THE QUEEN OF BASSA GOSPEL MUSIC–CHARMING CHOKO WLEHYOU BARCHUE (PART I)

•April 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

Posted in The ENTERTAINMENT BLOG in The SportsDay Newspaper April 21st Edition

 

Since Liberian Gospel music began to be deeply rooted in the nation, there has been a representation of the major Liberian vernaculars (dialects) which has firmly established itself among Liberians both at home and abroad. Given this, each of these vernaculars has its own ‘king’ or ‘queen’ as far as the level of talents possessed by said musician is concerned. That is why they are usually referred to “King/Queen of Gola, Mano, Kru (or whatever tribe) Gospel Music”.

Well, Mrs. Choko Wlehyou Barchue is one unique species hailing from one of the most popular (and probably most talented & social-able) Liberian vernaculars that takes center-stage in the ‘world of Liberian entertainment’; whether Gospel or secular. Choko’s incredible singing talent is coupled with her splendid dances that go along with her sharp nightingale voice to compliment it. That is why she is called THE QUEEN OF BASSA GOSPEL MUSIC”. She truly represents the female Gospel ambassador of Bassa Gospel music. Coming out of the midst of a group of people who possess so much immense talents as “THE QUEEN”, especially in the area of music entails a whole lot of unspeakable and immeasurable extra talents. Let’s take a look at how such a young talent came to prominence in this current competitive career.

EARLY CAREER:  Choko, like most Liberian musicians, began singing as early at an age she can barely recount but believed to be around five years old. During this time, she was always asked to perform in churches and other church related activities which always commanded a huge audience. An early childhood eyewitness tells of how Choko was made to stand in chair to perform in congested areas for the sole purpose of those at the rear to have the opportunity of glimpsing at this young incredible talent. Madame Watcheen, aged 48, told Entertainment blog: “Choko was already a real woman and maybe a prophetess when she was very small. I mean the way she sounded was more like a preacher whenever she sang”, said the lady who watched ‘The Queen’ grow up.

Watch out for her full profile, albums, and personal encounter with The Lord in our next edition for Part II.

 

 

JULI ENDEE HAILED: A MAJOR CAMPAIGNER AGAINST DISEASES

•April 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay (231-6-402737)

 

Juli Endee performs during the ceremony

Juli Endee performs during the ceremony

She is seen virtually at every campaign. Her advocacy seems endless against human threatening diseases and other societal ills in Liberia. As she leads her CRUSADERS FOR PEACE, she actually puts herself in the position of whatever victims or unfortunate situation that she sensitizes the nation about. Apparently that is why she is called Liberia’sCulture Ambassador whose works completely exemplify that title. Well, it might interest you to note that a national tribute was just paid to her as she launched a special documentary on Maternal & New Born Mortality Reduction and HIV/AIDS prevention..

Juli Endee, the ever-active and zealous Culture Ambassador of Liberia was praised during the launch of the Nationwide Maternal Mortality & New Born Reduction and HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign by Liberia’s Health Ministry in which Dr. Walter Gwanigale attributed the success of Liberia being a polio-free country to her vigorous and non-stopping continual campaign. During the ceremony, Amb. Endee’s CRUSADERS FOR PEACE exhibited splendid performances before dedicating the special documentary to befit the campaign. What amazed on-lookers and special guests attending the ceremony was the group’s ability to disseminate the message in all of Liberia’s sixteen spoken vernaculars.

This is exactly why ENTERTAINMENT BLOG joins in to say ‘hats-off’ to one of the nation’s pride. Remember that Juli Endee ably represents Liberian at international conferences and contests in her capacities as Culture Ambassador and an artist. Watch out for an exclusive interview with Amb Juli Endee which will depict how she started her entire musical

career, her motivation in this direction, plans she has underway (as you

may be aware of a children’s village under her auspices) , among others.

THOUSANDS LIVE WITHOUT SANITATION

•April 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

Monrovia's Slum:Clara Town Residents Fetch Water Next to a Nasty Drainage

Monrovia's Slum:Clara Town Residents Fetch Water Next to a Nasty Drainage

By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay (231-6-402737), interlink2004@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Sanitation is known to be one of mankind’s basic necessities for better life. But it seems the thousands of Clara Town residents have compromised this and are virtually not just living in filth but unimaginable poor sanitation conditions.

The township of Clara Town, strategically located in the commercial district of Bushrod Island is just a stone throw from Central Monrovia and has an estimated 61,000 to 65,000 inhabitants. Its sanitation problems range from lack of adequate toilet facilities to unkempt drainages and filthy environment.

THE STRUGGLE FOR TOILETS-a serious issue

The lack of adequate toilet facilities seems to definitely be the township’s most grave sanitation problem wherein over 90% of the houses were built without toilets (whether indoor or close-by). This makes the residents to rely on public toilet facilities; as if to further worsen the residents’ plights these toilets are not only nasty in most cases but are also insufficient to cater to the tens of thousands of residents that flock early morning hours and late evening hours to ease themselves.

To add ‘salt to injury’, a lot of the already insufficient public toilets have been closed to the residents—a situation that has prompted the constructions of over a hundred make-shifts toilets along the bank of the Mesurado River popularly known as the ‘Du River’.

Authorities clothed with catering to these public toilets known as the 7Man Council of Clara Town told FPA that the closure of these toilets is due to them being over-filled with feces.  The 7Man Council is charged with the general welfare of the Township and is said to be drawn from a cross-section of Clara Town’s most dominant tribes (two representatives each from the Grebo and Vai Tribes which are in majority, one representative from the Kru Tribe and two representatives to generally represent the other tribes of the Township.)

 

This Council which replaced a previous community council named the United Development Association (UDA) of Clara Town is said to be heading in similar direction as the UDA due to its inablitiy to cater to these needs which includes the continual filthy drainages as shown in the picture.

According to Mr. Augustine Passewe, secretary to Commissioner of the Township of Clara Town there is a unit called the Management Team which is responsible to cater to the drainages. True to his words, many of the residents informed FPA that this Management Team periodically tries its best in cleaning these drainages as well as dump-sites in the community. But again, these efforts just cannot get the commendations that it should probably be getting because it is often said that “a job half-done is not done at all”.  On the issue of these public toilets, Mr. Passewe attributed it to their sewerage lines which need to be reconnected to proper ones or new ones dug—indications that they were indeed poorly connected to inadequate or unfunctional sewerage lines. As viewed in some of the pictures, most of the closed public toilets have just been constructed but yet are not able to serve the people for whom they were built.

“My brother, the people built this toilet but we could not use it for even 2 months. In fact, we the women were forced to use the same place with the men because they told us that the ‘women side’ was not good”, explained Miatta Kandakai as she pointed towards one of the relatively new toilets which she lives next to. “So, we force to just use the ones the other people built over the river”, she said as she told our reporter the way forward.shes-lucky-to-have-this-or-else-the-river

 Like Miatta, most of the residents explained that there is indeed a serious need for toilets because a vast majority of the houses have none. They narrated their stories pitifully to the extent that one woman explained how she was compiled to toilet on herself  due to the usual over-crowdedness of the toilets (both public and private)one early morning when she had experienced a terrible ‘running stomach’ the previous night. “When I reached to the water side that morning, everywhere was packed. So, I run to the government toilet but again the line was long”, she said. Then she continued: “By the time I could make up mind, I was finished doing it on myself”, she concluded her misfortune.

PAY AS YOU TOILET

Every visit to the toilet is paid for. FPA was informed by a lot of the residents that they prefer the toilets built over the river to the public ones. While their reasons vary from one person to another, the bottom line is that one pays LD$5 per visit to the toilet. Implicitly, one has to calculate or budget additional LD$150 or USD$2.3 monthly for toilet per individual. And that is if one wouldn’t have to use the toilet more than once daily. However, if one experiences a stomach disorder either due to Diareahea or other stomach problem, you just might pay twice this amount. This means that if you have a household of over five to ten persons who are not able to secure a LD$5 note for toilet purpose, then the accumulated circulation is yours.

Another older woman, probably in his late sixties told this reporter they have to set aside at least LD$25 to LD $35 on the day that proceeds Christmas Day or Ramadan Day (depending on which religion you believe in since the Township is dominated by both Christians or Muslims) because, as justified by her, that is when one gets and eats food in abundance.

IMMINENT DANGER LOOMS

Standing along the bank of this river, what can be seen visibly is the chain of make-shift toilets as if you were viewing a congested traffic from an aerial view. According to a FPA survey and proper examination of these make-shift toilets, a vast majority of them are what can only be described as ‘death trips’ while some are made only for those who are brave to use. Children as young as three to four years can be seen squatting over tiny planks that link these toilets to the shore as these toilets are built about three to four feet away from the bank of the River. Since they are small and a lot of their ‘seniors’(older people) will be in queues, they just cannot just the main toilet but use these tiny planks which serve as entrances to these toilets.

In additional to the nasty drainages, some of the Township’s water-pipes are opened for water supply just along the immediate edge of these dangerous drainages. (Available in picture) Some of these water pipes are concentrated right within the same location of the man-holes of some of the public toilets (as shown in the picture).

SITUATION CREATES NEW FORM OF BUSINESS

The compulsory alternative discovered by these residents has eventually led to the establishment of a new form of business that proves to be a worthwhile venture. Owners or constructors of these ‘private’ toilets over the River have just gotten a self-employment that is indeed sustaining. Wilfred Nyante, one of the owners of these numerous ‘water toilets’ told FPA that he makes between LD$900 to $1,000 daily—the equivalent of USD$14.00-$15.00—from 5:30 AM to about 11PM.  

Wilfred’s explanation servers as a confirmation that most of the residents prefer to use these ‘water toilets’ to the government or public toilets which is one reason why they (the owners) make this kind of money. “This pays my house rent, feed my family and sends my two children to school”, he said. The profitability of this new form of business has led to its proliferation that almost every day one new one is seen constructed.

 

 

 

Kids dangerously squat on tiny planks over the river

Kids dangerously squat on tiny planks over the river

One of the few available toilets

One of the few available toilets

“GUIDED DESTINY” HITS THE SILVER SCREEN

•April 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay April 1st Edition of Entertainment Blog-SportsDay Newspaper, Monrovia, Liberia

From the brainy skull of the nation’s premier and veteran movie-producer and director comes once again, another masterpiece Liberian movie called

GUIDED DESTINY.  Yes, the ‘Godfather’ of Liberian movie Slyvanus M. Turay I will release on the silver screen yet another movie that is bound to

get movie lovers spellbound as GUIDED DESTINY, a sensational

Liberian movie, is launched at the Golden Beach in Sinkor Sunday the 5th

of April and subsequently screened at the Rivoli Cinema on Broad Street Tuesday, the 7th of April.

BACKGROUND OF THE MOVIE: From the producer and director of the ever-popular Liberian movie COMPLEX DECISION, GUIDED DESTINY

is a two-fold movie: exposure of societal ills while at the same time exhibiting determination that leads to one’s realization of achieving destiny. It preaches against rape and prostitution in which a truck-pusher (or ‘push-push driver’)’s one-day old baby is kidnapped by a philanthropist’s wife. As far as they are concerned, no one knows about this devilish act. On the other hand, the mother happens to be a mad woman whose madness derived out of a shock. Six years have elapsed and the baby has grown. Then, ban!! The entire secret is unearthed by another truck pusher. He is bribed heavily with a huge sum of money that can change his life around. But one wonders what he will do as he has promised to guide this child’s destiny. After all, that is why he has been monitoring the kidnappers for six years, though he lost sight of them at some point in time but recovers them later. A truck pusher, as we all know, is someone who is poverty stricken and could do anything to take full advantage of such an opportunity that just might not come his way again. By the way, who wouldn’t want to utilize such an opportunity, especially in this day and age of economic hardship? Meanwhile, the mad woman recovers. But what led to her recovery and what are the chances of her getting her child back as the father who lives in a village is enlightened on the matter. These are some of the reasons that make this movie a must- watch.

M. Alie Pusah II, Slyvanus Turay, II (the son of the ‘Godfather’), Gballie Wisseh and the ‘Godfather’ himself Slyvanus M. Turay I are the lead actors and actress that make GUIDED DESTINY really intriguing, exciting but yet sorrowful. So, why not be at the Golden Beach and the Rivoli for the launching and screening respectively for one of the best in Liberian movies.

 

TURAY: THE PIONEER OF LIBERIAN MOVIE

•April 2, 2009 • 1 Comment

By: Nat Nyuan-Bayjay, from the ChampionSports Newspaper, its SOCIAL TIMES Column

Slyvanus M. Turay I,Liberia's best Movie Star

Slyvanus M. Turay I,Liberia's best Movie Star

 (

 

www.entertainmentlib.wordpress.com) April 3rd Edition

Every successful initiative has people who engineer its success. Not only do such people pioneer it, but they also do make sacrifices for the accomplishments of dreams which are usually dreamt by themselves (in other words, they are in most cases the vision-bearers of these). A glaring example of such is the movie industry which has seen the likes of Liz Benson and an array of other Nigerian actors and actresses making immense sacrifices that led to the actualization of a successful Nigerian movie industry otherwise referred to as Nollywood.

Analogically, Liberia’s own case has seen a few who have started this initiative. Notably among these is Slyvanus M. Turay I, who is a real pioneer in the establishment of the Liberian version of movie making. A founding president of the Liberia Movie Union (LIMU), Turay is the unarguable ‘The Godfather’ of Liberian movie not only due to his immeasurable contributions to the establishment of LOLLYWOOD which is relatively becoming a success story but also as evidenced by his conglomeration of personal awards and achievements. He is currently the Nation’s best actor proven by a double award-accolade from LIMU and the recent LMA Entertainment Award. He has produced a couple of the best Liberian movies to include the ever-popular COMPLEX DECISION (1 & 2), TEARS OF MARRIAGE (1 & 2), HOME AGAIN and the to-be launched GUIDED DESTINY which promises to be a bond.( You may see a copy of our sister paper’s April 1st edition of ENTERTAINMENT BLOG of SportsDay for detailed information of this most current effort.) he has also acted in dozens of other movies such A MAN’S HEART, among others where he played splendid roles both as lead or supporting actor.

To show his commitment and dedication to this career, Turay has established the Torch-Bear Ministries, Incorporated which is involved in productions and other graphic designs as far as movie production is concerned. He is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of this entity.

LAGMA CELEBRATES 16 YEARS OF EXISTANCE—-AS 11-YRS OLD GIRL TAKES CENTER STAGE

•March 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment

See the way rocks the stage

See the way rocks the stage

The Liberia Association of Gospel Musical Artists termed 16 years since its establishment in 1993 with a three-day activities that began with a fast and prayer on Friday, the 20th of March at the Lighthouse Full-Gospel Church on Benson Street and preceeded by a parade on Saturday, the 21st of March that started from up Broad Street via some of Monrovia’s principle

and ended with an Olympic at the Monrovia Demonstration School on Clay Street. Then, Sunday the 22nd of March saw the Monrovia City Hall lightened up with exclusive Liberian Gospel music that featured some of LAGMA’s best artists. This coincided with the launch of an All-Star LAGMA Album (volume 3) that contains again some of the very best of the nation’s Gospel artists.

 

 

 

•March 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

CHAMPIONS SOCIAL TIMES Reserved  Edition. . . . . With Nat Nyuan-Bayjay (06402737)

LIBERIA’S FILM INDUSTRY—IS IT BECOMING BETTER/NOT?

A new wave of entertainment phenomena began to sweep across West Africa (and probably the entire continent) between the late ‘90’s and early 2000’s. This phenomena has gone to the extent of competing with its Western counterparts, evidenced by the over crowdedness of video centers especially on weekends when the African movies (‘African shows ‘) are being shown. Interestingly, men too have begun to join the ladies in this kind of home videos/ entertainment. With a well improved and established Nigerian film industry (NOLLYWOOD), coupled with the Ghanaians who took are doing extremely well in this direction, our Liberian talents too have joined in this endeavor. Named and styled LOLLYWOOD, the Liberian film industry is relatively young. A couple of Liberian made films have been produced with Liberians themselves gradually shifting their attention to them. The famous CAT KINGDOM, JUETEY, COMPLEX DECISION, ENVY, among others are a few of our own made. Now the question is: Is the Liberian film industry improving? Are Liberians appreciating their movies? Text us your opinion on:  via this blog or text (2316402737) in not more than 2 sentences. Selected ones will be published.