Book Review: Gbagba Is Simultaneously African and Universal

first_imgBy Shirley CoxRobtel Neajai Pailey’s Gbagba is definitely a Liberian story. Equally so, it is African and universal simultaneously because it addresses corruption, the enemy of economic progress and social development everywhere. For children, particularly in developing countries, Gbagba is a compulsory read. Pailey skillfully unmasks corruption through the focused eyes of twin characters, Sundaymah and Sundaygar.The story begins with the twins preparing to leave their port city of Buchanan to visit their aunt and uncle living in the capital city of Monrovia. That Sundaygar and Sundaymah do not gleefully pack their bags to visit their aunt and uncle indicates that the warmth of home penetrates deeper than neon city lights and abundant attractions. Despite all the material benefits and comforts capital cities usually have, the twins, particularly Sundaymah, are reluctant to leave the trusting environment of their hometown. However, as Sundaymah lists all the things which tug at her heart thereby making the visit to Monrovia seem unnecessary, her brother Sundaygar moves quickly to remind her of the hot baths and television programs which await them at Auntie Mardie’s and Uncle Momo’s house on the Old Road in Sinkor, a suburb of Monrovia.Before boarding a taxi for Monrovia, the twins listen attentively to a loaded piece of advice from their mother—behave yourselves—which is enough for a dutiful, loving parent to understand that her children would rise to the occasion anywhere, including Monrovia, and do the right thing.Following the journey from Buchanan, the twins’ maternal aunt Mardie is awaiting them at the taxi station in Monrovia. The delight at seeing her niece and nephew is evident in her voice and the twins reciprocate by quickening their steps to fall into her warm embrace. No sooner do the twins alight the taxi from Buchanan and greet their aunt do they encounter a crisis.Before they settle in the backseat of the government-owned jeep in which driver Opah chauffeurs their aunt Mardie around, the twins hear the unfriendly noise of bystanders alerting the driver that the trunk of the jeep has been opened. Luckily, Opah proves more agile with his feet than the unkempt man who is making away with the children’s suitcases. After he retrieves the twins’ belongings, Opah comes to a standstill in heavy traffic. If Sundaymah and Sundaygar had hoped that the rest of the journey to Auntie Mardie’s and Uncle Momo’s house—not quite a ten-mile distance—would have been uneventful, they are in for some surprises.The first surprise is subtle.The president’s voice on the radio gives the twins a new word to think about: “corruption”. It is not in their vocabulary, but they like the sound of it and cannot wait to find it in Uncle Momo’s big red dictionary.The next surprise is more disturbing. Auntie Mardie has the rank of “minister” in the Liberian government. When she tells the twins not to worry, that a way would be found out of traffic delaying all vehicles caught in a jam, they are shocked when their aunt’s driver slips an unscrupulous policeman a 100 Liberian dollar bill to quench his “thirst.” They see this action of cutting ahead as a contradiction of what their parents have taught them—that when forming queues, wait for your turn. Unfortunately, Pailey does not enable the twins to voice their concerns in this instance.  But they do question authority in the next scene.The third surprise is possibly criminal.Sundaymah, Sundaygar and their aunt stop at a supermart to get snacks, and Auntie Mardie enables them to choose familiar chocolate bars. To the twins’ dismay, the chocolate tastes quite different – spoiled – because it has long expired. Yet, Auntie Mardie checks the dates and promises the twins that she will be “right back” with some positive results. Instead, she exchanges pleasantries and a warm handshake with her “friend”, a foreign merchant. The twins grill her after she gives them the lame excuse, “He does not usually have problems with his goods, so I let him go today.” They respond, “But what if he does it again to another person who comes to the store?” The twins’ aunt ignores their protests and walks away without a reply, much to their dismay.When Opah parks the jeep in his boss’ garage, it is Uncle Momo who embraces the twins in bear hugs. Sundaymah and Sundaygar do not forget, however, the promise they make earlier to themselves and each other. So, off to the library they rush to look up the word “corruption”! In all its ugliness, the word stares the two minors in the face—lying, cheating and stealing is what it means, they discover—the same as the word gbagba in their native language Bassa. The twins immediately recall incident after incident of corrupt practices their parents have pointed out and warned them against, and realize that they do not like the word “corruption” after all.Pailey has woven into the story Gbagba some of the many facets of corruption. Yet, given how entrenched corruption is in Liberian society, she only brings to the fore this vice as it is manifested in the lives of adults. Gbagba could certainly do with a scene showing children engaged in dubious acts, to showcase the pervasiveness of corruption.Nonetheless, Gbagba gives hope through the discerning eyes of Sundaymah and Sundaygar.  It is courage such as theirs that will keep corruption at bay. Therefore, it is imperative for teachers and parents, particularly in Liberia, to read, digest and interpret to children the implications of Gbagba. If children could emulate the strong ethical compass exhibited by Sundaygar and Sundaymah, there would be hope for the future.This review is being published in commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day, December 9, 2014. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

BAWODA Declares 2015 A Year for Bassa Women’s Education

first_imgThe Executive Director of the Bassa Women Development Association (BAWODA) has declared 2015 as a year for the women of Grand Baassa County to be studious and obtain quality education for better future.Madam Martha Flanjay-Karnga made the statement when she gave her New Year’s message during a press conference at her office in Buchanan City recently.Madam Flanjay-Karnga reiterated that if the women of Grand Baassa County obtain quality education, by learning how to read and write well, they will be able to teach their children at home after their children have returned from school.Madam Flanjay-Karnga said while it is a need for the women of the county to obtain quality education, the government must re-enforce its adult literacy education program in the various districts and not only in the urban areas.She pointed out that if educated the women will know their rights and social responsibilities, something she said will enable them to immensely contribute their individually and collectively contribute towards the socio-economic and infrastructural development of post war Liberia.She commended her donors, including the Nyonblee Cares Foundation, the American-Jewish World Service, Concern Worldwide-Liberia, Search For Common Ground, and Action-Aids-Liveria among others, for supporting her association to empower women and girls by building their capacity through trainings for self-sustainability.She mentioned that during the year under review ,the association has created awareness program about the danger and preventive measures against the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in the county.She used the occasion to encourage citizens and residents of the county to regularly wash their hands with soap and clora and adhere to all the preventive measures instituted by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and other international partners.She named other preventive measures as ‘stop shaking hands, touching  bodies suspected of Ebola, and reminded them of the symptoms like vomiting, fever, red eyes, running stomach among others.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Woman dies in WCD accident

first_imgA young mother has lost her life while two of her friends are suffering severe injuries after the vehicle in which they were travelling veered off the road in the vicinity of De Kinderen, West Coast of Demerara (WCD).Dead is 28-year-old Nkasi McKend of Lot 2 Sea Field, Leonora, WCD who was the driver of the motorcar bearing registration number PRR 4153.Injured are Mario Desa and Caleb Morrison.The incident occurred in the wee hours of Friday morning after the friends were reportedly returning from a party.According to the Police, the young business owner lost control of the vehicle asDead: Nkasi McKendshe was negotiating a turn at an alleged fast rate along the public road.The motorcar reportedly turned turtle and came to a halt after it crashed into a fence and landed in a thick clump of bushes on the western side of the road.The now deceased woman was flung from the vehicle. She received multiple injuries to her head and other parts of her body as a result of the impact.However, she was subsequently picked up by Police in an unconscious state and rushed to the Leonora Cottage Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Her friends have since been hospitalised.Only earlier this week, Police Commissioner Leslie James, in giving a breakdown of crime and accident statistics for 2018, said there has been an overall spike in the number of fatal accidents recorded when compared to the same period last year.He used the platform to make some requests, which can affect how the GPF can function in a positive manner. Those include provisions for a traffic advisory board, training board and promotion board. At present, consultations have been convened to determine whether these panels should be reinstated. As a matter ofThe damaged car in which the woman and her friends were travellingfact, the Commissioner is quoted as saying, “There is need for the traffic advisory board. There is need for a training board and, of course, a promotion board. We have strongly recommended the resuscitation of those boards. If we are an organisation that can be recognised as a prudent organisation, those boards ought to be in place.”Guyana has been ranked along with top countries in the world that have not undertaken sufficient efforts to reduce accidents in keeping with the UN strategy.last_img read more


first_imgShauna (right) getting her jersey for tomorrow’s final from mentor Sophie Connaughton (left)One Direction fan Shauna Boyle has proven she is totally dedicated – to gaelic football!The young Donegal girl was delighted when she got her hands on tickets to see her favourite band One Direction who play the 3Arena in Dublin tomorrow night.But Shauna, 12, was left with in a huge dilemma when the date clashed with her chance to play in an U13 gaelic football Final for her local club against rivals Termon at O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny. One DirectionShauna is totally dedicated to playing with Naomh Conaill in Glenties.So the only real choice she had was if she would wear her jersey inside or outside of her shorts when she lined out for her team.Shauna said “I was a bit disappointed at first when I realised they were both on the same night. But then I asked myself how many times do I get to play in a final with all my friends.“I’m sure One Direction will be playing plenty of other concerts again. There’s only One Direction I’ll be going tomorrow and that’s to Letterkenny to play Termon.” Shauna joked that perhaps Niall and his bandmates might hear of her plight and get her a ticket for another show!Shaun’s mum Maureen said the decision to choose football over her favourite pop band was entirely hers.Shauna and her team-mates.Naomh Conaill manager Sean Connaughton said he knew how big a fan Shauna is of the world’s biggest boyband so he was shocked by her decision.“I couldn’t believe it when I heard she had given up her ticket to One Direction.“All girls at this age have so many other things going on, like Irish dancing, soccer and basketball – and then of course there are always concerts. “You always have one or two players missing. We will have a couple still missing because they are away on breaks with their families.“But for Shauna to give up the chance to see her favourite band so she can play for her club tells you a lot about her. She’s totally dedicated.”SHAUNA IS ONLY GOING IN ‘ONE DIRECTION’ – TO HER GAELIC FOOTBALL FINAL! was last modified: October 16th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalGlentiesOne DirectionShauna Boylelast_img read more

Newcastle United set to start bidding for Manchester United target

first_img Benfica star Nelson Semedo Newcastle are ready to open the bidding for Manchester United target Nelson Semedo, according to reports in Portugal.The Benfica full-back has been compared to Brazilian great Dani Alves and the Old Trafford club have tracked him in the past.But, following their promotion back to the Premier League, Newcastle have been heavily linked with a move for the 23-year-old.And, according to O Jogo, Newcastle are now ready to firm up their interest with a bid worth £13m.Given the high levels of interest in the player, that opening bid is likely to be rejected by Benfica, who are thought to require an offer worth around £17.5m to consider selling.However, it will be seen as a strong statement of intent by Newcastle amid continued interest from Manchester United and also French club Lille. 1last_img read more


first_imgErrigal Scout County held its inaugural overnight camp for the Beaver Scout age.It was hosted by 17th Donegal (Clonmany) Scout Group at the idyllic setting of the Isle of Doagh.More than 100 eager Beaver Scouts and their enthusiastic leaders enjoyed a wide variety of activities based on the theme of Treasure Island which included obstacles courses, hunts for lost treasure, cooking in the wilderness and a singsong at the end of day campfire. A big thanks must go to the organising group for providing the young people with a challenging and enjoyable few days and especially Marjorie McDaid who with her team for their tireless work in ensuring the Beaver Scouts and their leaders went home tired after making many a new friend and having memories to cherish.   PICTURE SPECIAL AS ERRIGAL SCOUT BEAVERS HOLD FIRST OVERNIGHT CAMP was last modified: June 10th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:PICTURE SPECIAL AS ERRIGAL SCOUT BEAVERS HOLD FIRST OVERNIGHT CAMPlast_img read more


first_imgVizzi,M.111251 Vizzi,M.1006 Ventura09/16/20050102633 Intlekofer,R.5 Barry1-20 Prickett,D.62037085.13 Prickett,D.334876 Scott,D.1900114 Westlake11/11/2005100290 Moran,D.8961 Olinyk,A.5800 Newbury Park10/21/20050101623 Moran,D.100060 St. Bonaventure12/09/2005010727 Whitelaw,A.100000.00 RECEIVINGRECYDSTD TOTAL20051040391186 Vass-Goosby,D.1 Calabasas10/14/2005100356 Passing Total21811110156518 Gomez,R.1006 Interceptions Total19 Barry,A.40024 Moran,D.1229017.49 RUSHINGTCBNYGAvg.TD Messing,D.241114.61 Lamberson,J.3103.30 Mendez,D.1 Holland,D.7 Betterton,M.5312 VS SCHOOLDateWLTPFPA Denabedian,M.4174.30 Smith,J.102223 Scoring Total55378391 Betterton,M.4348.50 Karam,N.60036 Hunter,D.1 Barry,A.541232.34 Whitelaw,M.12020.00 Wolverton,A.21783.71 Betterton,M.20012 Barry,A.21010910152818131.79 Prickett,D.13302.30center_img Karam,N.112166 San Marcos11/18/20051004710 SCORINGTDPATFGTP Agoura10/07/20051004131 Wolverton,A.1006 Vizzi,M.1-2-2.00 Rushing Total55733446.035 INTERCEPTIONSNo. Messing,D.1006 Estandia,D.4430 Punting Total51173534.0 Receiving Total111156518 Ventura12/02/2005100147 Simi Valley10/28/2005100270 Prickett,D.273753 Smith,J.30018 PASSINGPAPCPIYDSTDRating Trottier,Z.2 Lins,J.100000.00 Prickett,D.1965234.3 Tincher,R.11544.91 Mouwen,T.12525.00 Scott,D.91000 Whitelaw,M.161620 Scott,D.29719416.519 Thousand Oaks09/30/20051005028 Weis,C.122.00 PUNTINGNo.YDSAvg. Tamayo,J.0303 Vass-Goosby,D.41172 Tincher,R.1006 Arroyo Grande11/25/2005100260 Sarrocco,N.1006 Vass-Goosby,D.20012 RECORD: 10-4-0 Hueneme09/23/2005100470 Intlekofer,R.32108333.8 Hart09/09/200501067 Prickett,D.2 Royal11/04/20051002014 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Rosetta and the Stone

first_imgA historic comet rendezvous mission begins today after ten years in space.The Rosetta spacecraft, launched in 2004 by the European Space Agency, after 5 trips around the sun, is poised to orbit its prey: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  The craft will orbit the comet’s nucleus, if all goes well, and then will land a probe named Philae on its surface in November. tells about the mission with an infographic.  Interested skywatchers can follow the progress on the ESA’s Rosetta page.Update: Success!  Rosetta entered orbit successfully on August 6.  First stunning close-ups of the comet have been posted by New Scientist, BBC News and aren’t too many “space firsts” left in this mature part of the space age.  Although Giotto photographed Comet Halley’s nucleus in 1986, and Deep Impact crashed a probe on a comet in 2005, and Stardust collected comet dust and returned it to Earth in 2006, this will be the first mission to land a probe gently on a comet surface in an attempt to understand comets better.In 2000, the NEAR spacecraft touched down on asteroid Eros in an unscheduled soft landing at the end of its mission, but communication was lost on contact (see NEAR-Shoemaker page).  The only other solar system bodies on which soft landings have succeeded are the Moon, Venus, Mars and Titan.Another historic first to anticipate will be the first flyby of Pluto by the New Horizons spacecraft on July 14 next year.As we reported 1/13/03 before its launch, the Rosetta orbiter contains a disk inscribed with the first three chapters of Genesis 1 in 1,000 languages — a true Rosetta Stone for the ages.  It’s been a decade-long wait; this should be an important and very interesting mission to watch from now through November.  Space firsts are a good occasion to interest children in science.(Visited 17 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Manchester United’s Ashley Young charged by FA for violent conduct vs Southampton

first_imgAshley Young has been charged by the English Football Association (FA) on Sunday with violent conduct against Southampton midfielder Dusan Tadic in the Premier League on Saturday.In an altercation at Old Trafford during the match, Young appeared to strike Tadic with an elbow as United were held 0-0 by Southampton.”Young’s charge follows an incident during Saturday’s game against Southampton which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” the FA said in a statement.Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino said after the match: “I haven’t seen the replay but it is difficult for the referee to see in one second what happened in all different places but I have to respect the decision.”Swansea defender Kyle Naughton has also been charged with violent conduct for allegedly stamping on Watford’s Stefano Okaka during the Welsh side’s 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road on Saturday.Young and Naughton have until 1700 GMT on Sunday to respond to the charges.Manchester United’s frustrating run during the festive period continued as they settled for their third straight draw to drop further behind in the Premier League title chase.Mourinho was under scrutiny for the first time this season after Southampton walked away with a point from Old Trafford on Sunday.A lackluster drew 0-0 with the Saints to slip to third place in the league and fall 14 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City, who play Crystal Palace on New Year’s eve.The attitude around the stadium after the final whistle was negative as fans booed off the ground an former players questioned the players’ ability to perform under crunch situations and Mourinho’s ability to get the best out of them.advertisementTroublingly for the Portuguese coach, United also has a striker shortage in the immediate future after Romelu Lukaku was carried off on a stretcher after a clash of heads in the first half against Southampton. Mourinho later said back-up striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be out for a month with a knee injury.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Cockpit Country Boundary Named… No Mining in Protected Area

first_img He noted that while the country forgoes the exploitation of millions of tonnes of high-grade bauxite and limestone with potential earnings of billions of United States dollars, “we cannot put a price tag on the loss to our water resources and biodiversity”. Story Highlights With regards to the forested areas, the Cabinet has decided to extend the existing Cockpit Country, Litchfield-Matheson’s Run and the Fyffe and Rankine Forest Reserves to take in the broadleaf forests which are in close proximity to these areas. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, yesterday (November 21), announced the boundary of the Cockpit Country, while declaring that no mining will be permitted in the protected area. Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, yesterday (November 21), announced the boundary of the Cockpit Country, while declaring that no mining will be permitted in the protected area.Addressing the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister said in this regard, the Mining Act and any existing mining licences will be amended to close these areas to mining.“The Government is of the view that this area is too valuable, in terms of its ecological and hydrological importance and uniqueness, to allow mining, which may result in permanent and irreversible harm and deprive future generations of the benefit of this national asset,” Mr. Holness said.He noted that while the country forgoes the exploitation of millions of tonnes of high-grade bauxite and limestone with potential earnings of billions of United States dollars, “we cannot put a price tag on the loss to our water resources and biodiversity”.The Prime Minister said, however, that mining and other activities may take place outside the protected area.“The Cabinet mandated that major development activities within the proximate environs of the Cockpit Country Protected Area will be subject to rigorous processes of decision making, including approval by Cabinet, taking into account the provisions of the relevant legislation,” he added.Cabinet, in determining the boundary, took into account the closed broadleaf forest cover/primary forest; the rich biodiversity; the hydrology; and important historical, cultural sites.The Prime Minister said the area to be protected will include existing forest reserves, significant hydrological and ecological features and cultural and heritage sites.“This area comprises approximately 74,726 hectares and will be referred to as the Cockpit Country Protected Area and will be protected under specific legislation as advised by the Attorney General,” he explained.Mr. Holness noted that a detailed description of the boundary of the Cockpit Country and the Cockpit Country Protected Area as recognised by the State will be provided by the Forestry Department after consultations with the relevant public-sector agencies and the necessary ground truthing, a term used in various fields to refer to information provided by direct observation (empirical evidence), as opposed to information provided by inference.In relation to the hydrological resources, the Water Resources Authority identified and advised the Cabinet on hydrological features within the environs of the Cockpit Country that required protection. In this regard, caves in the north-east, in the Rio Bueno watershed, and in the north-west, have been included in the area to be protected.With regards to the forested areas, the Cabinet has decided to extend the existing Cockpit Country, Litchfield-Matheson’s Run and the Fyffe and Rankine Forest Reserves to take in the broadleaf forests which are in close proximity to these areas.As it relates to the historical and cultural sites within the area, the Ministry with responsibility for culture and the Jamaica National Heritage Trust have advised that sufficient safeguards exist under the Jamaica National Heritage Trust Act to protect the cultural and historical sites and artefacts in the area.“We have gone further to request the portfolio Ministry with responsibility for culture to fast-track the identification of other important cultural/historical sites and artefacts in the area with a view to protecting them under the law. In addition, the Ministry has been asked to seek the nomination of the Cockpit Country Protected Area as a World Heritage site under UNESCO,” the Prime Minister informed.In addition, to ensure the effective management of the Cockpit Country Protected Area, and in recognition of the rights of private landowners, the Government is to continue to partner with private landowners, local groups and other stakeholders, including the Accompong Maroons, in the development of a comprehensive Management Plan for the area.Mr. Holness said implementation of this plan will require dedicated resources from the national budget as well as donor support, adding that the plan will be subject to Cabinet approval, following which it will be tabled in Parliament.last_img read more