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Wedding in Juba - How can you tell if a bridegroom works for Nilepet?

By Deng Kiir Akok

The Nile Petroleum Corporation is a national Oil and Gas Corporation, which engages in oil exploration, production and marketing. Famous for its abbreviation Nilepet, has been a dream place of work for every South Sudanese that lives in Juba. Though the country's economy is nearly collapsing, the locals still see pastures greener in there. As a result, some of the institutions are losing their employees to Nilepet each day. Those job seekers think that getting employment at Nilepet will make them flourish like its current employees. Each one of them has a different dream from another and has to fulfil it once they are appointed in there.

For ladies that have got to Nilepet are by now driving the latest KIA models. Yeah, they have done with Arab as the saying goes for South Sudanese. Also on their wish list, include wedding in Freedom Hall, invite the President of the republic to wedding-Day, hire Juba-On-Time Studio photographer for coverage and spend the honeymoon in Dubai.

But for male employees' dreams is so complicated to tell. Any attempt to establish their needs will be an underestimation. They have a lot of problems to solve. From their fiancees' wishing to wed at Freedom Hall. Like Nilepet dreamers, Juba girls also have one thing in common, they think of and that's having their weddings at Freedom Hall. No girl in Juba had never ever heard of it.

Before Nilepet becomes a focal point for everyone in Juba, Central Bank of South Sudan employees was seen holding expensive wedding ceremonies. The bank staffs were able to pay for their bridals' beautification starting from henna to other necessities, the day before the wedding-Day at the most expensive hotels including Crown, New Sudan and Royal Palace hotel. Looking back on how the staffs were able to meet such expensive things in the past has now become a story in the light of the current economic crisis in the country.

The turn is now for Nilepet employees and the bank staffs become broke after the demise of letters of credit (LC). They were better than Nilepet employees in term of how to get money. Before the central bank ran out of dollars two years ago, there were letters of credit and the bank staffs by then knew how to deal with them. Currently, they can't even manage to pay for their birthday celebrations at Smart Camp in Thongpiny, the least expensive lodge in Juba.

As luxury weddings are increasing in Juba despite the country's shrinking economy, I witnessed one occasion last Saturday in which a former Lialy restaurant owner, now changed to University Medical Center along Malakia - Custom road found himself caught up in wedding cars of white Land Cruiser V8 while crossing the road from the property to the other side. He didn't know what to do in the middle of such speeding Japanese cars when he suddenly came to a standstill and cars passed by him from all sides. Thank God that he escaped being crushed. The man later complained to anyone that was near to him. He was heard saying, "even president Kiir's motorcade doesn't run like these cars."  

In the current economic crisis, most broke citizens of South Sudan, including this author have suspended their birthday celebrations until the economy recovered. But people are not sure of when things will get better such that life could go back to normal.

Here is our question. How do you tell if a bridegroom is an employee of Nile Petroleum Corporation? In case you come across his wedding cars out there on the roads. It's easy to tell. One need not to waste time guessing where could be his place of work.

Firstly, if wedding cars are of the Land Cruiser V8 models, then automatically that bridegroom works for Nilepet or simply call him a Nilepeter.

Secondly, the wedding belongs to an ordinary South Sudanese or Darfurian when Premio,  light buses, Reksha and boda boda (motorcycle) are used.

And thirdly, if it involves water tank trucks, Surf, Rav4 and blah, blah, then that bridegroom is either an Ethiopian or an Eriteran.

My message to Juba pedestrians is that, they should be watchful of wedding cars while crossing roads on weekends, especially on the road that links Freedom Hall in Custom, Marx Studio in Nimra Talata and Juba-On-Time Studio at Mobil roundabout.

With the above little and better than nothing knowledge, I hope that South Sudanese public by now, have known about how to differentiate between Nilepet bridegrooms and other bridegrooms that wed in Juba.

To end this piece, I would like to tell my readers that it's just a matter of time before I follow those heading for Nilepet in favor of high-paying jobs.

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