Opinion by: Suzanne Jambo
A dedication to my “dearest Auntie and Mom”, the late Prof. Dr. Anisa Joseph Dani
Our South Sudan nascent nation continues to be engulfed by wars, conflicts, and instability. Our elders are dying daily, one by one without the graceful cultural burial befitting them! Many are buried and mourned alone without their loved ones by them consequent to senseless endless self-inflicted stupid wars! My late Dr. Anisa Joseph Dani was an educated woman whom I’ve grown and learned to respect for both her humble soft-spoken personality and the highest level of education.
She was a pioneer South Sudanese female graduate of both the prestigious historical Rumbek Senior Secondary School and northern Sudan’s Al Afad university—-the first women’s College in Omdurman, Sudan founded in 1966 by Yusuf Badri—-a man whom my auntie Prof. Anisa Dani fondly referred to as “her father” who academically empowered her throughout the years. Mr. Yusuf Badri was the one who guaranteed her further studies scholarships in Manchester University where she obtained both her master’s and Ph.D. degrees. She lived for many years in Manchester, England where she was very active in the Sudanese social and academic community where she met among many, Sudan’s current Prime Minister Dr. Hamdouk, and much more notable Sudanese and South Sudanese who studied or lived in England.
The late Prof. Anisa Joseph Dani aka “dearest Auntie and Mom” as I called her returned home a few times, initially during the CPA negotiations era 2002 where she tried to participate, but went back to England only to be finally home during the CPA interim years of the mid-2000s till her sudden demise on Friday 4th June 2021 where she met her death.
Prof. Anisa Dani worked at Juba university till about 3 years ago when she decided to relocate to Khartoum. “dearest Auntie and Mom” Dr. Anisa and I were in communications almost daily via our Moru community WhatsApp group where we have amazing elders gracing us in the group. It was always refreshing reading scriptures and wise words from her. The last time she communicated with me was Thursday 3rd June when she was healthy and robust as ever; “I’ll always love you all…please greet all…” were her last words to me.
The fact is that our elders are dying while in exile or neighboring nations without us culturally mourning and burying them breaks our hearts. Many of us are unable to go home to honor them amidst us as we build our nation. President Kiir’s and his first VP’ Dr. Riek Machar’s dictatorial oppressive killer government has blocked all ways for countless elders from returning home graciously, neither their loved ones nor their kids and grandchildren—-this is just too SAD, tragic and is killing many of us indirectly. “For how long shall we, South Sudanese be away in internally displaced, refugee camps and the Diaspora?” Our elders are dying from immense sadness and loss of a country to call home—-a home to retire gracefully in and impart their wisdom to us and our kids!
Have mercy upon your population Mr. President Kiir so we can have a PEACEFUL DEMOCRATIC STABLE country to call home, so we all come back peacefully and help build our young country. Have mercy upon your fallen heroes and heroines…upon your very comrades who left you and Dr. Riek Machar in charge of our destiny, but you both decided to take us through endless wars! How many more shall die before you both come to your senses?!
May God RIP the late “dearest Auntie/Mom” Dr. Anisa Joseph Dani. May your humble soul rest in power.
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