Friday, November 5, 2021
By Michael Wiles
It is with profound sadness that the Wiles’ Family announces the Sudden Death of our beloved mother, Patience Grant Wiles.
This sad event took place at her 18 Bendix Lane residence in Willingboro, New Jersey, USA on October 4, 2021. The late Patience Wiles was born in Cestos City, Rivercess County, Liberia on September 29, 1955.
She leaves to mourn TEN CHILDREN, TWENTY-NINE GRAND CHILDREN, TWO GREAT GRAND CHILDREN, THREE BROTHERS and THREE SISTERS, NEPHEWS & NIECES, COUSINS, in-laws, other relatives and friends in the U.S.A, Australia, and Liberia Respectively.
Wake-keeping and Funeral services are as follow:
Wake- Keeping will be held on Friday, November 19, 2021 from 4pm to 7pm and Funeral Service will be held on November 20, 2021 from 9am to 11 am, all at the St. Paul United Methodist Church, 201 Levitt Parkway, Willingboro, NJ . follow by the interment at the Odd Fellows cemetery, 4527 Route 130 Burlington NJ
The Wiles’ family
Monday, October 18, 2021
“Let’s Get Amplified” What’s J Slught trying to tell his fans and the rest of the world? Because he is fond of using captions to announce his next moves, look at what he did two years ago with his award winning EP Home and Beyond, also with his previous body of work King of the Jungle. Now he is posting a caption that could be creating speculations that he is heading to the former home of his rival Stunna and one of the Life Saver’s of the Liberian Entertainment Industry, Intellectual Music Executive and Serial entrepreneur Victor George. Would Stunna forgive J Slught? Because they became friends once more after years of being sworn enemies, but now J Slught might become an Amplified artist, we can’t be sure that the friendship would continue. Another school of thought might say that Victor George is trying to get his pound of flesh from Stunna because of how he walked off from Amplified records after all the heavy investments made on him. But really, Why should Victor attack Stunna with J Slught when he is still a father to the Baby O crooner even after their split?
Did you notice the Amplified logo on Stunna’s flier for his trip to Dubai with his fans? That would make us feel that he is still a part of amplified label, but no he is not. The Amplified logo is a prove that Victor George in his kind nature supports Stunna at any point of need and doesn’t have bad blood against him. We don’t know the business dealings between them for Stunna to use Victor’s company name as a backbone but from detailed observation Victor George is a very compassionate person and it won’t take him anything for him to help a son. So if Victor George signs J Slught, it wouldn’t come from the angle of trying to provoke Stunna but simply trying to take advantage of an outstanding business opportunity.
Why do you think Victor George would activate J Slught as an amplified artist? Look at it, for almost a month now J Slught has been without a record label but he has been doing so great as he released a freestyle “Out Of My Head” with a beautiful video to keep his fans happy. He didn’t stop there but has been on a radio tour granting interviews to bridge the gap and bad publicity his contract termination might have caused. To add it all up, he proudly announced through his social media platforms that he is about to drop a banger with back to back hit maker Kpanto, who is presently in the United States of America for his tour. J Slught has achieved a lot but he is still hungry for more as if he has done nothing, believe me, this is the kind of attributes professional music executives like Victor George are looking for. J Slught at Amplified would be a miracle to the Entertainment industry in Liberia, because when powerful brains meet, J Slught and Victor George, we should only expect these guys to make Liberia participate among the league of nations that controls world entertainment.
Friday, October 15, 2021
Zubin Cooper: Hosting the Miss Liberia’s pageant is a challenging task, but yet an enjoyable cultural entertainment project
Actor and media professional, Zubin Cooper is spearheading the upcoming Miss Liberia’s pageant. According to Mr. Cooper, hosting the Miss Liberia’s pageant is a challenging task, but yet an enjoyable cultural entertainment project. Check out our exclusive interview with Mr. Cooper below.
Are you still hosting Miss Liberia?
Yes, my company XL-Entertainment is still hosting Miss Liberia. A challenging yet enjoyable cultural entertainment project
You are a man of many hats, always working on something, tell us about your current project. Is The Face the biggest movie you have done?
Miss Liberia is one of a few projects I am working on at the moment, but it occupies the biggest block of time, due to the sheer amount of work it takes to really bring it together. It has a lot of elements that you have to bring together over time. And it’s a national project; we were recently able to crisscross Liberia conducting regional auditions. And it was a challenge. Had to ride a penpen (motorcycle) for about 12 hours at one point. All on the worst type of dirt roads possible in the middle of the rainy season. Had a deadline to be in Maryland though, so it had to be done. The show or in this case Miss Liberia must go on.
Other than Miss Liberia I am working on a few other projects in the cultural/entertainment space, including a multimedia project – JujuAfrica under the omuahtee AFRICA media brand. Which will consist of digital and terrestrial media broadcasting original programming to Liberia and the world. Working with an assortment on a series of programs that will cover lifestyle, entertainment, culture, history, business, dance, music, agriculture; the whole gamut except for politics. No politics at all. I think we have enough people doing that. Then there are one or two other projects under XL-Entertainment, but I will keep quiet on those for now.
Biggest feature film, yes it was.
If yes, what was that experience like?
The experience on The Last Face was basically all that you’d want of a Hollywood project, with major stars and a superstar director. Everything was big. The attention to detail was fantastic. The resources were amazing. And the cast and crew were phenomenal. Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Jared Harris, Jean Reno, Adele Exacharpoulos, Sibongile Mlambo, etc…. every actor and actress in that film were true followers of the craft. Able to channel a level of emotion and meaning into every moment that you don’t see ordinarily. It helped me to grow personally and professionally in so many ways. And I made friendships that I cherish and maintain to this day. My network was also enlarged.
Please explain to us what the Miss Liberia bidding process entails.
The Miss Liberia bidding process from my point of view was a complex yet straight forward process. Complex in that there are so many moving parts to it that if you don’t have the imagination and flexibility to be creative and innovative, that you can’t deliver on what should be a spectacle for the enjoyment of all. Especially with the challenges of Covid-19. Straightforward in that once the project vision and proposal were outlined in a realistic framework, it was just the matter of submitting the proposal, along with my corporate documents, proof of a bank account and fees and letting the committee evaluate on its merits.
As a well-traveled individual which culture outside the Liberian culture you admire the most and why?
I have been in many countries across the world, but I have always maintained a fascination with our African cultures and traditions. Especially our folk tales and oral traditions and histories. Yes, there are similarities within many nations of Africa, mainly due that most of the borders were arbitrarily arrived at by some colonial administrator (story for another day); but the sheer volume and richness is astounding and just staggers my imagination. Africa is a story waiting to be told and we as Africans have to tell the stories of our heroes and preserve the richness and depth of our culture, history and traditions. Liberia the republic’s story started in the 1800s, but Liberia the land, the grain coast’s, story is much older. That is the same for so many African cultures and their modern national counterparts. For example, I once went to Kumasi for the “Durbar” of the Asantehene, I spent about five days there. It was astounding and so varied and different, with northern chiefs on horses, to barefoot Akan warriors from neighboring kingdoms. It was amazing. Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco, and many other nations have so much to teach and share as does Liberia. The African culture revolution has yet to truly occur and ne experienced.
What are some of the challenges you are facing on this journey to bring Miss Liberia back to live?
Did I mention the 12-hour bike ride from Greenville to Harper? LOL. The biggest challenge out of the many challenges is getting the people to believe in Miss Liberia again. To restore the excitement and faith that we had in it. That sense of wonder and anticipation. That trust. That is what I want to bring back. Along with the creativity. The fashion, the style and faith. There are logistical challenges, but those can be overcome by scheduling, finances, and discipline. But getting our people to believe in Miss Liberia again; that’s the challenge.
What do you think about the current state of the Liberian movie industry?
The Liberian movie industry still has a long way to go. We had a renaissance of sorts during Ebola, but the short gains made during that time in terms of audience engagement and commercial profitability have slowed. We are progressing, but it still has many obstacles to overcome and face as it tries to climb to the heights of the Nigerian and South African and Northern African and East African cinema.
What do you think is holding the Liberian Movie industry back?
The Liberian movie industry is lacking investment, imagination or creativity and discipline and dedication. Let’s look at creativity or imagination first. When I speak of creativity or imagination, I am speaking of not only the content of the movies/films (for expediency I am also including digital media and tv), but how those contents are delivered to the audience. Even how they are created. In other African nations people are shooting films, skits, TV programs on mobile phones. Why aren’t we doing that? How are we using digital platforms? We are still imitating and not innovating. Until we can conquer that hump, we wont move. We don’t have the financing or access to capital that is in other African countries, so we have to as a must, begin to innovate and be creative in how we engage in pre-production, production and post. 1xBet sponsors many Nigerian creatives, why don’t our creatives engage them or their local equivalent? Why must we have a sponsor? These are questions we need to ask ourselves. Discipline and dedication mostly goes to aspiring filmmakers, you are called aspiring for a reason. Learn and perfect your craft and put in work. Its not you turn up on set and shoot. A lot of preparation goes into shooting; improvisation is good, but you can’t improvise 24/7. When it comes to finance we need to realize that government and the private sector in Liberia , do not understand nor value the culture and entertainment industries. Some individuals might, but they can’t support the entire industry. So, we have to find new means of financing and pushing our ideas to the front. New means of distribution, news means of raising capital, new means of getting the public to watch and/or purchase our films, skits, productions.
What advice to you have for the Liberian entertainment industry as a whole?
We need to come together under the Liberian Movie Union and see how we can embrace new media and new avenues of finance and distribution to make the critical next steps in our development. It will take patience, hard work and dedication, which LIMU has in excess. We just have to stay together and make it happen.
What message do you have for your fans?
Stay tuned for JujuAfrica and you will be enthralled by what we will bring to the culture and entertainment space soon. If you have any creative ideas or want to collab reach out. I am always open. The Internet and social media have given every one of us the opportunity to be a star in our own space. Use it. Sign up to my fanpage zubincooper on FB and follow me on IG as omuahtee and twitter as omuahtee.
Well, we look forward to seeing what Mr. Cooper has in store for us.
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Ever since he first emerged onto the scene with his hit song “Slow It Down”, Benji Cavalli has continuously proven himself as an award winner. Priding himself as a singer and dancer, he has kept himself booked over the years. Check out my interview with Benji below.
What has been the best performance of your career so far?
- My first time performing at the LEA in 2016. I received a lot of support from the fans, the energy from the crowd was great, and it is also the same year I won Best Music Video for “Slow It Down.”
Who inspired you to make music?
- My uncle Zack Roberts was one of Liberia’s legendary performers. He and Liberia’s Coast Guard band exposed me to different sounds at an early age and my passion for music still exists today.
What is your creative process like?
- I like to be in a place of peace and quiet because I write best when I’m relaxed. I always begin with prayer, then I draw from my experiences and what I observe around me.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
- I’m open to working with any artist who would like to work with me. I’m all about pushing Liberia forward through arts and would like to partner with anyone who also shares that vision.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
- If Michael Jackson were alive, it’d be him.
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
- Of course. I sing my own songs and try to create some also.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
- It has made music accessible to more listeners and has increased my ability to leave a global impact.
What is your favourite song to perform?
- “Lazy” for sure because the fans love it, and I love to see the smiles on their faces.
What do you think about the current state of the Liberian music industry?
- Right now the industry is growing compared to years back. We have a lot of talent, and our music is reaching across borders through collaborations with artists from other markets. We are moving in the right direction.
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
- When I was very young, I snuck into the building where the Coast Guard band used to rehearse. When they were done I hid in the closet, and after they left and locked the doors, I stayed there playing the drums all night. My parents were looking for me. A janitor ended up finding me, and when I got home I was in a lot of trouble for missing dinner and causing my family to panic.
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
- I wish we would collaborate more. We are all trying to change our narrative and push Liberia forward, so we should focus on the bigger picture behind what we are doing.
What’s next for you?
- I’m actually working on my first album and preparing for a U.S. tour in addition to connecting more closely with my fan base in Liberia. I’m excited about putting out a complete project, and I’m trusting God for the rest.
Saturday, September 11, 2021
The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will soon celebrate football with the induction of Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Tamba Hali, University of Missouri running back Devin West, Kickapoo High School & University of Central Missouri quarterback Scott Loveland, Salem High School coach Bill Schuchardt, and Lebanon radio broadcaster Kevin Stubblefield, as well as the Harrisonville High School Football Program and Cassville High School’s 2008 and 2009 state championship teams.
CEO & Executive Director Jerald Andrews on Wednesday announced the upcoming inductees, who will be enshrined during the annual Football Luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company. It’s set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 13 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.
Additionally, the Hall of Fame will honor the Elite 11, which recognizes former high school and college standouts, or those who have made positive contributions to the game.
Tamba Hali – Kansas City Chiefs
Hali was among the best pass rushers in Kansas City Chiefs history, doing so years after escaping the war-torn West African country of Liberia at age 10 and making a new home in the United States. A first-round draft pick in 2006 out of Penn State University, he spent his entire National Football League career with the Chiefs, covering 12 seasons (2006-2017) and helping the team to six playoff berths. He is second only to the legendary Derrick Thomas (126.5) in career sacks (89.5) and ahead of Neil Smith’s 85.5 and Justin Houston’s 78.5. Thomas (MSHOF 2021) and Smith (MSHOF 2008) have been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. A six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Hali also forced 33 fumbles, second only to Thomas’ 45 and four more than Smith’s 29. Additionally, Hali started at least 15 games every season from 2006 to 2014 and started 14 in 2015. At Penn State, Hali was a consensus NCAA All-American in 2005 and was part of the Orange Bowl team that beat Florida State 26-23 in three overtimes.
Friday, September 10, 2021
After seizing the Norwegian Embassy, the Taliban smashed wine bottles and destroyed children's books.
The Taliban have taken over the Norwegian embassy in Kabul and took to smashing wine bottles and destroying children's books at the establishment.
"Guns apparently are less dangerous"
Norwegian ambassador to Iran Ambassador Sigvald Hauge wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the Taliban “say they will return it to us later” and added “but first wine bottles are to be smashed and children's books destroyed.”
Norway vacated its diplomatic post in the Afghan capital with the help of fellow Scandinavian neighbour Denmark before the Taliban took over the city.
Earlier, the Taliban had said that they would not interfere with the diplomatic establishments of foreign nations, including embassies.
The Taliban are now forming the government in Afghanistan that is likely to be led by Hibatullah Akhundzada. Taliban's hardline interim government includes specially designated global terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani as the acting interior minister.
Jeff Bezos wants to delay ageing, quite literally. The Amazon founder and space enthusiast recently extended financial support to Altos Labs, which is trying to solve one of the worst human ailments - mortality.
Reported first by MIT Tech Review, Altos Labs has also received funding from a Russian billionaire named Yuri Milner and his wife Julia. Milner is quite famous for investing in big companies like Twitter, Spotify, Facebook and Airbnb.
The Altos journey to immortality kicked off earlier this year in the United States and the United Kingdom where the company was incorporated. Now, the company wants to set up institutes in uncharted territories including Japan.
It appears that the company is also trying to induct scientists from major universities by offering them high salaries. Bezos is no stranger to similar endeavours. With a net worth of over $200 billion, Jeff Bezos has invested in a series of companies, even others that are trying to solve the problem of mortality.
According to the New York Post, Jeff Bezos has also invested in a start-up called Unity Biotechnology which is also working to "halt or reverse diseases" of ageing.
A group of scientists met last year for a two-day conference to discuss technology to reverse ageing. This conference culminated in the creation of Altos Labs after scientists pitched their attempts at rejuvenating animals. The company hopes to revive dying cells, with the goal to stretch the lifespan of a human being.
Do you think it's a noble goal to pursue immortality?
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Eugene Rogues, a Liberian businessman who is based in Minnesota, has embarked on a journey to fight hunger in Liberia through his non profit organization, Liberian Girls Rock. Check out our interview with Eugene Rogues.
What is the essence of Liberian Girls Rock?
Ans: Fight hunger in Liberia and in Liberian Communities around the world, Provide Educational Assistance through LGR scholarship program, Provide Medical Assistance to Women and children in Liberia and award women for providing Community activist services that helps Liberians around the world.
Why Liberia this year?
Ans: Lot of Liberians are afraid of going back home. We believe as an organization, hosting LGR in Liberia will open positive doors which will allow some people to return. Liberia needs us, Liberia needs positive services, Liberia needs good things, Liberia needs good programs that will empower youth, women, and children. Liberian Girls Rock can no longer wait on the side and hope someone will make our country a better place for us all. We as people, we need to give our country the best part of us, and Liberian Girls Rock will do whatever it takes to shine positive light on Liberia. Now is better then later…
What should we expect different from the prior Liberian Girls Rock?
Ans: Better Organization and better services output. Liberian Girls Rock currently has 12 employees working full time in Liberia. Some of their daily work involve researching women who are providing positive services to Liberia around the world, going to different communities to fine people who will benefit from LGR Hunger, Education, medical assistance program. LGR currently have employees working full time, will eliminate mistakes made in the past.
Is the move to Liberia permanent?
Ans: Yes. The move to Liberia is permanent. The work that Liberian Girls Rock do, Fit better in Liberia
What are some of the challenges you are facing so far?
Ans: Getting people involve without putting themselves first, getting support from our own Liberian People, lack of donations.
There are a lot of people to help with less support.
What message do you have for the fans Liberian Girls Rock?
Liberian Girls Rock pledge to Fight hunger, Provide Educational, Medical & Security Assistance to Liberian Women & children of Liberia. Please support us in this endeavor.
Monday, September 6, 2021
Sunday, September 5, 2021
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Those that rock with me, I love them, those that don’t, it’s still all love: Coz (Exclusive Interview)
Do you remember when you first received a compliment as a rapper? What did it feel like?
FIRST TIME I WAS COMPLIMENTED
I can't remember the actual first time I was complimented but an early compliment that stood out was from a friend when we were just out of high school. My bro Roy aka Pretty Boy Roy told me "there's people that can rap but CO.Z can really RAP RAP". It felt fulfilling. It didn't have to be someone of a so called big status. The fact that my friend approved it was enough for me. I knew if he liked my flow, the rest of the hood and even the world would like my flow.
Which one of your songs was the hardest to write? Why?
“Hands High” was one of the hardest songs I wrote. Venny Beats, the producer introduced me to the trap sound and pattern. It took me some time to catch it. The chorus I came up with instantly alongside Venny, when he played the beat for me but I had to sit on it for a while to come up with the verses.
Which one of your songs was the easiest to write? How did you get the inspiration?
The easiest song I wrote was Scrapper Food. Sean Wrekless was the key inspiration and driving force to the song. He is the producer of that recorded and he gave me the concept for the song. I was so inspired by what he wanted me to do that I wrote and recorded the song in 30 minutes after getting the instrumental. The concept of the issues surrounding the current economic state of Liberia was too relatable. I didn't have to think too hard. The words came to me like an angel whispering in my ear as I jotted down the scripture
Describe your target audience.
My target audience is true hip-hop and music heads of any ethnic background ranging from all ages. I make music to be felt by all souls no matter your color or creed. Those that rock with me, I love them. Those that don't, it's still all love. They'll feel me one day hopefully.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Five years from now, Spiritually I will work on getting more in tune with my higher power and my family. Professionally, I will continue to explore opportunities that will help in the development of my country. My businesses would have expanded, allowing me to employ more Liberians and give back to society. Musically, I will be retired as a recording artist but I will still operate Liberty Entertainment as a record label. We will continue to sign underground artists, manage artists and develop talent in Liberia.
What do you need to do to take your craft to the next level?
What I need to do:
I just have to stay consistent. Trust God, trust myself, trust my team and vice versa. I am always open to room for improvement in any area of my music career. I have to make sure I'm moving smart as it relates to the business side of the music. No laziness. No slacking. The game is always just one hit away.
Which foreign artist would you like to do a feature with? Why?
As an MC I would want to do a record with Jadakiss. Kiss has been one of my favorite rappers and a major influence on my career. He represents an era of hip hop which I was raised in and became a part of. The golden era. Here in Africa though I would love to Collab with 2face. He is a great artist. I been rocking with him for over a decade now. His voice is unique and his style is so smoove. He is for the culture for real.
What message would you give to a younger version of you?
Pray more. Believe in yourself more. Leave the streets alone. Keep your circle tight. Attract what you want, dont chase it. Work hard but most importantly work smart.
And there it is, check out Coz on YouTube.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Donda is my favorite Kanye album since The Life of Pablo. The production is excellent, the guest appearances are fantastic, and Kanye appears to have regained his mojo as a rapper.
I also admire Kanye's willingness to constantly push the boundaries of how albums are made and distributed.
I think Kanye deserves credit for putting together a long album that is mostly pleasant from beginning to end.
He sounded more enthused about rapping than he had in years, which was really impressive.
Donda is an excellent album. Aside from the listening parties, controversy, and shenanigans, Kanye got a lot of things right on this album. Artists including Jay-Z, Fivio Foreign, the Weeknd, Travis Scott, The Lox, and Jay Electronica contributed significantly to the album. Kanye's bars were spot-on, and he revealed a side of himself that hasn't been seen in a long time. The production is also brilliant, combining the gospel of Jesus Is King with Yeezus' experimental electronics and Late Registration's soulful sampling.
What is the album's best song?
“Hurricane” was the most anticipated song on the album, and Kanye managed to outdo himself by getting fantastic performances from both Lil Baby and the Weeknd. Many tracks on Donda follow this pattern, with thoughtful, redemptive lyrics encased in melody and pleasant sound, but this is my personal favorite. As usual, Lil Baby did his thing, and this was Kanye's strongest rapping performance on the project in my opinion. The flows, wordplay, and intensity remind me of Ye in the early 2010s, when he was on his way to becoming one of the best rappers. But it's not just the technique; he delves into a variety of issues on this one, including his marriage.
The song "Off the Grid" is a clear standout. It's one of those songs that'll go off in a club or at a festival, and Fivio Foreign delivers one of his best lines ever, rapping on his time in prison, faith, and coming out. Kanye is also in rare form, rapping on his recent silence with a flow reminiscent of old Ye (“My mask on my face, you can't see what I'm finna do/ Had to walk away from gloomy people”). And while we're on the subject of the best tunes, "Jesus Lord" deserves to be mentioned. Kanye delivered some of his most personal bars in years, the Lox brought the heat, and Jay Electronica's verse at the end of the song... chef's kiss.
“Believe What I Say” has the potential to become a radio hit.
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Saturday, August 28, 2021
Liberian rapper Teddyride has notched up another hit song with “King Solomon” achieving 5000 sales in less than three hours.
Teddyride took the old fashion sales pitch, hitting the streets with 5000 hard copies, which were sold out in less than three hours.
His new song “King Solomon” is seeing success in the single charts. His online streaming is going up, and door to door sales exceeding expectations.
Visit Teddyride’s YouTube to check out new song.
Friday, August 27, 2021
Liberia's squad for the game in Nigeria in 2022 World Cup qualifications is led by Slavia Prague's Dorley.
Goalkeepers: Ashley Williams (RB Linense, Spain), Tommy Sango (LISCR, Liberia), Morlik Keita (Mighty Barrolle, Liberia).
Defenders: Prince Balde (KF Drita, Kosovo), Jeremy Saygbe (RB Linense, Spain), Alvin Maccornel (Watanga, Liberia), Sampson Dweh (LPRC Oilers, Liberia), Daniel Paye (Bea Mountain, Liberia), Teah Dennis (Monrovia Club Breweries, Liberia), Carlos Williams (Watanga, Liberia).
Midfielders: Abrahim Mohamed Soumaoro (Paeek FC, Cyprus), Murphy Dorley (Slavia Prague, Czech Republic), Marcus Macauley (Sahab FC, Jordan), Terrence Tisdell (Kocaelispor, Turkey), Justin Salmon (Degerfor IF, Sweden), David Tweh (Rukh Brest, Belarus), Allen Njie (FC Aarau, Switzerland), Abu Kamara (FC Makedonijagjp, North Macedonia).
Forwards: Ayouba Kosiah (NAC Breda II, Netherlands), Kpah Sherman (Kedah Darul Aman FC, Malaysia), Mohammed Kamara (Hatayspor, Turkey), and Van-Dave Harmon (unattached).
During his huge Donda listening party, Kanye West lights himself on fire and walks across the stage ablaze
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
174TH FLAG DAY MESSAGE
"IT IS TIME TO UPHOLD THE FLAG"
On August 24, 1847, about a month after the Declaration of Independence, the Lone Star was hoisted. The Flag is the symbol not of a historically perfect nation but one dedicated to always strive to be better. Wherever it is flown, our Flag identifies all Liberians as belonging to one nation, which is to remain indivisible. It represents that in spite of our difficult past, we remain one people dedicated to democratic self-governance, committed to equality in opportunities for all, and determined to build for ourselves and for our children, a nation to be a shining example of freedom, opportunity and liberty for all.
The Lone Star represents hope - hope that despite historical challenges and contemporary difficulties, Liberians can, and will overcome. The Lone Star represents faith - the faith that in spite of our imperfect history; despite the difficult journey to build a nation, we can still build a better future for ourselves and for our children. The Lone Star represents belief - the belief that despite our divisions and shortcomings, we can still strive to heal, reconcile and become whole, because a whole nation working together is better than the sum of its parts.
The Lone Star represents something even more profound. The Liberian Flag represents the imagination and industry of Liberian women. It was Liberian women who worked together to stitch the symbol of the new and independent nation.
174 years later, while we have had one woman President, we now have one woman Vice President, and have had other notable women in national and international services to our country; it must be rightly said that the nation has not kept its promise of equality to its women citizens. Many continue to unfairly struggle for a place around the table of national decision-making. Obstacles and hindrances continue to be placed in the way of Liberian women achieving their full potentials and realizing their dreams.
In many parts of the country, Liberian mothers, sisters and daughters are the subjects of abuse, denials, rape, and inhumane treatments, thereby robbing many of a sense of equality, entitlements and deserved dignity.
54 years after Liberia’s Declaration of Independence, in 1901, a 19-year old Edwin Barclay wrote our nation’s patriotic song symbolized in the Flag. Desert it, Barclay asked, and answered: No, never! Uphold it? Yes, forever. This call to patriotic duty and national service is as important today as it was written 120 years ago.
Every Liberian - indeed the government which represents the collective aspirations of the people - share in this patriotic duty. This duty is not simply to stand at attention as the cloth on which the impression of the Flag is designed is being hoisted. Our patriotic duty is to uphold the values of the Flag, and to always strive to fulfill its various promises to all Liberians.
This is why when we lead by division, exclusion and marginalization; we desert the Flag.
When we manage ourselves in ways to keep so many Liberians trapped in poverty in a country blessed with so much natural wealth; we desert the Flag.
When we cut deals that shortchange Liberia’s interests for personal gains; we desert the Flag.
When we abuse public offices and trusts and lend ourselves to act corruptly; we desert the Flag.
When we deny opportunities to each other, or judge each other not by the letter and spirit of the same, law but by choices of political association, or differences in ethnicity and religion; we desert the Flag.
Rather than setting higher expectations and aspirations for ourselves, when we set lowering standards and trap ourselves in negative self-fulfilling prophecies of what we can and cannot do as a nation; we desert the Flag.
When we fail to protect and honor women - when we hinder the development of all children including the girl child and deny women the right to equal participation and opportunity - we desert the Flag.
When we fail to prepare our youth by not providing them the highest quality of education so that they are ready for the demands of generational change and leadership, and to confidently compete with other children of the world; we desert the Flag.
When we fail to provide adequately for our senior citizens in retirement after the years of their dedicated services to our nation; we desert the Flag.
When our young people are sent to prisons only to be abandoned and someday be returned to society as hardened criminals because of the absence of programs of reforms in our prisons; we desert the Flag.
When our streets are overtaken by drugs, a sense of hopelessness, as well as rising unemployments and crimes, and the minds and capacities of many of our young people are not being productively employed; we desert the Flag.
When Liberian businesses are being choked to deaths because of unfair preferences, practices and regulations; when small and medium-sized businesses have no access to micro-financing, loans and opportunities for fair competition and growth; when the innate spirit of Liberian entrepreneurship is being stifled causing many to become mere observers and bystanders in the economy of their country; we desert the Flag.
When we steal from the people, or unfairly and wastefully distribute the nation’s wealth so that those who need it the most are given less, and those who already have are unaccountably taking more; we desert the Flag.
My fellow Liberians: I know we cannot change our past, but we can make our nation’s future better. I know change is hard. I know it will require a lot of work. But I also know we can do it.
I know to continue to govern and manage our country in the same way we always have, and under the same dysfunctional and failed system of corruption, poor quality in education and selective justice, will only worsen the current living conditions of our people, and undermine the bright future we seek for all Liberians.
My people: It is time to change.
It is time to do the right things - not just for a political party but for the betterment of the country. It is time to come together, to genuinely heal and be reconciled.
It is time to look out for all those who cannot look out for themselves - the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the sick, all of our children, and our students.
It is time to help those who are actually working hard to help the nation succeed - doctors, nurses, teachers, caregivers, national servicemen and women in the military and security apparatuses.
It is time to help those who are trying their very best and still catching hard times - market women, Yana Boys, Pehn-pehn Riders, Keh-keh Riders, young men and young women who are selling whatever they can find in the streets just to make ends meet.
It is time to help the farmers who are struggling to make their farms with outdated tools and methods, and are finding it burdensome, if not impossible, to sell what they are able to produce.
It is time to support underfunded hospitals, schools and clinics.
It is time to reach out a hand of understanding and assistance to parents struggling to pay rent, school fees, hospital bills, feed their families, and keep a roof over their heads.
It is time to support Liberian artists and artisans so that through their works we showcase the best of ourselves.
When Liberians make it - when we create the system and enabling environment so that children have a chance to be better than their parents, and so that all Liberians can have a chance to succeed, if they are ready to work as hard as it will take to succeed, then we fulfill our patriotic duty to uphold the Flag.
Liberians, it is time to uphold the Flag.
All Hail Lone Star, All Hail.
God bless you.
God bless Liberia.
Happy Flag Day
~ Alex Cummings ~