As part of their continuing contribution to America's Independence day, two local Liberian promoters/organizers in Metro Atlanta hosted a series of events on July 4 at John White Park on Cascade Road to commemorate the independence anniversary of their adopted country. Dazia Fumbah and Bernard Benson, co- founders of the annual event known as Monrovia Fest, have been the brain behind this spectacular gathering of Liberians and other nationalities over the years.
According to the founders, Monrovia Fest was organized in 1993, with ten individuals whose goal was to use sporting events and other outdoor activities to bring people together.
Monrovia Fest has raised funds through those public events, and donated some of their proceeds to visiting Liberian organization(s), and the youth Department of a local church. Monroviafest organizers have also used some of the proceeds from fund raising drives to send humanitarian aid to Liberia during the war.
Monrovia Fest 98' brought together 400 persons from all walks of life. Several African and Carribean soccer teams from various states and Metro Atlanta participated in this year's event. One of the most interesting matches of the tournament was the one between the Lone Star of Liberia and the Islanders of Jamaica. The game began like Spike Lee's movie, "White man Can't Jump": an assumption by blacks that white men can not play basketball. The Lone Star players overlooked the Islanders, feeling that they could easily beat the Islanders.
The assumption was wrong. The Islanders were the first to score, and they did so in the first half of the game. Throughout the first half, they dominated the game. The second half, however, produced a redeemer for the Liberian side. The savior was Adel who penetrated the Islanders' defense to score the equalizer. But Adel was still not satisfied - he put the icing on the cake with just five minutes left in regulation when he scored the second goal putting Lone Star of Liberia ahead for good.
The aftermath of the tournament saw a grand ball at Mina's Place. Organizers of the Monrovia Fest used the occasion to present awards to Liberians and Liberian entities in Metro Atlanta. Two of the awards went to The Perspective magazine for its commitment to democracy in Liberia.
The long term goal of Monrovia Fest, according to Fumbah and Benson, is to get the city of Atlanta involved in future projects, and get Coca Cola to sponsor its activities, "because we intend to take Monroviafest to Monrovia, Liberia, where it belongs", the co-founders added.
Sinoe County Association of Georgia
The Sinoe County Association held its installation ceremonies on August 8, at Mina's Place in Norcross, GA.
Guest speaker and installing officer, J. Kpanneh Doe, called on the people of Sinoe County to "define" a vision, or a series of projects to help in rebuilding their county.
"As a place that is ranked remarkably low nationally in terms of the number of high schools and hospitals, citizens of Sinoe County will have to work extremely hard to improve the conditions of that part of Liberia." "You could adopt a classroom, a student and work with that student to finish high school. You could also help the image of the county by linking with other Liberian Associations in the United States and other places, because Sinoe will be no Sinoe without a Libeira", added Kpanneh Doe.
Boniface Sarwieh, president of the Sinoe County Association of Georgia thanked God and the guest speaker, and spoke of security, identification, love and peace.
"As president of this organization, I am fully committed to instilling the virtue of love in my administration. As Sinoeans, we have to adhere to the divine command to love one another, and love thy neighbor as thyself".
Outgoing President, Natty B. Davies, admonished the Sinoe County Association of GA to "re-examine ourselves", adding that the president alone cannot do it all by himself.
"If we want this organization to move forward like other organizations are doing, we will have to work together to move the Sinoe County Association of GA ahead, he concluded.
The event was climaxed by an installation banquet and ball.
Grand Cape Mount County Association of Georgia held its annual acquaintance Day ball at the Diverse Zone Club and Restaurant in Doraville, GA in June.
According to a spokesperson of the organization, the money raised from the activity will go towards the purchase of medical and educational supplies for Grand Cape Mount County.
United Nimba Citizens Council (UNICCO) of Atlanta: Nimbaians in Atlanta played host to the national convention of the United Nimba Citizens Council this past Labor Day weekend. The convention brought together Nimbaians from all accross the United States. Matters affecting the development of the county were discussed.
LAMA Celebrates Liberia's 151st Independence
The Liberian Community Association of Metropolitan Atlanta (LAMA) celebrated Liberia's 151st Independence anniversary with a series of indoor and outdoor activities on July 26, 1998.
One of the events of the occasion was a kikcball game held at Wade Park in Decatur between the Northside and Southside girls of metro Atlanta with spectacular plays from stars Agnes Samukai and Christine McBorrough, the Northside girls rallied to defeat Southside.
Agnes Samukai and Cristine McBorrough were voted the series most valuable players (MUP).
The other event of the occasion was a queen contest between the counties showcasing some of Liberia's beautiful women was held at the Quality Inn in Chamblee.
Runner ups were contestants Janet Kiawu of Grand Cape Mount County, 1st; Ruth Julu-Baysah of Grand Kru representing Friend Together, 2nd; Ernice Doe, Suakoko, Bong County; Kim Bowman, Maryland County; and Vivian Wonzon of Nimba County, a student of the University of Georgia, who won the overall event and was crowned Ms. Liberia-Georgia 1998.
Theo Bass, President of LAMA, thanked the community and the contestants for their support and their patriotic spirits. A 26 Ball immediately followed the event. Proceeds generated from the programs will go towards LAMA's community funds.
Nick And Sandrine United By Vows
Some were surprsied, early this year when J. Nicholas Reffell, the man who once served as president of the Liberian Community Association of Georgia, declined re-election as a board member to the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas - the capacity he served in for several years. Some speculated that the secret behind Reffell's haitus from the community and ULAA's leadership team came to light on August 22, 1998 at the Allgood United Methodist when he united with Sandrine Chonoen Achy-Brou through matrimony. It is said that "behind every successful man, there is a good woman," and it is believed that the union of Nick and Sandrine has moved Nick to a different, but better level.
Some call it the Liberian community wedding of the decade, others say it was perhaps the community wedding of the century. Whatever it is called, it was a good wedding as a result of a painstaking planning and demanding attention to details.
What is considered as the climax took place at the Winfield Hall, Norcross, venue of the well-planned extravagant reception. Even those who skipped the wedding were among the first to arrive at the venue. "The couple must have printed lots of invitations", observed an American guest. His Liberian friend replied, "for a Liberian wedding you only need a dozen or so invitations. There are many out there willing to pass the word around, while there are some who call around during weekends for info on social events."
The Bestman for the ceremony and also brother of the groom, Stephen Olu Adams, said that the occasion was the "happiest day" in his life. He expressed his happiness over the fact that his younger brother has finally decided to join the "club of responsible folks." In order to excel, he has to have a stronger wife," Olu concluded. Olu also assured the parents of the bride that the couple would enjoy the best of life humanly possible.
The event immediately turned into something like the Organization of African Unity Conference: Boniface Sarwieh was invited on stage to serve as interpreter for the family and friends of the bride (Sandrine Chonoen Achy-Brou hails from the Ivory Coast).
The Liberian Community of Metrpolitan Atlanta (LAMA) was one of the organizations to speak. The president of the organization, Theo Bass, said that the man [the groom] who once headed the community and spearheaded its growth, has taken an extraordinary step. Theo went further to say that the extraordinary step taken by the couple would help strenghten the ties between Ivory Coast and Liberia.
Speaking through an interpreter, the father of the bride, Mr. Antonie Achy-Brou said that the marriage was a symbolic marriage between Ivory Coast and Liberia and wished that such friendly ties be extended to the entire West African region. Mr. Achy-Brou who and his wife, Madame Martha Achy-Brou, have eight children, used the opportunity to toast for lots of kids. He wished the new couple will beat their record by having more than eight kids.
Speaking on behalf of the groom's family John E. Scott reminded the groom, "Your wife is your better half." He asked the groom to be willing and open to "your better half", (wife). Mr. Scott cautioned that decisions should not made by only the groom and then pass on to the bride - decisions must be made mutually. Mr. Scott also assured the family of the bride that their "daughter is in good hands." He extended their thanks and appreciation to the Ivorians for embracing Liberians during the Liberian civil war.
The groom said love is something that he feels not something that he sees. He gave credits to the parents for his intellegent and beautiful wife. He asked the audience to join him in celebration because he "feels so wonderful tonight." He concluded by toasting to the success of the union.
Miatta Fahnbulleh In Atlanta
During the period under review, veteran Liberian artist, Miatta Fahnbulleh, electrified Hot Atlanta with her new CD - "Song For Liberia". Ms. Fahnbulleh was in Atlanta for the All Liberian Conference of North America convention. Her masterful piece is dedicated to those who died in the war.
The CD is avalaible at:
5515 Canoga Ave