14 Nov 2018

 

Lugala At Large: Victor Goes Riding Early In Juba

"Freedom Square is overgrown with grass. Some workers in dark-blue dungarees started mowing the tall grass a few days ago. The statue, which symbolises liberation, is peeling. Oh, dear!"

Downtown Juba goes to bed early and wakes up late, like on such a Sunday, on the eve of the country's independence anniversary.

Out of the seven years of our independence, we only enjoyed two years of peace, prosperity, and tranquillity. In the last five years, we have turned the guns on ourselves. We are still bleeding.

It is 7:30 am and downtown Juba is still sleeping, suffering from a five-year malaise. Two male prisoners in white uniform are sweeping the entrance of the main gate. This is just window dressing; one can only imagine the rot in the cells.
It is Sunday. The early risers, mainly elderly people carrying a bible in hand, are going for the early morning service.
And me I'm still on the saddle of my bicycle. I pass State House and memories of the afternoon of July 8, 2016 jam my mind. That very hour, when hell broke loose, I was trapped in a supermarket. A few minutes after State House I ride pass the very supermarket which was my safe haven.
The town is fully waking up at the Gudele-Bilpam intersection. I'm wary of crazy bodabodas who think we are competitors on 2 wheels.
Freedom Square is overgrown with grass. Some workers in dark-blue dungarees started mowing the tall grass a few days ago. The statue, which symbolises liberation, is peeling. Oh, dear!
At Atlabara, as the name suggests, the neighbourhood is coming out to greet the bright morning sun. I love the dewy vegetables on the edge of Konyokonyo republic.
I'm running late for church but God knows I'm praying for the people who died in the last 5 years, for Him to give comfort to the 4 million displaced or living as refugees. I also pray that God will melt the snow in the hearts of war-mongers. Amen!

    

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