Liberia: Understanding the Dichotomy in 'Being in the Photo' and 'Being in the Album'

Musicians, in their entertaining realm, do introduce librettos, which are often appreciated by humankind from divergent perspectives.

Admiring a musician's production is sometimes from the craftiness in wordings or sound beat that generates good dancing. No wonder musicians enthrall hundreds, including leaders around the world.

Liberian musicians are not on the sideline in this exploit. New on the 'block' and attracting multiple interpretations is Color 4's "Posed for the photo and don't see myself in the photo." Music, bearing largely a literary dimension, is often complex in meaning.

So, until the crafters give the meaning, which they often don't, the audience assigns meanings--and usually from ways each draws a logical conclusion. That is precisely why former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took to "African Soldier's" music, "Everybody Get Their Area" released during her tenure. Madam Sirleaf and her lieutenants would always pass time from "African Soldier's" lyrics. Her likeness for the music she extended: "To build roads; that my area. To build schools; that my area," and so forth. The former President and her group were not, and could not be wrong. That is music.

Surely, like Color 4, thousands of Liberians posed for the photo, and can't see themselves in the photo. He is not wrong either. Here is why.

Firstly, what is that photo? Posing for the photo came from a long way--since 2005. It is our leader, our cross bearer, now President George Weah, who bears the camera. We thronged behind him; stood with him and many of us are still concretely connected to him. Our support, our votes and our belief in him got us captured.

Many of us are tight in there. But where the difference lies is our leader, the nation's president, also holds an album in which those from his lenses and others are collectively inserted. So those on the scene and were never captured by his lenses are just in the album, while the rest of us are stored as images and remain tight in the camera's memory.

Those featured from his personal camera shots and others included in the public album combined, unveil our uniqueness as a people.

Rightly so, not being in the album is not having your image in the data of the camera. We are there. It depends how one perceives things momentarily.

Back to the music, not being in the photo is not a wrong observation, since many other images are not developed for placement in the album. Let it be noted, however, that all images, as stored, can't be printed and inserted even if we were to delete all visible inside currently.

Long since, before president Weah took charge of the public album, while holding firmly the camera, there are those who deleted themselves. They betrayed. Some took to invectives against the camera bearer. If some are in today, it is in the album, with their photos not from the camera they deleted their images. These defectors then and now, know it; like the rest of us.

As it is, our collective focus requires watching the scene thoroughly and examining the performance scale of those inserted in the album. Be it from our own camera president Weah possesses or those inserted from other lenses, our evaluation of them all must come from the angle of Liberia first.

This is why both our camera bearer and album holder must keep cognizant of the public trust. It takes robustness and vigilance on his part to double-check the works and utterances of the lieutenants to ensure that it is their outputs, not anything else, that keep them on board.

Thus, where necessary, as is a routine of any government, swapping of officials and replacement of others must be executed once deemed appropriate from thorough appraisal. And so, being in the album should not be a perpetual placement.

Truly stated, it is the multitude who are stocked in the memory of the camera that can better defend, protect and keep it effective, not the few in the album. It was for them and through their blood and sweat the camera got to the point of being the custodian of the album.

No personal effort by any of those in the album, at the exclusion of the masses' unwavering support and resolve, that got us to this magnificent stage. Any thought otherwise manifests the greatest of deception. There is a prevailing scenario that draws us to a clergy man's recent assertion.

Sounding loudly from the pulpit, Reverend George Mombo, Pastor of the Georgia Patten United Methodist Church, openly declared that people in the president's cabinet are leaking sensitive information to the public. He could be wrong or right. Yet, there seem to be an antecedent in the clergyman's declaration.

Many times, sensitive documents are made public knowledge the soonest of their preparation in government circle. There is something amiss. This is not a statement to take lightly, as reasons abound to surmise there are tainted photos blurring the album.

Rev. Mombo's statement corroborates many other incidents in public places. Unlike in previous governments, the Weah government is the only government in contemporary time that is the object of condemnation, and insults of the presidency during office hours in public offices.

Few months ago, it took many hours to beg an employee to delete the recordings of his workmate who reigned insults on the Liberian leader, while in a public office amongst colleagues. These acts are common place in many offices in government. Without support and reliance on people in high places, ordinary civil servants would not engage in these unwarranted acts.

Yes, this is unwarranted because while we respect the right to free speech, the abuse thereof is punishable. In fact, there is no law that guarantees anyone to engage in slander, against anyone, including our national leaders.

Again, this brings us to the need --an urgent need for adjustment of placement in the album.

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