Demonstrating true Liberian Identity

By: Jarwinken Wiah
It was nearly 18 years ago that I was among other Liberian reporters and editors at a one-week encampment “Partnership for Media Reconstruction in Liberia” training held in Virginia, outside Monrovia from August 4-9, 1999. At the closing ceremony, one of the trainers from Britain, Phil Champagne, who was serving as a Consultant of the International Alert, urged the participants “To Go Out There as Peace Ambassadors” for post war Liberia. The training was a Rehearsal Training for Senior Reporters and Editors.
Looking back, and reflecting on participants’ activities and engagements, I will say it is only Ansu Konneh who has truly lived up to the advice of Mr. Champagne. He has consistently demonstrated “Peace Ambassadorial” role in words and deeds.

He is a true patriot and a symbol of true Liberian identity. In my opinion, his character is outside ethnicity, religion, and ascribed status as he embraces and respects everyone by “Liberian identity.” Moreover, he demonstrates clear understanding and recognition of everyone human’s dignity.

In a teamwork with Isaac Yeah, Pewee Flommoku, Horatio Willie, and Siebo Williams, Ansu organized the online regular Old Hands Reunion Forum, which serves as a platform to discuss shared values of the past and present. The forum also connects new reporters to the former and old ones. Moreover, Ansu serves as the media archive and historian for this generation. Most importantly, he does without anticipation of reciprocation or for a particular favor.

He as well plays the role of a traditional “town chief” of welcoming old friends who live outside Liberia. He does by inviting them to lunch to discuss the past and present experiences of life dimensions of his guests and himself. He asks questions and listens to learn about the experiences of his guests and also willing to answer one’s questions.

My opinion is, because of this, the Liberian media should call Ansu Konneh the “Media Ambassador” as he is the one who adheres to the advice of the British trainer in words and deeds. I believed he has earned it. I also challenge us all to learn from Ansu by demonstrating good characters built on respect for one another irrespective of one’s ethnicity, religion or traditional belief, gender, disability, and ascribed status.

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