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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

LIBERIA’S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: CPP STANDARD BEARER LURES “WRITERS” AND “ENTERTAINERS”, BUT…

Date:

By Samuel G. Dweh (Freelance Journalist)

His political mantra (for the Presidential election in 2023) is: “Let’s Fix Liberia”. His Vice Presidential Running Mate is Charlyne Brumskine, daughter (seasoned Lawyer) of the Late nationally renowned Lawyer and former Presidential candidate (in 2017) Mr. Charles W. Brumskine.

In his Campaign Statement (May 8, 2023, published in various newspapers), Presidential candidate Alexander Benedict Cummings, Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) expressed his “interest” for promotion or development of Liberia’s “creativity industry”—movie, literature, and other forms of the art—when he’s a Head of State. Incumbent President George Manneh Weah has been practically (by action) ignoring each of these fast-tracking national development sectors throughout his first Presidential term (2018-2023), except for individual members (musicians or writers) who only “praise-sing” his name through their  works or “demonize” his political opponents (especially Presidential candidates)

I must state in this intellectual piece (article), for the record to the reading public, that the Global Footballer-turned Head of State is a member of the “Entertainment Industry”. Three examples: (1) His sonorous (musical) voice during his collaborative song with Nigerian Football star Taribo West (when the Liberian was playing for Italian Football Club AC Milian) (2) President George M. Weah’s ‘Coronavirus Sensitization Song’ (through his musically soulful tone) in 2021. (3) President George M. Weah’s “Mr. Liar Man” (his political jibe against political opponents) is also ‘musically relevant’ and can win an award in any secular music contest.

However, the musically talent Head of State has neither practically supported the general Liberian music community, except for the works by some individual members who only  “praise his name” (even when he does the wrong thing nationally) or his support to the works of only individual members of the industry who only “criticize” or “demonize” his political opponents. One example of Pro-George Weah ‘politically demonizing song’: “Monkey, Come Down”, produced against sitting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the Presidential election in 2011. That song has resurfaced among members of the now-in-power Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in a different Presidential election (2023)—12 years after it was produced and the subject of the song (Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) is not in the 2023’s Presidential race!

For the Writers’ community, President Weah’s ‘support glimpse’ (attention) has never shifted to their group throughout his six years in the Presidency (beginning from 2018), except individual members of the community who only praise-sing his name (even when he did the wrong thing nationally) in their articles (published in local newspapers)

Throughout Mr. Weah’s first Presidential tenure (2018-2023), “independent professional writers”—who don’t praise-sing his name—are the “poorest” in Liberia’s community of professional writers. One example of these “poorest professional writers” is the author of this write-up: He can’t find money (with his professional knowledge) to get food daily for his family, and he can’t get school fees for his school children for the 2023/2024 Academic Year, in spite of being Author of four Books and more than 300 development-related articles from 2011 (the year he returned from his refugee life in Nigeria).

                                                 TWO OF HIS  BOOKS

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SYNOPSIS OF EACH BOOK:

Grade Sin (Novel, 17 chapters): Academic issues, including bribe for free grades/promotion, in a fictional Liberian High School, and academically smarter female students’ innovative methods that expose some of the male Teachers and the School’s Principal determined on sexually exploiting them for “free grades or promotion”

American DV Lottery Marriage (NOVEL, EIGHT CHAPTERS): The frustrating of the American Diversity Visa Lottery to married people who are lucky (names come out as winners in the DV Lottery), but poor and join in fake marriages with outside rich persons.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDAGE ALEXANDER BENEDICT CUMMINGS’ ‘PRESIDENTIAL PLAN’ FOR ‘ENTERTAINERS’ & ‘WRITERS’

“…we will provide additional opportunities for Liberians to succeed in…music, movie, and other forms of art.”—Presidential candidate Alexander B. Cummings, in his Presidential Campaign Launch Statement (May 8, 2023), published in the Monday, August 7, 2023 edition of the Hott Pepper Newspaper (pages 6 and 7)

I believe Mr. Cummings’ expression of interest in Liberia’s creativity sector is based on what he saw on televisions’ screens or watched at National Theaters in foreign countries he had lived and worked in over thirty of his professional years outside of his native home—Liberia.

This is a heart-bubbling (excitement) ‘message’ for me—a professional writer (in Literature and non-fiction) and my ‘professional colleagues’ in other “creativity industries” (filmmaking, music, etc.)

However, the question that will come from some professionals in the “creativity sectors” (mentioned in Mr. Cummings’ Presidential Campaign Launch Statement) is this: “Mr. Cummings, if you knew the importance of movie, literature, and other forms of art, why you did not personally promote, via financial contribution, any of these various creativity sectors at least one year prior to the Presidential Campaign, 2023?” Or another question will be: “Why didn’t you organize a public forum on each creativity sector, for professionals in the sector to interact with you on the problems being experienced by each sector and you tell them how the problems can be solved by you?”

Nonetheless, it is not “too late” for Presidential candidate Alexander Benedict Cummings’ “engagement” with leaders of the various “creativity industries”.

You can start with the Liberia Movie Union (LIMU)—headed by Mr. Eddie Mantu Gibson—with Headquarters in a building adjacent the Liberia National Police (LNP) Headquarters, Capitol Bye-Pass, Monrovia. LIMU is currently “financially handicapped”, can’t get money to pay rent for the space hosting the Headquarters, and often being threatened with eviction by owner of the building.

Another “financially handicapped” professional body is the Liberia Association of Writers (LAW)—headed by Madam Ade Wede Kekuleh. The author of this article is a member of LAW and the Association’s former president (2017-2023).

My Presidential election winning tip to Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings: Barrack Obama’s victory in America’s Presidential election (2008) was due, partly, to his “connection” to America’s “creativity industry” (of musicians, movie practitioners, literary writers, etc.)

You, Mr. Cummings, CAN win Liberia’s Presidential election (2023) if you take a “cue” (lesson) from America’s Barrack Obama on an “innovative way” (via promotion of the Country’s creativity industry) of winning PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Even though we have less than two months to the Presidential elections, but the members of the Country’s  creativity community (constituting more than fourty percent of registered voters) can organize a Country-wide MASS RALLY for your PRESIDENTIAL VICTORY.

Can you “engage” us—members of the creativity community—NOW? Or, your “expressed interest” is only a “lip-service”?

     ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Samuel G. Dweh (a member of the Wedabo ethnic group of Grand Kru County) is professional writer (fiction and non-fiction) He is a member of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), and member and former president (22017-2022) of the Liberia Association of Writers (LAW) He had worked as Proofreader, News Editor, Editor-in-Chief, and Senior Editor-Reporter with seven different Liberian Print Media Institutions (beginning as Proofreader at Daily Observer in 2011) and Reporter-Assistant Editor with one Magazine (IMAGES Magazine owned by veteran Liberian Photo Journalist Mr. Sando Moore) in 2013.

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Smart News Liberia is an online news outlet, a product of Smart Media Group Inc. smartnewsliberia.com publishes a wide range of content including politics, business, sports, and entertainment on and about Liberia. Contact: +231777425285/ 886946925 Email: info@smartnewsliberia.com/ smartnewsliberia@gmail.com

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