the streets of monroviaOp-ed 

The Streets of Monrovia 

An Essay By Andrew Borbor Werlay Jaye Jr.


The streets of Monrovia with potholes and cacophonous speakers are mostly connected between old infrastructural ruins and plantation–style houses after many years of Post–War Liberia.

Be it Ashmun Street that is in honor of Jeudi Ashmun, one of the colonial agents of the ACS, or either Mechlin Street that lies in the memory of Joseph Mechlin, there goes under the scorching sun during the dry season, or the mountainous rain during the rainy season: the roaming around of street vendors, the hawking of value–boys, the poster areas of shoeshine boys, the general merchandise of roadside sellers, and the harassment of street urchins–zogos.

Come to think of these social and economic classes which have not been produced out of nature. Inhumanely, they are the productions of a failed state. A compradorial state that has massively speed the underdevelopment of its productive forces.

To unequivocally put, it is a wild jungle in which her natural and mineral resources, human labor, water maritime, green wasteland and tropical forests are wrestled over by transnational regimes (TNCs) in the collection of rents and taxes.

How these rents and taxes have helped to fatten the pockets of national ‘misleaders’ have become the sad stories of these strata, and the doomsdays of the streets of Monrovia.


So Cometh the Days of the Week

ON MONDAY, not all kids go to school. Few parents attend to their job sites.  Many kids and their mothers are found between trucks, jeeps, and cars. What are they doing in such danger? They are eking out their living by selling drinks, sweets, and fruits.

ON TUESDAY, the privileged socialites go to buy fashion wears from the value–boys for the lady’s night of Wednesday. While the clubs are buzzing harmonics during the dark hours of nightfall, millions of families are going to bed with emptied stomachs.

ON WEDNESDAY, the ladies of the night are donned in fashion as fashionistas. Many of them are already in toxicity. They are awaiting the commodification of their bodies. Now comes socialites, politicians, and business tycoons–who dance in the loot of the republic on the musical floors of these clubs, bars, and taverns.

ON THURSDAY, back to school and on the public radios are students and Party–Nouveau–Riches who suffered hangovers from the tension–packed night of Wednesday. The gloom that beset Thursday makes campuses poor in preparation for Super Friday; on the other hand, Friday rushes vendors of national issues to sell out their newspapers, as sports vendors steal the show on Friday and Saturday.

ON FRIDAY, teachers, and lecturers reluctantly skip classes in the name of No–Good–School. Indeed the beaches, resorts, and shisha bars are jammed with women in bikinis, and men in short pants. For few parents, who work throughout the week, it is an opportunity to find rest. Here at least ALLAH must be merciful, as Muslim brothers and sisters go to pray for the paradise of themselves and the debauched nation.

ON SATURDAY, there is traffic congestion everywhere to reach Monrovia. Market women and traders who come from Brewerville City, Bomi County, and Grand Cape Mount County, are clogged in traffic like those who trade between Redlight and Nimba County.

the streets of monrovia
Monrovia, Liberia

Lo and behold the jerking of phones, bags, purses, and other belongings by zogos take the centre stage of Saturday.

ON SUNDAY, JEHOVAH must be praised. 

After Jehovah is praised, so be it, and so it goes. DJs will begin to test their sound systems by 1 pm. By 3 pm, there are no chairs are at entertainment centers and big clubs.  What happens next? Oh no, the bottles of Guinness stouts, club beers, red Fronteras…are profusely consumed. Then ungodly kinds of music which an infidel would not feel comfortable with, are played all through nightfall.

By way of conclusion, this can be called the summary of the weeklies. But more importantly, the theme of the “Streets of Monrovia” is crystal clear: despite the nation does not lack religion, culture, economics, and a few bunches of haves, it is cut off from making the weekly days conducive for all social layers of the society. And to identify such a crisis is to correct the leadership deficit of the state with a progressive army of revolutionaries.


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