Stella's story, South Sudan
Make It Happen:
Stories From south sudan
“I hope that I don’t continue writing about war and destruction. I want peace to come so that I can write about the experiences of individuals, who overcome troubles, meet their aspirations, their hopes and their ambitions, and enjoy their success”
Stella Gitano - Writer/poet, Juba
Stella Gitano is a writer, teacher and a poet. She moved back to South Sudan after independence, filled with patriotic spirit, to participate in building the nation.
“I want Peace to Come"
"After the crisis, we formed a youth group, ‘Youth for the sake of the nation’, to try and help those who were badly affected by the conflict. As the youth of South Sudan, we knew that we had to think objectively about the state of South Sudan.
We needed to think outside the war and conflict. The youth group received contributions from people in communities and gave them out to those in need. We mostly helped families that left their homes and were staying in churches and camps. We gave out clothes, medicine and food.
Before the crisis, I used to write short stories reflecting the condition of the society. I wrote about the state of education and health, people suffering and corruption, things that directly affected people. I wrote to encourage nation-building, and to emphasise that independence was not an end in itself, but only a step to realising standard of life aspired by the people.
Now, I write about the incident that occurred and try to address root causes. I focus more on documenting the events that led to the crisis, to learn from them and help generations after me to understand the stages we have gone through in our struggle to build the nation, and in the future, how we were able to move past it. I document the events to reinforce the fact that it must not happen again in South Sudan.
Writers have a huge responsibility in nation-building as they reflect what is happening in society, try and address issues and suggest solutions. Many people read my books, and encourage me to continue bearing the torch that will bring some light in the darkness that is befalling our country.
I hope that I don’t continue writing about war and destruction. I want peace to come so that I can write about the experiences of individuals, who overcome troubles, meet their aspirations, their hopes and their ambitions, and enjoy their success.
The question still remains; do we have the will to overcome? Many African countries witness a lot of struggle and bloodshed, but in the end emerge stronger, and develop. I hope there will be reconciliation and forgiveness. I know that it is not easy to forget, as people will always remember the terrible things, but it’s possible to leave the past behind and move on.
I have a lot of hope that South Sudan will overcome this current situation, and will see better days ahead. This incident will become a story for children, not a renewed incident."
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