Saturday, December 11, 2010

About a boy named T. Jeffery

Written By: Bernard Gbayee Goah


By the restoration of my memory,

A flashback dear to me has troubled my mind today.

I may not have welcomed it fully when it actually happened.

I may not have felt the true meaning of its impact on me.

I might have said to myself “This is too traditional for me.”

I may have even said, “I hate anything that is not modern.”

Whatever the case,

There was a place deep down in my heart,

For a boy named T. Jeffery.


A young boy born in a very remote town in Liberia,

A town that came to be known as Pour Town,

A town where the most educated brains of Grand Gedeh emerged,

A town where brains galloped away, to far far away lands across the oceans,

In the name of seeking knowledge and good life,

Neglecting the very town that gave birth to their existence.


The boy T. Jeffery was not among those galloping brains,

Yet he was a brain all by himself.

Although he called everyone his friend,

Although known across his entire district,

No one ever befriended him.


This T. Jeffery was a Krahn traditional musician.

Town to town he went every weekend,

Taking no cent from anyone on his journey.


All he did was sing for everyone to make merry,

All he did was make his people forget their worries, and dance,

This was his life from day to day.


Then the civil war came.

Smoke from Bazookas and RPGs engulfed the air,

Women and children laid in pulls of blood.


Animals and humans ran in the same direction for safety.

Terror himself declared an emergency curfew,

And hunger took over every strata of the Liberian society.


Fear and sorrow filled the hearts of the most innocent,

And the entire tribe of T. Jeffery was forced to flee the country.


The boy T. Jeffery also fled for his life as well.

Refugee he became,

In a place unknown to modern man.

Into the deepest jungle of the French Ivory coast fled he,

In a village called Poubli took he refuge.


Again, from village to village he went,

Singing his songs to his people,

Knew he that they were worried.

Mothers and Fathers,

Brothers and sisters, Missing friends,

All killed by rebels.


He needed to restore the hopes of his people once again,

With songs he restored their hopes.

For what else could he have done,

Was all he could do.


Fifteen years he sang songs of hope and empowerment.

Empowering over 10,000 refugees,

Of which he himself was one.

Fifteen years comforted he the hearts of his people,

With songs of hope in a foreign land.


Then the war subsided.

And refugees anxiously returned home to Liberia.


The boy T. Jeffery was one of them.

He needed to go back to Liberia,

Along with his people he returned.


Quietly returned he to his homeland.

Once again in his homeland,

He continued with his songs of hope and empowerment.


One day T. Jeffery got sick.

Then he got very sick.

Then extremely sick.


But there was no one willing in the entire land to help him,

No one would talk to him,

No one knew him anymore.

Until one day T. Jeffery died.


The boy of whom I speak was a true Liberian.

His legacy though forgotten by those he comforted.

My heart lies with him deep in the soil of Pour Town, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia.

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Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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