The sport of wrestling, which is revered as a cultural activity and is very popular throughout South Sudan, has been an instrument for fostering peace, preserving traditional values, and elevating the status of wrestlers and coaches in the eyes of the general public.
By Dr. Sunday de John
Wrestling enthusiasts will be happy to know that competitions are set for April 29th and 30th, 2023 in Yirol, South Sudan. This event is expected to draw viewers from various backgrounds. The importance of wrestling as a way to bring a country divided by internal conflicts together is made clear by this.
Wrestling’s ability to promote peaceful coexistence in South Sudan is undoubtedly one of the sport’s most compelling qualities. Wrestling has served as a medium for conflict resolution and the repair of broken relationships between groups of people whose communities share a troubled past.
Wrestling has been used to mediate disputes and contribute to the building of peace. Wrestlers from neighborhoods that are at odds with one another frequently come together on the wrestling field to demonstrate their strength, skills, and sportsmanship rather than engaging in violent activity outside of the wrestling arena. The various societies in the country have formed a bond of solidarity and respect through this, which has been integral to the success of building peace.
It is anticipated that the wrestling competition that will take place in Yirol on the 29th and 30th of April, 2023 will continue the tradition of utilizing wrestling as a means of fostering peace.
Wrestlers hailing from a variety of communities, particularly, from Mundari of Central, Twic and Bor of Jonglei state, Aliap, Ciec and Atuot of Yirol counties are making final preparations to compete in the event. Besides showcasing their athletic prowess and fair play, these athletes will use their participation to promote unity and harmony amongst themselves and in their home communities.
The event will unite people from different backgrounds, eliminating any previous divides. It will offer a platform for exchanging cultural ideas and a better comprehension of each other's standpoints.
In addition to this, the sport of wrestling has been an essential component in the maintenance of South Sudan’s cultural values. Wrestling is frequently considered to be more than just an athletic exercise because it is regarded as having tremendous cultural significance in many communities.
It is regarded as both a method to commemorate and go on with the practises of the past, as well as a major turning point in the lives of young men. In numerous communities, the traditions of wrestling, which are a major part of the community's collective identity, have been passed down through the ages.
Wrestling, both as a sport and a cultural practice, will be honoured in an upcoming event that will take place in Yirol. This event will highlight the cultural legacy of South Sudan.
Wrestlers and their fans will perform culturally significant dances, show off their traditional garb, and pay homage to the rituals and customs that are associated with wrestling. Not only will this help to keep cultural values intact, it will also give future generations insight into their cultural background and let them take pleasure in the customs they observe.
The public’s perception of wrestlers and coaches has been significantly influenced by the status that is associated with the sport of wrestling. Wrestlers are often admired as heroes in their local areas for their physical strength, athleticism, and enthusiasm for the sport in which they compete. People look forward to wrestling competitions and successful wrestlers and coaches are well respected within their local areas and beyond.
At the upcoming competition in Yirol, both wrestlers and their coaches will have the opportunity to showcase their skills and get recognition for their respective achievements. The event will receive substantial coverage from the media, which will feature a busy yet extremely effective coverage. The younger generations will look up to Pato Kuoi, Mc Anyarjur, Pesahiko, and Muor Ager behind the cameras, and those wrestlers that perform effectively will be looked up to as role models and inspirations. Receiving recognition can help wrestlers build a healthy self-image and confidence, which can in turn encourage them to stay committed to the sport and be a good role model for others.
Wrestling in South Sudan is more than just a recreational activity; it also plays an important cultural role. People from a variety of walks of life have found common ground through their shared love of wrestling, which has fostered an environment of unity and tranquilly.
In 2011, Dr. Biar Ajak, Deng Ajak, Nyanthon Hoth Mai and Gen. Majak Amuom, Dr. Sunday de John, Majak Luk, and other stakeholders joined forces to promote wrestling as a form of entertainment that has the potential to bring the country together. It was on this line that the wrestling was introduced at the national level and in the urban settlement. Wrestling has been widely accepted and embraced in South Sudan as a sport that brings people together as a direct result of this project, which had a significant impact.
Dr. Biar Ajak, a well-known South Sudanese activist and human rights defender, and Gen. Majak Amuom, a distinguished militant, a lover of cultures and a supporter of peace, worked together with Dr. Sunday de John, a legendary former wrestler, a lover of the game, and a man with strong ties to the community, in order to bring the wrestlers together. This made it possible for the potential of wrestling as a unifying factor in the country to be acknowledged. They collaborated with other interested parties to promote wrestling as a means of fostering peace, preserving cultural values, and presenting the public with a favourable image of wrestlers and wrestling coaches.
Their effort to improve wrestling through partnership in 2011 was fruitful, as the sport quickly rose to international renown as a form of entertainment that transcends racial, tribal, and geographical distinctions. Wrestling competitions became something that people from all over the country eagerly anticipated, which fostered a close connection between the spectators and the wrestlers who took part in the events.
Wrestling now plays a role in the development of young men and women because it can be a source of revenue for them while also encouraging marriages between members of different communities.
Luol Ajou Deng Luol, a great basketballer and the current chair of its federation, further increased the unifying impact of wrestling in South Sudan. Now, the beloved and powerful national basketball team is making people go wild, since it is another popular sport in the country. Wrestling is not the only sport that is popular in South Sudan.
Wrestling and basketball have emerged as unifying forces in South Sudan, helping to bring people together and heal divisions via their participation in these sports. These sporting events have enabled people to communicate and appreciate each other's cultures and demonstrate their talents, resulting in a stronger sense of national unity and bringing people in the nation closer.
The forthcoming wrestling event that will take place in Yirol on April 29th and 30th, 2023 is evidence of the effectiveness of the joint effort that has been done by Biar Ajak, Majak Amuom, Sunday de John, and other stakeholders in South Sudan to advocate for wrestling as a way to bring people together. It is anticipated that participants will come from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, and they will do so in order to honour the sport, promote peace, ensure the continuation of their traditions, and acknowledge the wrestlers and coaches for their exceptional abilities.
We should not forget to appreciate and be grateful to the specific wrestlers who have had a big influence on the activity of wrestling. Wrestling has had a large-scale effect in helping to maintain peace, defend cultural beliefs, and develop togetherness, but we should also not forget to recognise the wrestlers who have had that influence.
Wrestlers from South Sudan have distinguished themselves via their extraordinary levels of talent, commitment, and sportsmanship, and as a result, their communities look up to them as role models and get inspiration from them.
The governments of the states of Lakes, Central Equatoria, and Jonglei have been essential in encouraging unity and facilitating the growth of wrestling by ensuring the wrestlers’ safety and creating a fair platform for them to compete on. Wrestling has the power to connect people, which has been acknowledged by these states, and they have implemented policies to support and raise awareness of the sport.
Wrestling has been maintained in Greater Bahr el Ghazal as a result of the leadership provided by Makur Telar of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Wrestling Association. As someone who is aware of the cultural and social value of wrestling, Makur Telar has been a fervent supporter of the sport’s development over the years. Through his efforts to promote wrestling, he has made it possible for wrestlers to display their skills while also contributing to the promotion of unity amongst various populations.
Albino Buli Kenyi, the leader of the Equatoria Wrestling and Dancing Association, has done a lot to support wrestling and to accentuate the positive impact that it has on society. He has also done a lot to highlight the positive effects that dancing has.
In addition, the leaderships of Jonglei state wrestlers, particularly the late Ajak Kongor, who was also part of the leadership of the Wrestling Federation, were big supporters of wrestling and the sport’s potential to bring people together. Ajak Kongor was lauded for his commitment to a variety of activities for young people, one of which was wrestling. The results of his efforts have been advantageous to the development and growth of the sport in Jonglei state and in South Sudan more generally. It is important to remember Ajak Kongor for the fact that he was a fervent supporter of several sports for young people, including wrestling. The South Sudanese wrestling community will always be grateful to Ajak Kongor for the long-lasting impact that his passion and enthusiasm had on the sport.
Hoc-Thon Deng Makuak, who is well known for his charity deeds and support of youth programmes like wrestling, has been the primary driver behind the development of the game. His endeavors have facilitated the growth of harmony and peace through wrestling, and they have enabled a positive environment in which wrestlers can be successful.
In tandem with the government’s backing, wrestlers from Lakes, Central Equatoria, and Jonglei states have given a lot to the sport and should be thanked for their abilities and accomplishments.
Majok Jongrir, Gore Mapak, Achieng Yierkuach Akec, Akuol Manguak Achol Geu, Mamer Achiek Geu, Dengich Apuot, Lual Tiar, Ajang Mapuor, Gongic Achiek, Amal Majierdit, Manyuon Dhieu, Magot Kohot, Aliajiou Nhial, Jada Kenyi, Lual Matiop, Malual Majolo, Majok Siko, Chuti Magot, Awuolic Ajuong, Abang Marial, Mabol Abuoi, Lokule Malou, Lokuje Achot, Thon Mayen, Mathem Mabut, Malaat Deng and many more have brought honour and glory to their communities through their achievements in wrestling. Their hard work, skill, and sportsmanship have amplified the profile of wrestling in South Sudan and have aided in the propagation of peace, unity, and cultural values through the sport.
Lokuje Achot deserves special recognition for being a peace ambassador. His accomplishments in wrestling are well known, but he is also respected for his work in promoting peace and settling disputes among communities through communication and mediation. His efforts in making peace and wrestling have earned him both admiration and respect from his peers and the public.
Because he is an advocate for peace, Lokuje Achot should be singled out for particular honour. His successes in the sport of wrestling are well recognized, but he is also revered for his efforts in fostering peace and settling disagreements among communities through communication and mediation. The esteem and respect of both his contemporaries and the general public have been garnered by him as a result of his efforts in wrestling and making peace.
In addition, the wrestlers from the states of Lakes, Central Equatoria, and Jonglei have benefited tremendously from the guidance of their respective coaches and referees, who have been instrumental in the development and improvement of the athletes’ abilities. These coaches have sacrificed their time, expertise, and resources in order to instruct and advise wrestlers, so supporting those athletes in developing their skills further and realizing their full potential.
Their unwavering commitment to coaching and officiating matches has been an essential factor in the development of skilled wrestlers who have done their communities proud. The impact that they have had via their role in promoting wrestling and bringing together a variety of communities cannot be measured.
To sum up, wrestling has acted as an agent of peace in South Sudan, helping to protect traditional values and bringing people from different backgrounds together. A collective effort from Biar Ajak, Majak Amuom, Sunday de John, Makur Telar, Deng Alier, the governments of Lakes, Central Equatoria, and Jonglei states, wrestlers, coaches, referees and other individuals has been essential in making wrestling a unifying sport in South Sudan.
Till then, yours truly, Mr. teetotaler