With the publication of this book, Professor Martin Marial Takpiny
has joined the rank of the very few South Sudanese public fi gures
who understand and appreciate the importance of their personal
experiences in public life as a resource that can be shared.
Among his South Sudanese peers, the author is likely to evoke in the reader a sense of vicarious “participation” in the narratives and events retold here, or a twinge of nostalgia or sadness as individual cases may dictate.
As for the younger generation and posterity or readers from different cultural or ethnic backgrounds, some of the episodes will certainly provide them with first hand “report” from an eye-witness.
This book is a welcomed contribution – to some extent – to the understanding of the social and political evolution of the society of South Sudan, the world’s youngest and struggling nation.
MARTIN MARIAL TAKPINY was born in 1940 in Yirol
District of what is today the state of South Sudan. He received
primary and secondary education in Tonj and Rumbek in Bahr
el Ghazal Province. After teaching for years, Marial went to the
American University in Beirut which awarded him bachelor and
master degrees in education.
Back home from the Levant, Martin Marial Takpiny became a
secondary school teacher and later lectured on Education at the
new University of Juba. At the close of the last century, he was
promoted Associate Professor and Dean of the newly created University of Bahr el Ghazal, based in Wau, the region’s capital.
Between the Sudan’s civils wars – from 1955 to 1972 and from 1983 to 2005 – Martin Marial Takpiny ventured into politics during which time he was elected to the People’s
Regional Assembly, the legislature of self-governing Southern Region. He later served briefly as commissioner of his Lakes home province.
As a school teacher and university lecturer, Martin Marial Takpiny has taught many students, some of them now among South Sudan’s ruling elites – in politics, military,
Business, academia, medicine and the like. His former students include the late Dr John Garang, the late SPLM/A leader, James Wani Igga, South Sudan’s Vice-President and numerous prominent public figures among his compatriots.
Professor Martin Marial Takpiny is married to Susan Ajak Simon Ngong. They have six daughters and a son.
Having patially lost his eyesight due to diabetes, he depends on audio books instead of reading, previously one his favourite hobbies.