African Prints: Endless Fashion Possibilities

first_imgRecent years in Monrovia have seen a growing and very diversified preference for the use of African prints. This has now become the latest fashion trend in every part of Monrovia.It is obvious that more and more African designers have emerged in Liberia, taking their works more seriously, thus attracting Western customers to the African style trends as they take on mainstream fashion in and around Liberia.Indeed there is a wellspring of passion and drive towards the rebranding of African attire by a powerfully positioned generation of youth.  Some do it as a hobby, others do it for business. Hawa Conneh is trying to make a business of hers.  She taught herself everything she knows about fashion design, from hand sewing to the making of African necklaces. And for Hawa, it’s not just about being creative but also a form of empowerment.  “Once you’re a hard working lady, you’ll become recognized in the society and people will respect you because of your hard work, your effort and time you put into making whatever it is that you’re doing a success,” she says. What gives this young designer the satisfaction is the fact that she can transform an already made product into a total different new look, and turn an idea into a beautiful creation like her signature necklace made of African cloth. Promoting her African culture has always been her dream as can be seen in many of her designs.Born on Sept. 7, 1986 in Gbarnga Bong County Hawa is a graduate of the Cuttington University with a BSc in Sociology. According to Hawa, she always knew she had a creative side to her; remembering how she created her first skirt from and shorts that was too tight for her which her mom had gotten her.“I remember in my early teens I really wasn’t comfortable wearing tight shorts and my mom had gotten me a pair of tight pants that I wasn’t comfortable with. So because I had the color of the cloth, I told myself I was going to cut it up and turn it into a mini skirt and when I got done with it, I couldn’t believe my very own self. It had turn out quiet lovely” she proudly said.What makes Hawa’s work unique is the dedication and patience she puts into her works. She explains that it takes a whole day to make up to three pairs of shoes going through a tedious process of having to take the entire pair of shoes apart and giving it a whole new make over in African style. Because of her busy schedule as an insurance professional, Hawa is left with no option but to use her Saturdays and Sundays to work on her designs.Driven by her passion and desire to succeed, Hawa dreams of owning an African factory in the future. She tells LIB Life that she sees her self as a factory owner in the future producing anything African related where she would be able to cater to more clients all around the world. So far, her only international clients are those in America plus her local clients. Meanwhile her work is mainly advertised by word of mouth and on her facebook page.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

“Personal views on why Liberia should not be declared, by law, a Christian Nation”

first_imgIntroductionThe airwaves in Liberia have been in recent times inundated with the debate on whether Liberia should be declared a Christian nation by law. This proposition, sponsored heavily by a group of church leaders during the recent Constitutional Review Conference, held recently in Gbarnga, was voted for by Christian delegates who attended the conference while the Muslim delegates boycotted the vote. There was even a shouting match between the Christian group and Muslim group, who had gathered around the Administrative Building, the venue of the conference, in order to make their voices heard. I, as a devout Christian, who had had all his elementary and secondary education in Lutheran schools before traveling abroad for college and advanced degrees, intend in this article to put across my personal views, with documentary evidences, my opposition to declaring Liberia as a Christian nation by law.Definition of a ChristianThe dictionary definition of a Christian tells me that “a Christian is one who believes in or follows the religion based on the teachings of Christ; a person who exhibits Christian qualities of kindness, fairness and decency”. This speaks volumes about Christianity. It is all embracing and full of love, and good moral attitudes as Christ himself displayed while on earth; as the hymn says, “in Christ there is no East or West.”The ArgumentsThose who are proposing that Liberia becomes a Christian nation are saying that the preamble of the 1847 Constitution of Liberia speaks of the founding fathers’ desire and intent to make Liberia a Christian nation, and because Liberians changed that path in the 1986 revised constitution, by making Liberia a secular state, Liberia was undergoing many challenges, detrimental to its progress. Being a religious nation is not a bad idea; in fact, Liberians are, by nature, a very religious people. According to a statistical research on Liberia by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandrigk in their 21st Century edition of Operation World, 38.33% of Liberians are Christians, with an annual growth rate of +8.6%; Muslims are 13% with an annual growth rate of +11.3%; while the traditionalists are 48.37% with an annual growth rate of 7.8% (http://www.liberia2027.com/627324).  It is however, an error to assume that Liberia is, or was ever a Christian nation, or founded on Christian principles. In fact those above statistics are saying that over 60% of Liberia’s 3.5 million people are not Christians (Ibid.).  Although the signing of the declaration of independence was done by Christians in the Providence Baptist Church, nowhere in the 1847 Constitution is there an article declaring Liberia as a Christian nation. In fact, based upon the definition of a Christian and seeing how Christianity is all inclusive, the definition of a Christian nation cannot fit Liberia since, based on historical facts, it was actually founded on divisive principles. Even assuming that the founding fathers had Christianity in mind, since their intentions were to civilize and Christianized the indigenes, the assumption that Liberia is a Christian nation is yet to be proven; it overlooks the fact that traditional religion practitioners and Muslims were present in this region long before 1822, when the newcomers arrived.As stated earlier, Liberia was actually founded on a divisive principle. In his book, Rise and Fall of the First Liberian Republic, George E.S. Boley (1983) mentions that the preamble of the declaration of independence spoke of a people returning to Africa from slavery in America, who claimed to have originated from America-when indeed they had earlier originated from Africa-speaking condescendingly about the land to which they were now returning. According to him, “a native or aboriginal Liberian was considered inferior to an Americo-Liberian by reason of his alleged heathenism; similarly a native… was not considered a full citizen unless he was, by the standards of the settlers, completely detribalized, or civilized…”(1983, p.28). The motto of the Republic of Liberia only speaks of “The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here” as if those met here did not matter. The late Bishop George D. Browne observed in his book, The Episcopal Church of Liberia: Under Indigenous Leadership: Reflections on a Twenty Year Episcopate: “Our constitution provided for two legal systems: for Tribal or Customary laws or Interior Regulations… meant for the ‘illiterate-Liberians’ or ‘the country-people’ who lived in the hinterlands… and other laws intended for the coastal and ‘literate’ Liberians who lived in the cities. While we were talking about ‘one nation indivisible’ we were actively sowing the seed for a divided nation” (1994, p. 150).Christianity is all inclusive based upon the teachings of Christ; in Christ there is no East or West. However, the settlers never consulted the indigenes or natives on the well-fare of Liberia as they were not considered citizens but heathens who needed to be civilized and Christianized.  As pointed out by Joseph Saye Guannu, in his Short History of First Liberian Republic, the indigenes were denied citizenship of Liberia until 1904 when President Arthur Barclay granted them a blanket citizenship (2010). Even so they did not benefit from the fruits of democracy until President William V. S. Tubman created the four new counties of Bong, Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Lofa, and allowed them have representatives sit in the National Legislature (Ibid.). Again, the Liberian Constitution has never embraced the idea of having other races become citizens of Liberia except black, which, of course, is against Christian principles. Even citizens, who were forced to relocate to other areas of the world as a result of the civil war and political instability, are being denied dual-citizenship by the current constitution.The call by some Liberians for Liberia to move from being a secular state (meaning a state not affiliated with any particular church or particular faith) to being declared a Christian nation is a move in the wrong direction at this juncture in Liberian history. It will never make any individual Liberian more Christian than he or she has been, neither will it bring any more development to Liberia than exists. It is rather a monkey wrench being used by some politicians in order to derail the fragile peace that we enjoy now, as well as the reconciliation process underway. Lest we forget, history has taught us that the unwholesome collaboration of church, state, True Whig Party and the Masonic Craft in the past aided the entrenchment of corruption in Liberia. This is where the “so say one so say all” phrase originated from. The church compromised the integrity of the gospel by refusing to push for righteous life style in Liberia, as heads of state also became top cleric men of the church and secret societies; men, whose decisions could not be questioned.  This collaboration helped to solidify the Americo-Liberian hegemony over the indigenous Liberians as evidenced by their 133 year-rule over the country from 1847 to 1980.From the reactions of some members of his church, as observed by the late Bishop Browne, in his book, mentioned supra, (1994, pp. 125 &134), there was a major myth that the Liberian society was built on four foundations-the church, the state, the True Whig Party and the Masons, and the only way that one would climb the ladder of success in Liberia was to become a member of the craft. Many believed that the church existed along with the state and the state was the same as the Masonic craft and the True Whig Party. Currently, it is believed that some politicians and some clerics who have churches that have grown wealthy from their charismatic/Pentecostal churches are once again trying to return to the status quo which existed in Liberia before 1980 and this is dangerous for the country.Let us Liberians beware and be wise. Mixing religion with politics is dangerous, especially at a time in Liberia when the country has just recently emerged from a prolonged period of instability-1980-2003. Relative to the mixing of politics and religion in Nigeria, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, of Jos, Nigeria, observed, “Religion, by its nature and content appeals not so much to reason. It is a heart matter and carries with it huge emotions” (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-31026554). It is a ‘divide and rule’ technique (like money) often used by politicians (Ibid.); so Liberians should not allow politicians to once again divide and rule them by this means. Liberians need to wake up and live in the 21st century, not in the 19th century. Liberians need to move forward, not backward. Liberians must open their eyes and see all the red flags raised around them and the world, when it comes to mixing politics with religion. It is important to take note of what Boko Haram has done in our own backyard, Nigeria – the atrocities carried out in their attempt to declare Sharia laws in claimed territories of Nigeria; what happened in Kenya recently with the indiscriminate killing of 148 non-Muslim students at Garissa University College by the militant terrorist group, al-Shabab; see Iraq, Syria and other places where the Islamic State (IS) has created havoc in their quest to create an Islamic Caliphate. Who, in his right mind, will see his neighbor’s house burning down due to fire and then will send his own children to play with fire in their living room?ConclusionLet Liberia remain a secular state (one not associated with any church or faith) in which all religions will live and worship according to their religion in peace and harmony; with no one religious sect set above the others as the 1986 constitution says. The framers of that constitution foresaw the danger far ahead. Let sleeping dog lie. Liberians have suffered enough and seen many hardships.  Liberians need to heal, and we can only do this by turning our backs on those old divisive practices and prejudices that divided us in the past. Liberians should be more concerned now about stamping out corruption and other vices which have had more devastating effects on Liberia’s development. Tagging Liberia, as a Christian nation, has no direct effect on the country’s development.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Raiders vs. 49ers: Security stepped up at Levi’s Stadium to thwart any rivalry violence

first_imgSANTA CLARA — To help keep the peace among rival fan bases in the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders on Thursday night, officials are planning extra security measures including boosting the number of undercover officers –sporting jerseys of both teams — out in force at Levi’s Stadium.“The history of games between these two teams is known to us,” Santa Clara police Capt. Wahid Kazem said, acknowledging previous violent clashes among fans. “This will be quite different …last_img read more

Nike rakes in $3 billion after Colin Kaepernick calls foul on shoe

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.Apparently Colin Kaepernick can still throw the home run pass.On Tuesday, it was reported that Kaepernick, the 49ers quarterback-turned-social justice activist, asked Nike to pass on a Fourth of July sneaker because of its objectionable symbolism. Nike acquiesced even though some product had been sent to retailers.According to TMZ Sports, Nike stock shares have since gone up 2 percent, which has goosed the company’s …last_img read more

56% of Peoples’ 1st Wikipedia Edits Are Good

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick If you thought Wikipedia had seen its heyday, you’d have thought wrong. A small study performed by Wikipedia staff and published today found that new Editors are signing up and making edits to the site at a far greater rate than they were years ago. A slight majority of their first edits are acceptable or better.The number of new editors registering on the site has grown from 60 on an typical day in 2004 (when the site was 3 years old) to now 1800 people joining English Wikipedia and making at least 1 edit in a given day today. Vandalism is way up but still makes up less than 25% of edits from new editors. 55% of first edits by new editors today meet the site’s (increasingly) stringent quality controls and require no clean-up by other editors. While that’s down from 72% in 2004, it’s still pretty good.“Right now, our top priority is to promote the health of our projects and community and that means making sure that we’re maintaining an open culture that welcomes newcomers,” Wikimedia’s Moka Pantages told us. “This preliminary look into the activity of new Wikipedia editors indicates that new people do have valuable contributions to make and we’re looking at ways to invite them in and make sure they’re able to contribute.”I’m a little surprised by these numbers, but it’s also remarkable to think about how many people visit Wikipedia every day and don’t sign up to edit anything. Twitter wishes people loved reading Tweets that much. It’s interesting that a medium famous for making encyclopedic knowledge writable remains in the largest part a read-only phenomenon for most people.center_img Tags:#New Media#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

Montrealers fight for insurance benefits highlights dangers of social media lawyers

first_imgMONTREAL – The case of a Montreal writer who said his insurance company refused to pay him disability benefits due in part to online postings is a reminder to people to watch what they put on the Internet, according to legal experts.Literature professor Samuel Archibald published a letter in La Presse earlier this month detailing his struggles to get disability benefits after being diagnosed with severe depression last fall.He wrote that while he was on leave from his job at Universite du Quebec a Montreal, the school’s group insurer opened an investigation because he had been able to take part in certain activities such as speaking with students, reading poems on the radio and making a 10-minute TV appearance.They also looked at photos he had posted on social media that showed him jogging or playing with his children.“They also used this new trick of peeling through the insured’s Facebook and Instagram pages in order to prove, in the event of a lawsuit, that he is not depressed,” he wrote on Feb. 12.The article prompted a wave of denunciations from doctors, union leaders and citizens, with some sharing their own stories of being denied claims with the hashtag #avecsam.It also elicited a response from Archibald’s insurance company, which defended its commitment to mental health and promised to review his file.“Close to half of our group insurance claims are disability cases, and less than five per cent of mental health claims are declined,” Desjardins wrote in a statement.“It’s important to note that each claim is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, while consulting with the insured, experts — including the attending physicians — and the employer.”But the story is no surprise to legal experts, who say insurance companies are increasingly turning to social media to investigate claims.David Share, a lawyer who specializes in insurance claims, says insurance companies have always conducted surveillance and been suspicious of certain kinds of disability claims.He says that while firms have a responsibility to ensure claims are valid, social media can also offer “a cheaper, quicker way of trying to find grounds to deny a claim.”As an example, he says insurance companies can argue that someone who spends a certain number of hours online is capable of working a desk job or taking calls.“It’s easy to say ‘this person doesn’t look disabled,’ but that’s an overly simplistic way of looking at it,” he said.Robert Currie, a lawyer and member of Dalhousie University’s law and technology institute, says insurance companies are too often allowed to be invasive and to jump to conclusions that aren’t supported by their evidence.“You can’t judge anything meaningful about someone’s mental health based on their social media feeds,” said Currie.“One thing we know is that social media feeds are extremely unreliable indicators of anything about a person, 95 per cent of the time.”Both Share and Currie say that while the issue of social media monitoring raises privacy concerns, thus far there are few government regulations in place to stop it.“The legal system is still trying to catch up with the Internet and the impact that it has, and it’s very difficult to prevent companies or investigators from being able to learn how to look things up online,” Share said.Currie said that while people can have some legal recourse if they can show that companies breached strong privacy barriers, it’s far easier and less costly to assume that anything posted online can be found.“A colleague has a sign on her office that reads: ‘Dance like nobody is watching; email as if it’s going to be read to a deposition some day,’” he said.“I think people are far too casual about this.”last_img read more

Randy Moss Making Strong Impression With 49ers

Randy Moss, the sometimes indifferent receiver, will make a difference for the San Francisco 49ers, he teammates believe.Going off what the 14-year veteran has done in training camp – on and off the field – the Niners see Moss as a difference-maker.“I find myself saying, ‘Wow!’ a couple of times,” star tight end Vernon Davis said. “He’s been in the league, what? Fourteen years? Yet he can still do some of the things he’s done in the past.”“I watched him on film the other day, then I tapped Delanie [Walker, another tight end] and said, ‘Man, he’s moving.’ He ran a ‘go’ route, and he left the corner behind. I looked at Delanie and said, ‘Wow, he’s moving. I can’t believe he can still run.’“But he runs well. You can tell he’s getting older and that he doesn’t have some of the attributes he did when he was younger. But he can still get it done.”Moss, apparently, is driving by one thing.“All he wants,” one GM told cbssports.com, “is a ring. The guy loves the game and wants a Super Bowl ring.”He is on a squad that could do just that. The 49ers had one of the top defenses last year and every starter from that unit remains on the team. And they bolster their offensive skill-position players. San Francisco signed Moss for one year at $2.5 million, not knowing what to expect from the future Hall of Famer.But Moss has been the ideal teammate – so far. He has been among the first to arrive to team meetings and practice. He shares his knowledge with younger teammates.“Randy can still stretch the defense,” linebacker Patrick Willis said. “He can still create a mindset with a defense where it’s ‘OK, where’s Randy? We have to know where Randy is at all times.’ And that’s going to allow other guys to be able to be free.”“He’s going to be an asset,” said quarterback Alex Smith. “For a guy his size to play the ball in the air the way he does and to run like he does is a unique ability. Anytime you get in the red zone, if you want to load the box and play one-on-one with him that’s a gamble — and that makes him a real threat.“Second, I just think the attitude and the professionalism he’s brought to the receiving corps is going to do nothing but contribute to us. The guy’s been in a lot of offenses and won a lot of games. I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s a great communicator as a receiver, and that’s good for our receivers to see.” read more

Spalletti Inter Milan werent brave enough against Barcelona

first_imgInter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti felt that his side were too hesitant and made things difficult for themselves in their 2-0 Champions League defeat to BarcelonaThe Nerazzurri fell a goal down after 32 minutes from ex-player Rafinha Alcantara’s spectacular volley before Jordi Alba ensured Barcelona would be victors at the Camp Nou with a second goal.Despite threatening early on, Inter were never really a match for Barca and had goalkeeper Samir Handanovic to thank for not losing by a heavier margin after his nine saves.“We came into the match with a bit of hesitancy, leaving the Blaugrana with too much space and struggling too much with their pressing,” Spalletti told reporters on the club website.“We had some issues with passing the ball with pace, therefore, everything became much more difficult.Stefano Sensi, inter milanReport: Inter go top with win over Udinese George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Inter Milan are top of Serie A after beating Udinese to make it three wins out of three.Antonio Conte’s career at Inter Milan, could…“Every time we won the ball back, we didn’t manage possession in the best way, particularly during the first half. Therefore, we struggled in terms of order and energy expended.“We should’ve been more aggressive in winning the ball back and then more precise in possession. You can’t just play on the counter-attack when you come to Camp Nou.“We didn’t show as much character compared to our first two Champions League games. We weren’t courageous enough and the opposition made the most of our attitude.“We didn’t do as much as we can. We also could’ve scored over the course of the game but they were stronger than us and deserved to win. They play well, passing the ball quickly and thinking fast.”However, PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham’s 2-2 draw leaves Inter in a strong second place in Group B with a five-point advantage over the other two sides.last_img read more

Neville Next six months will be critical for Man United

first_imgManchester United great Gary Neville expects the upcoming six months to be critical as the club aim to rebuild once againThe Red Devils parted with manager Jose Mourinho on Tuesday following Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Liverpool.The Portuguese coach was left frustrated by the lack of support he received in the summer transfer window and refused to make changes to the club in a similar manner to what Arsenal have done.“This next six months is a critical period of planning and restructuring,” Neville told Sky Sports.“I can’t for one minute believe that the board and owners are going to continue to operate the club off the pitch in the same way they have in the last few years.harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“They need the best in class football leaders in that club, that’s people who have done it with the best clubs in the world, the best clubs in Europe who have operated recruitment departments, who have looked at the technical side of the game, academies to first team – Sir Alex Ferguson did that himself. He linked the whole club as one, and that’s not possible any more. The club’s too big, it’s huge.“They have got a fantastic commercial and operations side, a model that has been copied all around the world, and they deserve huge credit for that.“It’s innovative, it’s a machine. But on the football side, since Sir Alex and David Gill left, there’s been a huge void.“I think it’s time to put a more modern system in – sporting director, technical director – but the very best in class.”Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to replace Mourinho as interim manager at Old Trafford.last_img read more

Rooney says Pochettino should join United

first_imgAccording to the Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney, the team should do everything in its power to hire Mauricio Pochettino.Mauricio Pochettino is the number one option for many to get the Manchester United manager job.For the Red Devils’ legend Wayne Rooney, the team should do everything it can to secure his services.“First of all you have to give Ole an opportunity and that’s a discussion that has to take place with the Glazers,” Rooney was quoted by ESPN.Harry Maguire, Manchester UnitedSolskjaer praises Harry Maguire after Man United’s 1-0 win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer singled out Harry Maguire for praise after helping Manchester United keep a clean sheet in their 1-0 win over Leicester City.“But if I had the opportunity to appoint someone, I’d go all out for Pochettino.”“I think Manchester United – certainly over the last 20, 30 years, since Alex Ferguson – have based themselves on youth players, young players, bringing players through,” he added.“I think [Pochettino] gets the best out of his players whether they are younger or older.“You see some of the young players he has brought through at Tottenham, at Southampton that have gone on to play for the national team, so I think he ticks every box in terms of his quality as a coach, but also his willingness to give youth a chance,” he explained.last_img read more