’
By Bor-Prince Mengistu
Just touching base on a few formalities pertaining to the leadership of Kijana Majok. Kijana’s bid for presidency of Bor-Youth Association (in) Australia [BYAA] arose some sort of discontent among the Greater Bor Community here in Australia, particularly in Melbourne. Do pardon me for cutting straight to the topic. Less than two weeks ago ‘Bor-South youth’ conducted a general election which brought Kijana Majok Piel into presidency. Following the election, our brothers from Twie-East and Duk counties questioned the moral grounds of which Bor-South youth elected Kijana Majok to lead the Association, and with due respect, openly expressed their concerns. As a fellow son of Bor (South) and as an individual who participated in the general meeting leading up to the election, I took it upon myself to briefly justify the premise of which Kijana Majok was brought into presidency. Such rectification is crucial for the convenience of our harmonious coexistence.
First and foremost, the manner and the purpose of which this matter was approached by some of our brothers from Twie-East and Duk counties must be acknowledged and applauded. Their queries elaborated the significance of our social interdependence; and puts into perspective the social fabric laced long before us by our forefathers. This is so, irrespective of the emerging ideas that seek to disapprove the common objectivity.
Given our pastoralist culture, it is a tradition in most Dinka sects for a man to beautify his Bull. In return, the owner of the Bull would use the Bull’s décor to display his wealth, his pride, his manhood, his elegance etc. If a man loves a specific Bull but detests the shape its horns took after, prior to exhibiting his vanity, he (the owner of the Bull) must reconstruct the Bull’s horns through a gradual dehorning process. Once the shape of the horns is perfected, the owner can then imitate the horns of his Bull with full pride. Here I say, let Bor people not be oblivion to the precedence of teaching its youth how to live.
Everyone has an identity, a certain community of belonging. A community that nurtures its offspring like a mother does her infants. To his community, Kijana is a beloved Bull. Though with unfavourable horns, he must not be slaughtered but reformed. It is a responsibility of the Greater Bor Community to reconstruct his horns, such that he mirrors the image we desire to showcase.
Kijana is now a leader of BYAA, but even as a leader of this association, he is also a leader of Twie-East and to Duk youths respectively. The social interdependence I mentioned earlier suggests so. There’s no need to be in denial of this reality. In addition, it is imperative that Bor-South allows the critics of Kijana Majok to criticise free of any prejudice.
Furthermore, a people’s leader must condone critiques. I urge Kijana Majok to prove his leadership to the people of Greater Bor Community. It should be mandatory that Kijana acknowledges the rights of his critics and grant them their liberties. In the same spirit, I urge individuals from Twie-East and Duk counties to approve of Kijana’s leadership. Allow him to consolidate power, and because he is one of their own, engage in dehorning him. While it is their prerogative to criticise a given leader, I urge them to refrain from conducts of ad-hominem attacks. An example people of Bor-South would abide by; if similar events were to manifest in Duk or Twie-East. For the sake of social harmony, it is an example that communities of Greater Bor can bequeathed into younger generations.
I see no need of entertaining vehement sentiments towards each other. Any leader, whether groomed in Bor-South, Twie-East or Duk will impact Greater Bor through his leadership one way or another. It is therefore a collective responsibility to strengthen (and or empower) our own leaders. We are proud of Dr Garang’s achievements aren’t we? Need I remind you that it took collective efforts to craft Dr Garang de Mabior’s lustre? Collectively, Greater Bor Community can build a thousand more Garangs.