[NAS Archives] The patriotic old blind man from Machi village, Kapoeta…

On this day of 16th May also known as SPLA Day, NAS would like to remember and celebrate some historic contributions and sacrifices made by our people in the long struggle of the liberation of our country.

Over time, we shall be sharing and celebrating many of these inspirating memories of unsung hero, but today we want to focus on one such inspiring story that took place in 1994 around Kapoeta in Eastern Equatoria State.

One old and blind man from the village of Machi, west of Kapoeta town, had received news that SPLA forces had lost several officers in battles during sustained attacks to liberate the town. Upon receiving the news, he demanded that his son, who was an SPLA soldier, take him to the battlefield not far away from his village. Our old hero insisted that he be taken to the frontlines to encourage and motivate the liberators and have a word of prayers with the fighters.

The picture below captures the historic moment the brave old blind man – a true hero of the struggle – met with SPLA commanders, Commander Thomas Cirillo (seated) and to his left, his officers Alternate Commander Leonardo Lokaale, Alternate Commander Juac Nathan and others. The meeting took place at Commander Thomas Cirillo’s tactical headquarters, about 1.5 kilometres from enemy positions around Kapoeta town.


The old man from Machi village pleaded with the forces not to be discouraged by the recent losses of their comrades and brothers in arms, but instead insisted that they must courageously continue the great fight, and
 never give up to the oppression and injustices whatever the case maybe.

With the assistance of his son and others around him, our old hero took his spear that he said belonged to his grandfather; pointed it towards the enemy base while saying some prayers asking the Almighty God to protect his children; give them courage and the spirit of resilience as they take on the noble task to liberate the country and free its people from oppression.

It is through these kinds of determination, sacrifices, steadfastness and resilience of our forefathers that made us liberate our people and the country.

Kapoeta was eventually liberated, and the contribution of this old man and many like him can not be ignored, a

This true story of this unsung hero – the old blind man from Machi village, Kapoeta county – should serve as a great inspiration to the people’s struggle today to continue the fight and bring it to its logical end despite the numerous odds we are facing today.