Sweet LIB

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To the place I first open my eyes

To the place of my future and past 

To reason my love for Africa never dies

To  the place my mother calls home

Sweet Liberia, I salute thee

To the reason I’m proud to be called African

To the German plum, the monkey apple and those sweet sweet sugar cane

To the cassava leaf, the palm butter and the juicy torborgee

To the pem-pem boys ont he corner of Meclin and Carey Streets

Sweet Liberia, the very thought of thee excites me

To the hard times, the war and all it left behind

To the blood, tears and lives on the front lines from years of civil wars

To the devastation, the frustration and the reconstruction that came after

To the hope for the young and new generation

To the grona boys trying to make ends meet

To the children chasing cars selling cold water  in the streets 

To the land you’ve given those people

To the beautiful red, white and blue on our flag 

To the lone star representing the first Western Styled Independent Republic in Africa

sweet Liberia, I salute thee

To the glorious land of Liberty 

To the million reason only a few enjoy those liberties 

To the Lone star and Liberians everywhere

To the girls in the Grebo Bushes 

To the guys carry cutlass in the bushes 

To endless possibilites of a new day 

To the day it comes and people working towards it

 

Sweet Liberia 

I Salute Thee  

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Photo Taken on top of what used to be the Ducor Palace Hotel in Central MONROVIA-LIBERIA.Credit: Kikiphotography

 

Ode to KehKeh (Tuk-Tuk)

What is Kehkeh? Kehkeh is LIFE. Some will say Kehkeh are the three-wheeled taxi used for transportation in Liberia or  just the capital city. They come in various colors, make and models. In Asia, they’re known as Tuk-Tuk…Well, in Thailand that’s what they called it during my study abroad. I think I fell in love with then there, but forgot how much I enjoyed them until I got to Liberia. If you ever ran into me while in Liberia and I wasn’t in a Kehkeh, it wasn’t me! I even had an assigned Kehkeh with a guy named Roland. We had a relationship much more than just  passenger and driver. I spent so much time with Roland that I even knew his family and where he lived. Roland knew my friends, family and all the conu-conu (Secret spots). You see, I worked in the rural parts of Liberia and they did not have any Kehkeh there. So during my few visits to the capital, Roland and his Kehkeh was a huge part of my days. I went to lunch, ran errands, visited families and friends, etc all while smiling and observing the craziness of the overpopulated Monrovia. Riding Kehkeh was cheaper, but also offered the best view of all things Liberia. I could jump in and out of a Kehkeh if I saw street food worth trying. Or I simply took Instagram Stories as I rode along. Sometimes I just sat there and enjoyed music and sipped coconut water from the shell. I can not think of a more efficient way to travel and enjoy any city. I got a front eye view to people, places and traditions in a way I never thought I could. Some people told me Kehkehs are for poor people. A police Officer even told me “people like me should not be Kehkehs”. I had a friend tell me “I can’t be serious” when I showed up for lunch in a Kehkeh. I am not going to get into the socio-economic ramifications of Kehkehs. I just want everyone to get a piece of my life in Kehkehs. This is for Roland and all those random times I asked him to play music even when he didn’t like it. This is also for all those so-called rich folks who taught they were better than me because I showed up in my Kehkeh. We all were at the table eating though…Nah? 

 

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Thailand 2009- Where it all started….
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Back seat Chilling
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Mechlin Street-Roland was not around that day
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Waiting to head to lunch. Kehkehs are not allowed on the main roads so we had to wait on the back streets. Why not make use of the time?
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Kehkeh Parking Lot-Meclin and Carey Streets
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Interestingly enough, the vehicle taking me to town had a flat tire. Kehkeh to the rescue!

 

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This is my friend Roland. He owns this Yellow Kehkeh. This day he waited for me over 3 hours to make a simple Bank Tranaction- “System Down” they say…SMH
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Roland!! Oh, Roland.
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Roland came to pick me up from home (Banjor) on a Saturday.
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Waiting to buy Scratch card (Phone cards/units)
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Roland found a Kehkeh that matched my outfit. We stopped the guy and took this photo.

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“To travel is to Live” Kehkeh is Life. The next time you visit Liberia or a place where you see these little things, hop in and thank me later. 

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