19 Jan 2021


The Way Neocolonialism Is Sustained

"The most crucial questions remains, though. Who is more responsible for this, the neocolonialists or the people who run our country?"

By Dr Jok Madut Jok

This is the way neocolonialism is sustained by those who prefer it over mutual respect between citizens of the world’s nations. Our leaders begin by abusing their own citizens over a struggle for power and resource control. Just look at South Sudan. Then outsiders come in to feed the dispossessed, heal the wounded, treat the sick and teach the illiterate.

Citizens then lose a sense of pride in their citizenship in the country, retreating to whatever cocoons they came out of. Then we all get locked into calling each other names, tribalists, looters, stooges of the system or ass kissers of the international community.

In response, our leaders add salt to injury, dividing us into loyal ones and sell-outs, sometimes rewarding a few of the loyal and mark a few of the sell-outs for exclusion from the division of the cake, whatever form that cake comes in, round or square, dry or dripping with juice, large or minuscule.

And as outsiders, UN, NGOs or the countries that finance them, feed, treat, educate us, give us tools for fishing and ploughing, money to perform our own humiliating dances in gratitude, put up a tent, shun our cool architecture in favor of pre-fabs impossible to live in without electricity, they begin to see us all as people who have lost everything it means to be human, not worth dignifying, respecting, not so much worth as asking what s/he thinks about the circumstances that no one else knows better than s/he does.

And when they need a consultant to tell them what’s wrong with us, it of course goes without saying that such a consultant can never be one of us, for what can we possibly produce, given our biased attitude, lack of objectivity, partisan attitude, and of course we would most definitely be defending one side or the other. And that leaves them with a member of their tribe/clan as the most trusted and objective person to produce descriptions of us, recommend a course of action and be more just to tell the world what must be done in our hopeless case, hopeless people, a basket case, unworthy of consulting (one journalists actually had the nerve to say “oh I stopped interviewing you because....).

He was referring to my strong ideas about being accorded the dignity to chart our own way, challenges, violence, theft and all the rest of it notwithstanding! He didn’t enjoy that, for that stood in his way to confirming we are unthinking people.

And then, try your luck, as a South Sudanese national, or any formerly colonized entity currently in crisis, and open your mouth to suggest that what the “expert” has produced and the recommendations s/he has put forward are questionable, and hell will come down on you. You will be called partisan, bias, defender of the rebels, defender of the government, and you will never be invited, ever again, when the next World Bank study is being considered, UNWFP is considering a survey of food insecurity. Almost as to say “If you don’t bring us what we expect, just join the crowd of fighters who seem to rush to arms at the slightest provocation.

So the result is that there is yet to be a single South Sudanese who occupies a managerial position in the NGOs or UN, mainly because of that attitude. It’s actually much worse if you’re someone old enough to remember how it was done in the days of Operation Life-line Sudan (1990s).

And as if that is not bad enough, try speaking up as an academic, an independent thinker and the Ryans , the Patinkins, the Coghlans of this world will declare South Sudan a “country headed nowhere,” if the South Sudanese thinkers were let anywhere near the centers of decision-making about the fate of their own country.

Increase your volume, thinking you may not have been heard at first, and you will be accused of distracting them with “good ‘ol ad hominem,” (Jason Patinkin of ICG). Above all, they will say you’re aiming to shoot the messenger.

Does it really get anymore neocolonial than this, folks? Which country, of all the ones the “experts” were born in did not have to dig itself out of shit hole? Or better yet, which of these people is not nostalgic for their good old days, those of their ancestors, when their countries either colonized us or used super power status between 1945 and 1990 to mess up our existence? Where do they get off now to assault us with moral judgements?

The most crucial questions remains, though. Who is more responsible for this, the neocolonialists or the people who run our country?

Posted in: Home, Opinions
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09/10/2019, 11:25 AM
 - Posted by Jacob Akol
As you know, Jok Madut Jok, Neo-colonialism is long and well rooted in former colonised nations of Africa in particular. The seeds were planted in the way local languages were 'tribalised' and characterised as "primitive languages" of little if any value while the colonisers languages, along with their cultures, replaced them in our educational systems with prestigious, yet controlling awards such as certificates, diplomas and degrees, for those who excelled in those languages and their cultures, validated by Western-based educational systems. Most of our own Independent liberators such as Kwame Nkrumah, Azikwe, Kenyatta, Tom Mboya, Dr Obote, Nyerere, and many others in Francophone Africa were all carries of this same disease call "Neo-Colonialism" you and I plus thousands others with western academic accolades are inheritors of the same disease and we are passing it on to our children. Add that to the Economic World Order setup in 1945 and you have the picture fully completed. It is a disease that has become near permanent, as it is already in our DNA. You very well know what happened to many African leaders who tried to de-link their nations from that chain. You would be thought crazy even today if you advocate changing it in a major way. Raphael Abiem, Alfred Sebit Lokuji, Victor Lugala, Bol Nyoul, Peter Nyaba, Mawan Muortat, Yanga Jacob Lagu, Ngor Arol Garang, Aldo Ajou Deng Akuey, Acuil Banggol, Deng A Freeman(?), Santino Ayuel Longar, Lulu Lomoro...
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