Saturday, July 20, 2013

RAISING THOUGHTS

I believe that the way a person interacts with others, views himself/herself whether in big or small context, or responds to his or her environment( whether the living or the non-living parts) should not be the center of attention. The way an individual behaves in social context is absolutely irrelevant if not meaningless. One cannot fully make sense of anyone's behavior or his/her own action without understanding what social or to some extent, biological factors that gave rise to such behaviors. And with such understanding we can create a better environment and make human interactions more delicious.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

DAVID MEDIA 2012 YEAR END AWARDS


DAVID MEDIA's Chairman & CEO, Sir Dave Toh Jah

This is the time of the year when we take the time to reflect on the past and recognize individuals and institutions for their contribution to the discourses of life.

Worse Person Award
                                                                President Ellen Johnson
Almost close to a decade ago the nation, Liberia, was rhapsodized when the first female president of the country was elected, defeating a very popular and financially stable soccer icon of Liberia. Prior to her election, the continent of Africa has had a political pitch dominated by men, majority of whom presided over political, social, and economic decadence in their respective countries.

The enthusiasm for fundamental changes in Liberia was apparent. Such enthusiasm and hopeful aspirations were well founded, because the elected leader was no new comer to the politics of change. Her scholarship, work history, and unhindered quest for justice, economic equity, and the desire to create an enduring, enabling Liberian society galvanized support for her election. Many Liberians and the world at large anticipated a departure from the status quo that has kept the nation Liberia impoverished, divided, and endlessly in search of new leadership.

At present, DAVID MEDIA has determined that despite the goodwill of the international community toward Liberia, the country has made no significant inroads in the areas of infrastructural development especially in the construction of modern roads/highways that will help alleviate the hardship of majority of the country’s population.

The security apparatus of the country especially the Liberian Police Force remains paralyzed. We have thought that by now with the help of the international peace keeping force the government would have begun putting into place a competent police force that will ensure the security of the Liberian people. The country is currently under foreign occupation with no sign to put security in the hands of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

Also the issue of returning refugees or facilitating their return has not being addressed by the government under the leadership of President Sirleaf.

At this point the government has failed to provide plausible economic reasons why the Liberian dollar is not being used as the official currency and would opt to promote and use a currency that Liberia’s banking institutions are unable to control and regulate. We believe this has contributed to the flight of capital, slow pace of local development, and the harsh cost of living Liberians continue to experience.

President Sirleaf has failed to put into place an enduring legacy that will serve as road map for the country which for so long has had no functioning institutions. President Sirleaf has ultimately failed to inspire the nation despite the high confidence the Liberian people have reposed in her.

We are DAVID MEDIA are concerned that President Sirleaf is metaphorically leaving the broken doors wide open and with her departure the country is likely to be rendered vulnerable.


The ever enduring DAVID MEDIA, following meticulous and poignant analysis, names President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the Worse Person of the Year.

  
Inductees of the Hall of Shame
                                                               Dr. Amos C. Sawyer
We at DAVID MEDIA are delighted to present this award to Liberia’s former Interim Leader and former professor of political science at the University of Liberia, Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer. Over the years we have observed that Dr. Sawyer has demonstrated no genuine statesmanship but has embroiled himself in the politics of cronyism practiced in the Unity Party led government. He has had no imprints on the task of unifying, reconciling, and building viable economic institutions in the country. We at DAVID MEDIA were shockingly dismayed when Dr. Sawyer consistently complained that he deserved to be paid more than $ 15,000 (United States dollars) per month when he is aware of the revenue capacity of the country, that the country continues to reel from the vestiges of war and that standard of living in Liberia is among the least in the world. In a country where majority of the population do not have income and those employed earned on average $ 50.00 a month, Dr. Sawyer has championed his own cause. Under his watchful eyes as Good Governance Chairman, the Liberian people have experienced governance at worse. Dr. Sawyer’s impact despite his statesmanship has failed to extend beyond the Foreign Ministry where the President resides. Based on these and more DAVID MEDIA effectively inducts Professor Amos C. Sawyer in the Historic Hall of Shame.

We also present this award to Mr. James Fromoyan, former chairman of the Liberian Elections Commission. Under Mr. Fromoyan’s leadership, the Election Commission performance was dismal and has yet to recover from such malaise. DAVID MEDIA therefore inducts Mr. Fromoyan into our Historic Hall of Shame.

Person/s of the Year Award

This is one of DAVID MEDIA’s prestigious awards presented to individual/s who have played exemplary roles in our nation and the broader community. Following careful observation and analysis, DAVID MEDIA is pleased and   honored to name Counselors Tiawon Gongloe and Negbalee Warner as our Persons of the year. The two have over the year demonstrated their commitment to a forward moving country, a nation based on rule of law and merit.  They have set themselves apart as distinguished and committed to social justice and equity in Liberia while many of their country men and women tangle themselves with greed and self service. DAVID MEDIA urges these two gentlemen to continue to strive for a transparent, reconciled, and democratic nation.   


The Patriot Award

DAVID MEDIA’s patriot award is one of its most prestigious is presented to Dr. Nathaniel Gbasaygee who has left the lofty life of the United States and has selected to settle in one of the remotest areas of Liberia to help to teach. Dr. Gbasaygee will share this award with Mrs. Pearl Banks Williams, current acting President of Monrovia College. Like Dr. Gbasaygee, Mrs. Williams has returned to Liberia. She takes over the leadership of Monrovia College and Industrial High School for an interim period. Kudos to these selfless personalities.

Speak up/Shut up Segment
 
                                                                Rep. Edwin Snowe
Former House of Representative Speaker, Edwin Snowe and Senator Prince Y. Johnson-those two have spoken well in Liberia in the past year through their actions and deeds. The nation and the World at large have heard them loud and clear and the more they speak out, the more repulsive they have become. They are therefore the recipients of DAVID MEDIA’s Shut up Award.

DAVID MEDIA awards the following our Speak up Award. We urge them to continue to champion the cause of justice, fairness, equity and a society based on merits and hard work. They are as follows:

  1. Counselor Jerome Verdier
  2. Dr. Zumo
  3. Mr. Dennis C. Jah
  4. Ms. Lovetta Tugbeh
  5. Mr. Mohammed Sheriff
  6. Mr. J. Gedimina Flomo
  7. Counselor Rodney Chesson
  8. Mr. Dempster Yallah
  9. Thomas Bedell
10. DAVID MEDIA also urges the Liberian musician Friday “Cell phone man” to continue to speak up using his musical voice especially spreading his message in his native language.  


Missing in Action Award goes to Samuel Kofi Woods for remaining silent on the many excesses of government.

Hollywood marriage of the Year goes to the Weah Tubman Alliance that broke up in pieces after the 2011 elections. Beside, DAVID MEDIA recommend that the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) become more democratic and allow the frank and democratic exchanges of views. The institution cannot opt for democratically changing Liberia when it has consistently failed to practice democracy in its ranks and files.  The CDC cannot wait to take political power before it begins to learn and practice democracy.    

Solemn Remembrance
                       The Late Tarty Teh

DAVID MEDIA remembers some of our fallen heroes and prays that in rest in perpetual peace. We remember our giants of the Liberian struggle, Tarty Teh, Bodiour Wisseh Siapoe, and journalist Tom Kamara. We also remember Liberia’s prolific comedian and actor; Mr. Peter Ballah famously called Flomo who departed this world few days to the New Year. We remember Dr. Mary Antoinette Sherman, former President of the University, Sister Edith Swenyonnoh Jah, and many other departed brothers and sisters.RIP!

Note: DAVID MEDIA is a consortium of media institutions in the Republic of Liberia, the United States, Europe and Canada. Its chairman and CEO is a 1986 graduate of Monrovia College on Camp Johnson, Monrovia-Liberia. He can be reached @ 215-725-2559.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Press Release

Jedeapoh Leadership Speaks Out

Reports: Public Relation Bureau of JETCO
The Administration of the Jedeapoh Tribal Council (JETCO), USA has described as a miscarriage and a travesty of vast magnitude a purported meeting which was held in Trenton New Jersey in which it was reported that a committee to conduct elections for the council was set up. The administration has indicated that the group that reportedly met in Trenton on 26th June 2010 has no democratic clout to set up elections for Jedeapoh in the United States. The administration has therefore appealed to all Jedeapoh to ignore the big bluff that is being exhibited by certain elements in the community masquerading as leaders. The administration stated that the purported group that met in Trenton does not reflect the broad conscience and will of the Jedeapoh people as such its pronouncement should be disregarded. Such pronouncement has no impetus and merits. The council emphasized.
It can be recalled that in 2007, citizens of Jedeapoh in the United States of America overwhelmingly rejected the candidacy of Mr. Samuel N. Saylee in Trenton, New Jersey when they massively elected an erudite son of Jedeapoh, Mr. Bodiour Wesseh Siapo.
Meanwhile, the administration of the council has described as overzealous and conceited the behavior of three individuals who published report in a local daily in Monrovia indicating that citizens of Jedeapoh in the United States of America have requested that the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson, run for a second term during the presidential election of 2011. The administration indicated that while it respects the accomplishments of the Sirleaf’s administration, the organization was in no way prepared to embroil itself into politics, adding the council is a non-profit, non-political, and a non-ideological organization and as such it was dismayed by the reports. The council maintained that members of the council have their individual’s rights to pursue their political aspirations but the name of the organization should never be used for some political gamesmanship. The administration has maintained that such behavior has violated constitutional precepts of the organization and has embarrassed the institution. Consequently, the administration has appealed to its non partisan sponsors not to be distracted by the actions of those who are bent on placing personal interest above the well being of the people of Jedeapoh.
Meanwhile, the Jedeapoh Tribal Council administration, under the stewardship of the JBCC has announced that it will be holding a massive consultative meeting at the residence of Mrs. Ida Lewis Bonal in Levittown, Pennsylvania on July 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm. At the meeting, the council will review its strategy and programs as it begins the fiscal year in July. The council will assess and reassess the scope of its initiatives and also review reports from it project coordinators in Liberia. The council is inviting the entire populace of Jedeapoh in the United States, Mexico, and Candida, as well as other well wishers to attend. Details of the meeting will be enclosed in the citations.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Have Your Say

Beware, Soul Brothers

Some years ago an old legend of epic stories told me. The Legend indicated that it was long time ago, even before snakes lost their limbs . At such time elephants have not transcended into growing very large ears. For the date and time of these events, I was not told. The Legend said that a man was traveling from one village to the other. It was dark and cold. It was so cold that the fire flies which often travel during the dark hours carrying embers on their wings were grounded. Their wings were too heavy to fly.Dusk had grown so thick and dark that it might have become very thoughtful to slice the darkness with a large blade. The old man traveling to the next village did not have a large blade so he carried with him a torch made of bundled reeds so that he would find his way on the narrow path. As the man traveled, torching his way through the quite forest, he met a traveler heading in the opposite direction. He was groping his way in the dark. No torch.

"Wow, strange that you are traveling at this hour with a blazing torch," the groping traveler said to the one with the torch.

" In these times no one travels with a bundle of burning flame again. Drop it lest they call you a fool," the groping man implored. The man with the torch thoughtlessly obeyed. He plunged the head of his torch into a nearby creek that was quietly slithering its way.Both travelers then resumed their respective journeys, tumbling and fumbling through the fogs of darkness.

Many years later I learned that the man who had dropped his torch was a native of the Grain Coast. I thought I should share this true story with all readers and those who think to be 'civilized is to expunge oneself of what he/she is made of.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Awards of 2009

Yearend Awards

We have come to the end of yet another year and a decade filled with turmoil and celebrations. Thanks to the resiliency of the Liberian people, the commitment to Liberia by the rest of the World, and the matchless grace of God who has brought us through. Throughout this year many Liberians have demonstrated their commitment to Liberia in a number of ways. One of such ways is through the expression of their views through the various media. Others have used the media to promote the cause of their communities and organizations. The David Media, Inc. has over the past months perused the views and activities of many Liberians and organizations over the past year. Our institution has devoutly followed the postings and actions of various Liberians through the listservs and websites. We concede that we have been quite fascinated by the work of all of you have done over the past year. Regardless of your divergent persuasions, views, and philosophies we acknowledge that all of you have become vital stakeholders in shaping the destiny of your country and the institutions to which you subscribe. We are therefore honored and privileged to present our year end awards to various personalities and institutions due to their tireless contributions to our community. We at the David Media, Inc. acknowledge that this was not an easy exercise. We painstakingly, deliberatively, and objectively discussed, analyzed, debated this work before arriving at this final version. We also consulted with a number of personalities with interest in the Liberian communities for their input. We are grateful for their contribution. Fellow country men and women we are humbled to present to you the honorees of 2009 for their remarkable work in the Liberian community:

Media Institution of the Year: This award goes the online informative media/medium which have stood the test of time and remained steadfast in the pursuit of its professional responsibilities. Our professional media award goes to FrontPage Africa and the Sloh Information Service (SIS). Those two institutions have over the year lived up to enviable standards.

Organization of the Year: amid the squabbles that beset a number of Liberian organizations in the Diaspora, we at David Media, believe that there are others that have exemplified enviable virtues and have demonstrated ardent commitment to serving their people. Those organizations have remained steadfast and progressive. Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to present our most progressive organization award to the Grand Cape County Association in the Americas and the B. W. Harris Alumina Association. We admonish these organizations to continue to work hard for the fulfillment of their objectives.

Breakthrough Award: We have watched with keen interest the emergence of various online media institutions over the year. Amid turmoil and opposition, some have ceased to exist. In the midst of such ruckus, there are many that made it through the year. We are therefore proud to present our Breakthrough Award to the Horizon Media for making it through the hurdles despite its turbulent journey. At times the Horizon media has been accused of skewed reporting, fabrications, and unedited work yet the media has stood the test of time and made remarkable improvement. Thanks to the hard work of the Horizon staffs.

Guru Award: This award is presented to the individual/s with the most poignant, analytical, logical, and well organized views which often disarms the opponents. This award is also presented to the invididual/s that has/have persistently demonstrated respect for his/her/their opponent/s and has/have maintained calm repose in all interactions. Through his writings even those who disagrees with him, have something to learn and appreciate from him. This award proudly goes to Mr. Dennis C. Jah.

Doyen of the Liberian listservs: Our institution, David Media, Inc. is humbled to recognize Mr. Nathaniel Gbasaygee as doyen of the listserv. His contribution is matchless. He is the pace setter and a vibrant contributor in the theatre of intellectual discourses.

Reformed Personalities of the year: This award is presented to Messrs Abraham Massaly and Rodney Chesson. These two have made sharp turnabout from their previous views and are actively involved in unifying their communities and working for the progress of all not a selected group

Dismal Award: People and institutions that fell below expectations during the year are Messrs Anthony V. Kessely, Bai M. Gbala, Ambassador Nathaniel Barnes, and the Liberian Journal. The three personalities despite their experiences and roles in Liberian activities have failed to inspire our community through dialogue, collective engagement, and steadfast leadership. The ULAA and Grand Gedeh Association sagas are testimonies to those personalities inability to exhibit progressive leadership. We believe those personalities have the clout to do better. The Liberian Journal has fallen off the radii and such has been a disappointment to the reading public. For these reasons and more they have won the Most Dismal Award of the year.

Perseverance Award: Our perseverance award of the year is presented to Dr. Mariah Seton and Mr. Francis Duwana.

Most fanatical Personality: This award is presented to the most ardent supporter of a cause policy, or individual despite how tainted or flawed such is. This award is presented to Reverend James Blyee of Connecticut.

Worse PRO of the Year: We have over the year read some of his utterances via the listservs. He is often reactive not proactive. This award is presented to Mr. Cyrus Wleh Badio, Press Secretary to President Ellen Johnson of Liberia. He has demonstrated less his ability to clearly articulate the President’s messages and has been unable to pursue a convincing argument or delivery.

Formidable Person/s Award: These two have stood their grounds in their lines of duty. They have maintained a commitment to their style of writing. They deserve our Most Formidable Person Award. This award goes to Messrs Omari Jackson and Chorpie Charlee for their steadfastness and commitment to the train of work.

Most misused/misplaced word of the year: The most overused and misused word of the year. It has rendered this word threadbare and without value. The word is Honorable. It must therefore be scraped out our diction in 2010.

The most laughable moment of the year was Moses Nyenpan’s covet mission to the Mariah Seton’s ULAA inauguration in Philadelphia. The undercover agent got converted after he was repeatedly hugged by a group of beautiful women. He later went on a PR spree for the Seton’s camp.

Donors Award: The award is presented to all Liberians in the United States for their continuous support to their people back home.

People to watch Out For In2010: We at predict that the rising stars of the listservs to watch out for are Ms. Alice Welley Mulbah and Mr. Zaza Yanqui.

Our Prayers: Let us with one accord pray for the family which lost seven of its members at the beginning of 2009 in the fire incident. We should also remember one of the resounding voices in the Liberian community who has been silenced by ill health. He is Mr. Bodiour Wesseh Siapo. Let us also continue to pray for one another.

David Media, Inc. was established in 2008 by a consortium of media institutions in the United States and Liberia. The goal is to synthesize and analyze views presented in various discourses. Our focus in this delivery was based on what we have analyzed from the various listservs and other fora. Our Chairman and CEO is Sir Dave Toh Jah, a 1986 graduate of Monrovia College on Camp Johnson Road, Monrovia.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This is Where I Come in

A reply to Nat Gbasaygee

I have yearned for the kind of debate/approach you have presented as the strategy for native Liberians to take (back) the leadership of Liberia. It’s that premise that I will like to address. On the count that I am insulting native Liberians and have exhibited bigotry, I do not intend to dignify. The antidotes of your paradigm are countless and I am sure you know them as I do.
On the approach that we should support Mr. Weah and after he has gained the power and authority we can then rally around him, back him with a contingent of native technocrats, I differ. This is where I come in. I disagree, Mr. Gbasaygee, that this approach is prudent. I see it as putting the cart before the horse. Or it’s like swallowing the ‘dumbboy’ before looking for the soup to go with it.
Mr. Gbasaygee, I was born in a village and I have being amongst the most marginalized group of people in Liberia. I understand what it means for a government to view you and your people as less than human beings. This is exactly what majority of Liberians experienced during the over century rule by the TWP, predominantly Americo-Liberians and their wards. Samuel Doe and others saw the need to change the course of events after an enormous damage was already done. They removed the TWP from power. Doe had his share of flaws but this is not what this piece is about.
Ten years later, majority of our people decided to side with their heartless abusers and exploiters then wreaked havoc of unimaginable proportion on themselves. They fought a brutal war for them. 14 years after the destruction, the very victims went back to their victimizers to beg them for mercy in the following ways: 1. they massively elected Charles Taylor to rule over them. Taylor truly delivered until some strangers heard our cries and decided to drive him away. 2. As if not much damage was done yet, the same victims went out in an election and turned their lives over to another victimizer, a perpetrator of Liberia’s long running chaos. They knew quite well that Ellen Johnson was with Taylor on the day when his rebels struck Butuo and Karnplay. She was with him when over three hundred thousand lives of native Liberians were wasted. After all of our experiences or amidst all of this, we are setting out again looking for the individual to lead us. This is where I believe we have got it wrong. We are looking for a leader without asking ourselves what kind of leader we really want. We are again setting out looking for a leader without laying out what we require/ expect of the leader and asking how he/she is going to deliver.
In your argument, Nat, you maintained that our priority should be taking power from the victimizers (emphasis added), then we shall decide what to do with it. I think this approach is risky. This is the gamble we should not afford to take. It has the propensity to prop up tyrant. It creates pompous leaders who listen to no one. If our preoccupation is just to get power then later decide what to do with it, then we may as well don’t get it at all because we will end up hurting ourselves again. This will in the long run make us less worthy of trust. We will end up being worse than the ex-slaves who have kept this nation in the dungeon for so long. Our preoccupation should be taking power and keeping it for good, managing it to the best of our potentials. We can do this by being better than the victimizers, putting ourselves in the position to do by far better than they have done in nearly 200 years. We are not taking power just for the sake of power but to deliver, creating an enduring environment for all of Liberia. We cannot do this with a quick flight. We can do this first by setting out concrete and measurable goals for Liberia and having the proper people in place that are willing and prepared to do better than the Americos and their wards. This can be done when we begin to have concrete consultations and lay out sound agenda to move Liberia forward and restore sanity to the battered people of Liberia. In this token, I admonish that we look not for our leaders but let the leaders look for us and work on our agenda.
Let us ask ourselves, what kind of Liberia do we envision? How do we create what we have envisioned? When the answers are satisfactorily found then we can find the executors. This is my take, Nat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Which Way, Liberia?

Journey without Compass

Perhaps who wins the senatorial seat for Montserrado County is worthy of attention for some folks. I am not one of them. For one mere fact I am sure about, whoever wins the seat that will make no difference in the lives of Liberians and in the character of the body called “the National Legislature." The legislators will still have no concrete laws enacted to give Liberia a focus. It will continue to be business as usual: bickering over money and no discussions about enacting sound legislation for the country. If anyone doubts what I am writing about, please check the track records of the legislature up to today. Or keenly follow the president’s leadership style/pattern.

My concern is how in this world can a holiday be declared in Liberia for a by-election vying for a single seat in Montserrado? This is the second holiday in less than a week. Last Thursday was a holiday in Liberia. Today is Tuesday; it is another holiday because of an election for a single seat in Montserrado. Isn't this insanity? Who are those making these kinds of decisions? What are the laws on holidays in Liberia?

For instance, the other day my son told me that they were on a week break because some workshop was going on in their school. The school year has just begun in Liberia and students have already had seven days of no classes. Where are the laws that stipulate the number of days or hours require in Liberia to complete a class requirement? Again, what are the laws on holidays?

As if we are not in the abyss already, the President was in Greenville a week or so ago to celebrate her birthday. Where are the laws that mandate a sitting president in Liberia to use public funds to celebrate a private birthday? So we are celebrating a president's birthday but we do not have a law to honor the lives of the thousands of Liberians that we have lost during many years of senseless upheavals. Liberians, where are we heading? This is like a journey without a map. A grope in the dark!

The leadership question

Development of this sort brings up the question as to what kind of leadership do we have in Liberia? From the law makers to the interpreters and to the law enforcers, where are we heading? What is the direction?
I do not think that leadership is about instincts or guess work. It is played based on rules, policies, and reasons, not gutsy feelings. For a case in point, it is gutsy feeling not backed by good judgment and sound policy that Ms. Mary Broh is following in Monrovia about her cleanup campaign. In Monrovia, Mary has declared every other Saturday a general clean up day by all Monrovians. Here, Mary is using guess work or instincts. She does not want to read what is in the books about keeping Monrovia clean. So she has adopted the yor oh yor method because that is what her personality dictates. Mary has some high level of elevated emotions and that is what drives her decision. She is a highly charged person, easily over stimulated or maybe over stimulative. And that is the drive behind her decision about keeping Monrovia clean. But leadership is not about one's personality or character disposition. It is about well tested policies backed by reasons and judgment. This is the path on which we ought to put Liberia.

By now some of us thought the legislators would have enacted laws to standardize Liberia's holidays, the Liberian school system, Liberia's zoning and address systems. By now some of us thought Liberia would have settled on how to make health care in Liberia a right through the enactment of laws that clearly define the terms. By now some of us thought, a committee would have started reviewing the Liberian constitution. By this time we would have enacted laws that stop people assigning counties based on tribes. Shockingly and sadly it seems we are still groping in the dark.

At some point the President will use the Tolbert's guess work by paying surprise visits to certain ministries to catch who is going to work late or who departs early. Then she will adopt the Tubman's trial and error method to use president's birthday to carry on development in host counties. A moment later she will be like Samuel Doe settling every dispute in Liberia even the ones between spouses; she will be serving as the chief patron to every institution. These are all guess works. They are based on instincts not thoughtful policies. And I am sure the president knows this but because she wants quick applauses she is playing to the crowd. She gets so energized when they say, " Ma Ellen now do it again ooh!" So it is not about a lasting direction for the country but the image of a person.

This is why I care little about the by election in Montserrado County. It is a waste of time and resources. And these sorts of things get me terribly sick to my stomach.