Wrestling Will Promote Peace And Reconciliation In Jonglei

This article was last updated on May 27, 2022

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The wrestling between Abang and Thony-ke-Wunthau (Pamuoom), for example, was a peaceful match attended by hundreds of people from difference communities of Bor County. Others came  from Aliap in Lakes State, to where thousands of people were displaced by the on-going battles between the government and rebels. As people are returning slowly to their homes,  the youths have adopted wrestling as the main sporting activity which can easily restore peace back to their communities.

Aguak Nuer Ngueny, 59, a former chief of Abang Clan, said that wrestling is a Dinka cultural sport which motivates people and make sections where the champion belong very famous in the locality.
“My boys have won the competition. Now everyone is aware that Abang has won, and that is my pride and price,” Aguek said.

Nuer said “wrestling is a cultural practice right from our great grandfathers. It was and still is the place where people with heavy family issues and stresses come to enjoy themselves and forget their problems.
“When you are watching two gentlemen wrestling, you must feel like you want to support one of them, and in the course of their struggle to throw down one’s opponent, you will find yourself shouting and laughing even when you were not prepared to laugh,” Nuer Ngueny told Gurtong.

Luala Ajiek, 32, from Lakes State, said “wrestling is like football”, adding that youth should stop fighting unjust wars and embark on local wrestling tournaments to be popular among their own communities instead of dying in wrong hands.

Aguek says that in his younger age, wrestling was the only game which could unite different communities.

Biar Nyankot, 47, and a leader of Thony Team, said he was very happy for their wrestling team in the competition which took place between Abang Young Stars and their own. “It is a win-lose game and it is accepted. We have lost the tournament. Abang won 2 – 1 against our team.”

Gualla defeated Joint Integrated Unite (JIU) 5 – 0 in the match following that one of Abang.

Nyankot said they travel for more than 10 days using canoes, from Lakes State to Bor in Jonglei State to attend the match. He said wrestling creates an opportunity for young men and young women to meet and initiate lasting relationship. 

“Some of them get engaged and eventually get married. That is why Dinka youths like wrestling and dances,” Biar Nyankot said to Gurtong.
The wrestling competition was in Malual-chaat, a village located 6 kilometres from Bor town. 
Wrestling is believed to teach young men how to behave themselves in the public. The champion always earns more respect in his community.

Last year, Jonglei State Ministry of Youth and Sports pledged to extend all sorts of sporting activities to all the eleven counties such that the youth would abandon cattle thieving and abduction of children in the state, but the initiative was later abandoned following December violence.

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