Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Juba Vocabulary

There is a hilarious new vocabulary that truly reflects the melting pot of development and post-war culture in South Sudan, and Ayom Wol Dhal has been taking notes.

Here are some of my favourites:

baby beny (noun phrase) Mocking term for a younger close relative of a high-ranking member of government, who despite having no job is regularly seen driving/crashing cars with GOSS plates, living the high life and intimidating low-level service industry personnel with the phrase ‘do you know who I am?’. Usually expects to be accorded the security status, respect and in-service benefits which are rightfully held by the illustrious older relative. Although the term is part Dinka, it is applicable to people of all ethnicities who fit the bill.
Source: AW Dhal, Juba 2012

briefcase INGO (noun phrase) Pejorative term for an international NGO which retains such a high percentage of donor funds for its own staff and structures that this appears to be its core business. As in “an INGO that needs to come with a big briefcase, so that it can take away all the money”. The phrase is a riposte to the currently popular phrase ‘briefcase NGO’, meaning an NGO with no local constituency or actual programing, set up largely or solely to attract funding.
Source: local NGO member (name withheld to protect the little funding available), Bahr El Ghazal 2012

infant soldier (noun phrase) Mocking term for a young man, typically one trying to impress ignorant foreign girls, or a prospective rap star, who claims to have been a child soldier, despite the fact that he is much, much too young to have fought in the war. Often associated with a claim to be a ‘lost boy’, despite never having been involved in any of the tragic overland child exoduses which gave rise to the term.

Source: AW Dhal, Juba 2012

International Relationships, qualification in (noun phrase) Humorous term for the qualifications which might be said to be held by commercial sex workers, particularly those specializing in servicing the UN/INGO market. Can further be sub-divided to indicate the market level at which such workers function, eg: high school diploma in International Relationships (low-end worker, perhaps based in Jebel Market); first degree in International Relationships (mid-level worker, perhaps specializing in the hotel trade, may be ostensibly employed in another service industry, such as hospitality, which affords access to potential clients); Masters (or perhaps that should be Mistress?) degree in International Relationships (high-end worker who may be accommodated in an expensive hotel or apartment, or be the temporary ‘girlfriend’ of expatriate or wealthy local clients, may be ostensibly employed as an office worker or sales rep, occasionally graduates out of the sector altogether with the help of a visa and wedding ring). The sector is marked by extreme fluidity as talented students may readily upgrade their qualifications and those with personality or substance abuse issues may quickly regress to Jebel Market. Modules of such a qualification may include face-to-face marketing, manual dexterity and vehiclular services.
Source: unidentified commercial sex worker (and one clearly in the wrong job), Juba 2011

H/T: Maggie Fick

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