Saturday, August 27, 2011

Remarks by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at 164th Celebration of National Flag Day

Monrovia City Hall, Wednesday, August 24, 2011
As I look at all the young faces here, it puts me back into the time
I was in your place, when I was going to high school like you. Let me tell you what a day, what one day in my life, at your age, was like.

Got up in the morning about 5:30; first thing you do, you make up your bed. You’re lucky if you got mattress, because plenty time you got the straw one, you have to stir that straw to make sure it was smooth. After that, you go down and you have prayers. Your mother and father made sure you had prayers in the morning. Then you do your share of the cleaning up. You got to do some sweeping; some people have to pull water, whatever it is; then you get dressed for school.

By 7:00, I see the people from CWA; that’s where I was going. 7:00, that first bell rings. 7:15, the second bell rings. If you finish your chores at home, then you start on that walk to be able to get to school. And if you go, and your Ma finds your bed not made up, she sends you back to go and make it up.

7:15, that second bell rings; 7:25, they had what they called the hand bell, and if you still walking to school, you start to run, because by 7:30, that door is closed and if you not there, you go back home. And when you go back home, you going get your beating, because you didn’t finish up to get to school on time.

And so, then, when you go to class, the first thing you do is to go inside the auditorium. You go into the auditorium, again there’s a small prayer and your pledge allegiance to the flag. You had to do that before you got into the classroom.

Then you go into the classroom, of course, one class to the other. Discipline, paying attention! I remember one time I had chewing gum in my mouth, chewing, chewing, chewing. The teacher stood there and looked there and said, who chewing gum
in here? Of course, you try to hold it under your tongue so nobody can see it. And so what he said was, “a gum‐chewing girl and a cud‐chewing cow, seems to me there’s a difference somehow: it’s the intelligent look on the face of the cow.” Wow! I don’t eat chewing gum anymore, because every time I want to take chewing gum, I think about the cow going like this….

Midday, you go and break; you go to the cafeteria. In the afternoon, you do some volleyball; you do some physical education and all of that. Then you get back home to have your lunch, and in the afternoon you’re going either to music class, or to typing class, or to some kind of class to make sure that the whole body, the character, is made. That’s what the old people did to us; that’s what got us where we are today.

There were no video shops, there were no hatai shops. Those are the modern things that you enjoy, and they have their own values – the opportunity to sit and talk. But some of those old‐fashioned values, we need to bring them back.

You know, if you made noise in class, they sent you to the office and you go sit in the office. Sometimes, you got to pump tire. You know what they call pump tire? I don’t know if I’m able to do it self, but you put your fingers like this, and you go down and come up. Or they said pick pin; that one, you had to stand on one foot and put one finger on the ground. But those things made us strong, they really did.

The other day, many of you know, the President of Botswana visited us and he and I were talking and talking about discipline in the schools. He said, “Well, in Botswana, we still use the cane. We still cane students.” I said wow! Today, in today’s world, you still canning students? He said, “Yes.” I said, but how about the
human rights people, they don’t jump down on you? He said, “The medical people told us not to cane anymore on the back because, you know, you could harm the child. But we still cane on the buttocks and today, the very human rights people you’re talking about, they call Botswana the most exemplary State in Africa.”

I didn’t say we will do it, oh. I didn’t tell them anything; I’m just talking about discipline. He also told me, “You know, we still got death sentence on the books.” I say, we too, but the human rights people in all the Scandinavian countries are after us. We must make sure we abolish capital punishment. He said, “Well, in
Botswana, you take a life, we stand to take yours.” Oh! That one, they don’t like that one! We’re on the books, but we are very judicious about it, we don’t believe in that too. But it just to show you that the best performing country in Africa, by any measurement, is a country that instills discipline, and that we ask when there’s an infraction of the laws of the rules of the land.

To you: for your own progress, for your own future, for your own professionalism, some of those old standing habits, like respect for others, like preparing your lessons, by making sure you go to school on time, and in school you apply yourself with discipline. Those are the things that build character. Those are the things that set you up in a place where you will achieve what you want to in this world.

Those are the things that will make you successful where you can compete, not only in Liberia, but anywhere in the world, and you can be what you want to be.

God bless you!
I wanted to repost this speech by H.E. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I just buried my loved one in garbage and human waste!!!

People spend so much time complaining that the cemeteries in Liberia, especially in the Monrovia area, are unfit for burials, yet we the Liberian people keep burying there. Why, what is the problem, what is wrong with Liberians my people....we complain that Liberia is the oldest country in Africa and is still at the bottom of most African countries, yet we do nothing to help build it into a new Liberia. So many are still just thinking about themselves and the close family member or should I say just the ones they care about.

Now could a Liberian tell me why they could consider burying their loved one on Duport Road or Caldwell or some other cemetery or place to bury in the Monrovia area instead of KAISER MEMORIAL LAWN CEMETERY....please help me understand why..because it is not the price because just about anyone or let me say anyone can afford to bury at this modern well kept clean cemetery. There are very affordable basic burial packages all the way up to deluxe packages. Oh, maybe they need all the extra money for the repast. That's the most important thing about burying loved ones in Liberia you know. Some do not even go to the funeral, just show up at the repast for a good time with negativity about the food's taste, what the family wore, whether they cried or looked sad enough and who the caterer is. Wow, huh. Don't you think the most important thing should be giving the dead a secure burial forever in a clean well kept peaceful cemetery?

And funeral homes who are not referring deceased loved ones to Kaiser Memorial Lawn cemetery, what's the problem? Someone tell me what is going on in Liberia with Liberians thinking that Liberians can do nothing right. Liberians are just like all others from every country in the world. Good, bad, smart, stupid, jealous, trouble makers and those who just will not lift their finger to help a good thing if they think nothing is in it for them.

All those who have buried their loved ones at Kaiser...thank you so much for your donation for contributing to the new Liberia as it is being built.

And this thing about burying on the family farm or a piece of land that some member of the family owns is so not thinking of the growth of Liberia and especially that dead loved one. My people, as Liberia grows all of those farms and backyard graves will be destroyed. Liberia will rise again and it has already started. Stop burying your loved one just anywhere because you think nothing is in Kaiser Memorial Lawn Cemetery for you. Something is there for every Liberian and friends of Liberians because it helps make Liberia look good and clean and having much respect for the dead to the entire world.

KAISER MEMORIAL LAWN CEMETERY IS FOR ALL LIBERIANS AND NOT JUST THE OWNERS. It took a lot of courage and hard work for it to be where it is today in Liberia. And by you burying your loved one there, you too own a part of it. Oh wait a minute. It is owned by Liberians and Liberians do not do anything for long. My people, stop the jealousy, evilness and negativity and do your part for Liberia in any way you can.

Help beautify Liberia by burying at KAISER MEMORIAL LAWN CEMETERY in Brewerville. Oh I forgot you own a piece of land too will open up your own cemetery. Oh well Liberian.

Call Kaiser Memorial lawn cemetery at 06800404/077150500 and ask them any question or concern you have instead of spreading head say from pepper mouths who I assure you do not know anything about the owners of this cemetery other than they did not think of it first and they think it's about making money. I assure you the ownership of Kaiser Memorial Lawn is not about making money, rather dong it's part for Liberia. It has been a very tough road with many criticisms rather than help. Bury your loved one there or sign a contract for your own future burial and stop the lies and misinformation about a place that you too could call your eternal resting resting place forever. Visit the Kaisermemorial Lawn website at or email us at

LIBERIA WILL RISE AGAIN. You just wait and see.