A wonderful skill, but applied for a wrong purpose! Cham Ugala

Addis Ababa, December 26, 2012 (GSN) - Happy New Year! Irrespective of the colors of their skins, human-beings are created equal by God, the Omnipotent. Black, white or whatever the color may be, all human races have the same biological needs.

All of them need food, get thirst in the same way and even they reproduce in the same manner since their ancestor, Adam, was created. Through time, different characters started to emerge among different groups of human race due to different factors and various geographical locations. Different values, norms, languages and cultures among different groups of human race came about as a result of long years of practicing these characters.

As a distinct group of human race, the people called Anywaa, have their own values, norms, culture and Dha-Anywaa as their language. These are the basic characters of the Anywaa people that make them different from other tribes in the world today. The ways they think, how they relate to other people and even the skills they apply to solve the problems are highly influenced by the norms and values they have developed for the years. The Anywaa people are shaped by their culture to be disciplined and respective people in those good years. In the Anywaa land theft, prostitution, telling lies and other sort of vices were considered evil until very recent when other cultures started to diffuse in to their territory which threatened the golden culture they have before. As we speak today, most of the good aspects of values and norms of the Anywaa people are not there anymore.

I am raising this big issue not to lecture my readers, though. The
reason why I am raising it is simply to serve the purpose of my article in a particular way. As you may all know, acknowledgement and recognition are very important tenets of Anywaa culture since time immemorial. Even though these norms are hardly practiced in our communities these days, I would like to praise and acknowledge what Mr. Opamo Oboya has been doing for the benefit of our society so far in a more sincere manner. Mr. Opamo was an excellent teacher and a nice artist. I knew that he was performing good revolutionary songs during the Dergue regime in our village, Pignhudo, where both of us hailed from. It is with conviction to say that he was very good in performing the songs in those days. Another thing for which I would like to praise Mr. Opamo here is that the poem he has delivered on Anyuak Radio recently. Even though, my name was among the names of those guys mentioned in the poem, I think, Mr. Opamo deserves to be praised as he is
contributing his God given skill to promote our language. If we really want to promote and develop our culture and artistic values, then it is imperative that people with certain skills, like Mr. Opamo, should be encouraged by all concerned bodies to do their best.

Art is one of the Soft Powers by which many nations are using to strengthen their influences around the world today. For instance, the U.S.A. doesn't use hard power more often even though it is the number one owner of different sophisticated weapons in the world. Americans are using their foods, music, films, sports and other activities as their soft powers to promote their values and norms and they are successful in doing that. By the same token, if we want to promote our values and culture, no question that Mr.Opamo will be one of the artists that are needed for this purpose.

Having said that, I hope, Mr. Opamo and his group will not get annoyed to raise few of his weak sides after I praised him in the way I did
above. To start with, Mr. Opamo is my elder, age wise. As we all know, in typical Anywaa culture, the people who belong to different age groups do not mingle and go together on certain social events. Due to this fact, I can say that I did not know very well how Mr. Opamo Oboya was behaving among members of his age group. Incidentally, I have got few chances to know more about Opamo after the death of the all times hero of the Anywaa people, Agwa Wara- Alemo. To be precise, when the formal Regional Government was established in Gambella in early 1990s, there was a need for intellectuals to be nominated as the heads of different bureaux by the time. As many of my readers may recalled, there were only five Anuak guys with university degrees when the Dergue regime was collapsed in 1991. As the result, the newly formed regional government under the presidency of Mr. Okello Oman, the man I will always adore with respect, has decided that those who have college diplomas should be included to fill the gap which was a noble idea as we had no sufficient qualified people at that time like what we have today. Opamo was one of those guys who had the necessary requirements. At that moment, when Opamo heard about this news, he went to Okello Baw and said " Okello! Would you want to be assassinated in the same way of what has happened to Agwa Wara- Alemo?" and Okello Baw said No! I don't want. After that Opamo fled to Abobo. When I heard this, I was surprised and astonished by what he has done. Now, the Opamo who wrote the poem, is he the same Opamo who cowardly fled for his life when his service was needed at the most by the region? I think, Mr. Opamo squarely knows how I have reached at the place I am today. How on earth can he question my credibility and capability when he himself is the living witness to tell the truth? He has no moral authority to tarnish my well built reputation in the way he did. I will
never allow that to happen.

If Opamo wants to be a president of Gambella, why he doesn't come back to do that. He has to know that he can't be a president shouting in somebody's land. Furthermore, he has to know that any person, who wants to be a leader, should be a cool headed, not a hot tempered person like him. Gambella has got decent sons and daughters who have the capacities and capabilities to lead it to the promised level in a marvelous way. Finally, let me say this as a piece of advice. Mr. Opamo is not a well versed politician. Rather, he is a well versed artist who should be reminded to apply his skills in a fruitful way for the benefits of Anuak generations to come. Please, wake up and do the best thing that is required from you for our people. Insulting and spoiling names of other innocent people will not make wise enough. The activities you are doing today will be the yardstick by which people will measure you about your credibility in the future. OK, my dear brother?
May God gives you a wisdom so that better ideas will prevail to you soon.


Cham Ugala Uriat.

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Here are the quick facts: Ambassador Cham Ugala Uriat is the Inspector General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He joined the Foreign Ministry in 2002 after serving in various Government departments, and was appointed as Ambassador to Uganda, and subsequently as Ambassador to Ghana (2004-2010). Returning to Addis Ababa he was first appointed as Director for Northern and Western Africa Countries in the Africa Directorate-General and then in August 2011 as Inspector General of the Ministry.

Ambassador Cham was born October 21st 1966 at Pignhudo in Gambella Regional State. He graduated from Asmara University in Eritrea in 1990. Ambassador is also an alumnus of the Hubert H. Humphrey fellowship program and pursued a one year study program at Cornell University (U.S.A) in 1998/99.

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