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Friday, April 13, 2018

Liberia, West Africa Recording Artist Friday The Cell Phone Man - "Biggest Mistake" (information, video, and comments)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents information about the Liberian recording artist known as "Friday The Cell Phone Man" and showcases a video performance of a Liberian dance troupe that features Friday The Cell Phone Man's hit song "Biggest Mistakes".

Selected comments from this video's discussion thread are also included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical, cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Friday The Cell Phone Man for his musical legacy and thanks to all those who featured in this video. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

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INFORMATION ABOUT FRIDAY THE CELL PHONE MAN
From https://www.reverbnation.com/fridaycellphoneman
"Solomon “Friday the Cellphone Man” Smith (born February 16, 1980) is a Liberian musician from the Grebo tribe. Starting from the bottom, his career began at the age of five years. In 1985, he initiated dancing with the Maryland Culture Troop, and then was introduced to the Grand Gedeh Culture Troop in 1998. Soon after, he started dancing with Banga National Culture Troop, which is in Bong County. He had a dance studio in 1998 called Dance Calabash where individuals from Paris came to learn Liberian traditional songs and dances. At the heat of the war, he left and went to Monrovia where he commenced dancing with Culture Embassador from 1992 to 1993; he founded his own group called African Culture Promoter (ACP).

After managing to finish the song Malawala Balawala in 1994 on a providence island, he then went to Ivory Coast and danced with Malawa Balawa Culture Troop International. He also went with Liberian National Troop to Libya, went back to Monrovia in 1999 where he worked at a studio (Watankar Studio) on 5th Street Sinker. He recorded his first song called Nagaswen. His first album didn't sell in 2002 because of the war, so he ended up recording another song at Deport Road Studio called Monrovia Young Geh in 2004, which made a hit in 2005.

In 2004, he recorded his hit album “Simple Mistake. Soon after, his career skyrocketed and he was performing around the county. Friday the Cellphone Man received an award from Unicel for the song "Play Your Low" in 2005-2006, and Information Ministry in 2008 for the song "Biggest Mistake". He also receive a few other awards. In 2008, he came out with "I will Buy You Cellphone". In 2012, he came out with the hit single "Teldewene".

Friday the Cellphone Man is currently working on his new album "Visa" which is scheduled to be released before November 2015. He is also touring around the world. Because he is a victim of the Liberia war, he created a foundation called "Solomon Smith Foundation" in 2009 where he worked with orphan individuals. His mission is to build Liberia up and create jobs for people that doesn't have one."
-snip-
Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euQ48rN-C9k for a video of Liberians during a traditional wedding reception dancing to Friday The Cell Phone Man - "Biggest Mistake".

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From https://www.facebook.com/pg/therealfridaycellphoneman/about/?ref=page_internal
"Solomon “Friday the Cellphone Man” Smith (born February 16, 1980) is a Liberian recording artist and spokesperson. He rose to fame in 2005 after releasing his hit Album “Simple Mistake”. Friday the Cellphone Man started dancing for the Maryland Culture troop at age five, 1985. From 1988 to 1990, he danced with the Grand Gedeh Culture troop. From 1990 to 1991, he danced with the Bong County Culture troop. In 1996, he travelled with the Malawa Balawa Culture troop to Ivory Coast, performing throughout the Ivory Coast, with the Ivorian Mozie Afrique. In 2000, he travelled to Libya, with the Liberian National Culture troop. In 2002, Friday the Cellphone Man released his first album “Nagayswen”. In 2004, he recorded his hit album “Simple Mistake”. In 2006, he released “My Baby”. In 2008, he released “Biggest Mistake”. In 2009, he released “I See My Girlfriend”. In 2010, he recorded a special song “The Children Have the Right to Play”. In 2011, he released “Teldelwened”. Friday is currently touring the United States and Europe."

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INFORMATION ABOUT LIBERIAN ETHNIC GROUPS
Since a number of the comments in this video's discussion thread refer to Liberian ethnic groups, here's some information about those ethnic groups:
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
"Liberia .... officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Sierra Leone to its west, Guinea to its north and Ivory Coast to its east, the Atlantic Ocean to its south. It covers an area of 111,369 square kilometers (43,000 sq mi) and has a population of around 4,700,000 people.[7] English is the official language and over 20 indigenous languages are spoken, representing the numerous ethnic groups who make up more than 95% of the population. The country's capital and largest city is Monrovia."...

**

From http://minorityrights.org/country/liberia/
...[Liberian's] "Main minority groups: Kpelle 487,400 (15.2%), Bassa 347,600 (10.9%), Gio (Dan) 150-200,000 (4.7-6.3%), Kru (Klao) 184,000 (5.8%), Grebo 222,000 (6.9%), Mano 185,000 (5.8%), Americo-Liberians/Congo People 160,000 (5%), Loma 141,800 (4.4%), Krahn 126,400 (4.0%), Kissi 115,000 (3.6%), Gbandi 100,000 (3.1%), Gola 99,300 (3.1%), Vai 89,500 (2.8%), Mandingo 45,400 (1.4%), Mende 19,700 (0.6%), Kuwaa 12,800 (0.4%), and Dei 8,100 (0.3%)

[Note: Percentages for religions are taken from the 2007 US CIRF report....]

[...]

The forest belt in West Africa that covers large swathes of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria has always been populated by a large number of ethnic groups. In Liberia there are at least sixteen ethnic groups, each belonging to one of three major language groupings."...

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SHOWCASE VIDEO: Friday The Cell Phone Man: Biggest Mistake



TheLIBpekin, Published on Feb 11, 2011

Friday The Cell Phone Man's hit "Biggest Mistake" off His album Biggest Mistake.
-snip-
Statistics (as of April 11, 2018)
843,611 total views

2.1K total # of likes

216 total number of dislikes

204 total # of comments
-snip-
Selected comments from this video's discussion thread (with numbers assigned for referencing purposes only)

1. lilly34cute, 2011
"This is what i call music. I wish others can take a cue from him and sing in our native languages. Beautiful song. God bless you my brother."

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2. Nganga di Kapinta, 2011
"This song is fire!!!"

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3. SKOOLBOY WIZZY
"ayee man friday doing it again oooo keep it up <3" ** 4. Capo Dinero, 2012 "True Liberian music." ** 5. denzelq11, 2012 "GREBO PPL STAND UP" -snip- I think that "Stand up" here is the same or similar to the African American Vernacular English term "represent" (publicly acknowledge your affiliation with a group, neighborhood, city, region, nation etc.) "Stand up" is probably a short form of the (American) saying "Stand up and be counted". ** REPLY 6. Charm Bae, 2013 "HE'S KRU" -snip- "Grebo" and "Kru" are two Liberian ethnic groups (as noted in the information given above). ** 7. Zahratushadeeda, 2012 "Wow u people are very patriotic! I'm amazed I'm African descendant but I don't know any of those things" ** 8. Doukmusic TV, 2012 "The Liberian wedding grand march song.... simple mistake you out" ** 9. TheLIBpekin, 2012 "@Nikoll23 He's singing in Grebo, but he also sings in Kru like in the song (Na Je-Swan) and I think he can speak a couple more dialects. Hope this helps!" -snip- I'm not sure if the comment from @Nikoll23 is still found in this discussion thread. ** 10. TheLIBpekin, 2012 "@01zanwon I agree with you 100%, It's very important to preserve and represent our many dialects" -snip- I'm not sure if the comment from @01zanwon is still found in this discussion thread. ** 11. anthony say, 2012 "keep it up for our country man" ** 12. Pauline Kpannah, 2013 "what is he say?? because i always hear this song at Liberians party.." ** REPLY 13. Dennis Jah, 2013 "Friday sings about being dumped by his girlfriend. He puts all the blame for their breakup on the poor girl (LOL) but that is just one side of the story. I love this song. And he dances well too. Thanks Friday" ** 14. Diamond A. Washington, 2013 "me pa i jeh wan kno how to gah all his songs teh on cd or download..anyone know how too pls help me ooo. thank u! lol" -snip- I think this comment says (in standard American English) "My people, I just want to know how to get all of his songs on Cd or download. Anyone who knows how to [do this] please help me [The o's emphasize that statement.]. Thanks you lol ["Lol" is an internet abbreviation for "laugh out loud". I think that that ending probably signifies that the friendly nature of this comment.] Corrections for this "translation" are very welcome. ** 15. DeeDee Scott, 2012 "well done Friday, this is one of the best song playing in the US @ every Liberian party, well.......................done once again, the song rock! L.I.B 4life." ** 16. Kpassi Kpangbah, 2012 "Fri........day. u de man bro!!" ** 17. MiL BMSPEE, 2013 "5 peepo girlfriend left them & took their money (" O " )" -snip- "Peepo" here is probably Liberian Koloqua for "people" ("people's) and that comment refers to this song's lyrics and the number of people at that time who indicated that they disliked this song. The "o" may mean that these people's opinions are worth nothing ("o"s). ** 18. Algie Tailey, 2013 "i love to grand marsh this song <3" -snip- Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2012/02/grand-march-liberia-west-africa.html for a 2012 pancocojams post about the Liberian Grand March.

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19. Danetco liberia, 2013
"this is true culture... I love my African/ Lib culture all day"

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20. Changing Hallelujah, 2014
"Lib to the top"

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21. Elizabeth Johnson, 2014
"this song brings back memories. i love Friday. he is funny and very respectful' he set my sister wedding in Arizona on fire. BEST PERFORMANCE EVER!"
-snip-
"Arizona" is a state in the United States.

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22. Rancy Roberts, 2014
"I LIVE IN DAKAR SENEGAL I LIKE DIS SONG KEEP ON BROTHER."

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23. claude noel, 2014
"we are proud of you cell fon man,,, taking Liberia music to the top !!!! Big up mannn friday ...."

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24. keepitNatura, 2014
"this my jam"

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25. Degular Emmanuel, 2014
"I love this movies because it has deliet in it and it from liberia"
-snip-
"deliet" = "dialect"

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26. John Fayiah, 2014
"I speak one of the Liberian tribe which is kisi and I just came from there like a year."

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27. Mary Vreman, 2014
"I love my grebo boy Friday .i am a grebo girl too baby."

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REPLY
28. Charm Bae, 2014
"ummm friday is kru lmfao! all my kru people lets goooo!"

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REPLY
29. Edimmih Smaillw, 2016
"Mizz charm Friday is not Kru, He Grebo I no cause I'm Grebo too and I can understand what he saying, this is a Grebo music. not Kru."

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REPLY
30. Grace Mensah, 2017
"Mizz Charm he is not a kru man sister,he is Grebo but anyways we are the same."

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REPLY
31. Charm Bae, 2016
"Umm he's actually kru & Grebo so idk what you are talking about here. By the way kru people understands what's he's saying as well #KruIsBetterSorry😎"

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REPLY
32. F. NYENNOHTE TORBOR, 2017
"Mizz Charm aaaayyyyye"

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REPLY
33. djbenzo, 2017
"He Krebo. I fix yur oona palava."

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REPLY
34. Mark Nyemah, 2017
"Grebooooooooooo boy!!! nice music"

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REPLY
35. chai Henderson, 2018
"Sorry kru people but he is my brother straight from Maryland county"
-snip-
"Maryland County" refers to that Liberian geographical location. I added some historical information about Maryland county in Liberia in the comment section below.

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36. Christopher Grear, 2015
"I was born and raised on this song! nah wlee wehdehnee!"

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37. Princess Evans, 2015
"YesπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ’ƒπŸΌ"

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38. morris boakai, 2015
"Classic Grebo music. I love it."

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39. Grace M Cole Felder, 2015
"We Liberians love our Africans Culture dance in West Africa Monrovia Liberia. We like the tutu skirts they are wearing for them to communicate and connect with our pretty culture dancing. Thanks God for Liberia customers made skirts, and makes up on there faces that looks beautiful. Finally, some of us liberians understand our families dialogue dialects too. So, all people from Liberia wherever we go in America or around the World we never forget our Tribes and dialects. And, We love this Africans culture dance from Liberia. Good luck on Tuesday February 9, 2016."

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REPLY
40. Ciamts, 2015
"+Grace M Cole Felder Can you please recommend some songs like this one to me? I love this song! It sounds so similar to some of the music we listen to here in the Caribbean."

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REPLY
41. thegigadykid1, 2018
"Ciamts look up gbema music look up Friday the cellphone man"

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42. Fola the ProVerbalizer, 2015
"this is hot! I love the energy. The acrobatics. The waterfall. You have to smile when you hear music like this. Rep your culture!!! One Love from this American Yoruba man"

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REPLY
43. Idonigbo Obu, 2017
"My Yoruba brother these Kru are related to the Nigerian Izon/Ijaw many do not know this but the history of Izon mentions them as a part of Izon family, their dance is quite similar, they have Dwin water spirits Izon have Dwein. I am always pleased to see connections with people across Africa!"

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44. Codus Mckarr, 2017
"I can't believed that Liberian so good at music, It gives me zeal to reflect how blessed we are now It makes me think about Liberia. I listened all days to American R&B music. I will let to thank those brilliant musician In Liberia may the almighty god continue to bless our poor (nation) Liberia. In lived In Detroit,Michigan."

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45. Mary Vreman, 2017
"grebo. I do everything for her and sand her to school, my money finish."
-snip-
This comments and the replies to it (excluding the commenters' names) are probably quoting lines (lyrics) from this song and discussing the correct interpretation of certain words in that song.

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REPLY
46. Black Diamond, 2017
"Mary Vreman My money is gone, my wife is leaving."

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REPLY
47. naruto and sasuke uzmaki uchia, 2017
"Black Diamond your wife's is a gold Digger"

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REPLY
48. Beautiful Diamond, 2017
"admin in roblox admin Black diamond is a girl. She's not a man who has a woman. She's saying what he said in the song."
-snip-
I didn't see the comment from "admin in roblox", but this comment appears to be a reply to what he or she wrote.

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REPLY
49. Mary Vreman, 2017
"I am grebo and kru. I understand kru but I speak grebo. really good, I understand what he is saying. he is not saying my wife is go. I guess he used to be with this girl and he spend everything on her and sand her to school and she leave him and so he is saying all his money is go."

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REPLY
50. chai Henderson, 2017
"Mary Vreman no he's saying his wife is leaving after all his money is gone!"

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REPLY
51. lib queen, 2017
"chai Henderson no he said is his girlfriend is gone not wife"

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REPLY
52. Sarah Collins, 2017
"Mama my woman is leaving, I sent her to school she leaving, my money finished she's leaving.
My lover is going, I put her to school she's leaving."

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53. TheJennyShow, 2017
"where my kissi people"
-snip-
"Kissi" is the name of a Liberian ethnic group. The commenters refer to that ethnic group and two other Liberian ethnic groups in their comments.

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REPLY
54. Frank kpadeh, 2017
"TheJennyShow I'm kissi and lorma"

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REPLY
55. Josephine S. Jimmie, 2017
"kissi kpelleπŸ™Œ"

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56. Kiki Mulbah, 2017
"this is basa right with the tutu made with straw grass in their mouth"
-snip-
"Basa" refers to a Liberian ethnic group. "Tutu" refers to the "lapa" (wraparound material) that the women in the video are wearing.

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57. Forstilial Dweh,2017
"Beautiful song, LIB for life."
-snip-
"LIB" (also given as L.I.B.) is a colloquial referent for Liberia.

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58. Allieu brima Koroma, 2017
"Friday is one of the most talented musician in Liberia"

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59. Oliver Sarnadeh Taylor, 2017
"Grebo Marching Band.
lehh goooo....."

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60. Mia Pretty, 2017
"The song you hear at every Liberian party. Never gets old"

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61. Brenda Zinnah, 2017
"dis song is my wedding song I can stop loving this, song"

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62. P. LOVER, 2017
"I am enjoying Africa musics I'm proud to be an African"

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63. Cleo Henderson, 2017
"A beautiful representation of the Liberian culture"

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64. G Arthur Johnson, 2017
"I love Mama LIBERIA!"

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65. Jervina K., 2017
"Love this song mehnn AHHHH!!!!"

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66. Johnny Gbelai, 2017
"this is sweet"

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67. Clarina Farley, 2017
"I miss you liberia"

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68. Alphonso Wright, 2017
"My real Grebo man."

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69. Gifty Jatu Smith Kamara, 2017
"never gets tried of listening to this song, love it"

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70. Forstilial Dweh, 2018
"This song never get old, beat is amazing πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‡±"

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71. Liberican Boy, 2018
"GREBO !! Maryland County, River Gee, Grand Kru represent!"

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72. Diana Sherrill, 2018
"Finally, something worth watching and listening to that’s truly Liberian. I love this Grebo music and our rich culture dance! It’s so energetic and fun! Perfect ambiance! I can’t tell you how many times my mother and I have listened and danced to this music. Thanks for preserving our culture, Friday and group. Looking forward to seeing more of you. Please remember to bring the horns, blue markings on your faces and bodies, and cutlasses too."

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73. Rosetta Jerboh, 2018
"I love this music, sample mistake u collapse,the biggest mistake that death"
-snip-
I think this comment also quotes the song's lyrics.

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74. Oliver Sarnadeh Taylor, 2018
"priceless Liberian (Grebo) tradition; oh, how entertained I'm πŸ˜„πŸ˜πŸ˜"

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75. Allieu brima Koroma, 2018
"FRIDAY is one of the best Liberian musicians, I always admire his God giving talent . Keep it up bro the sky is your limit."

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76. Olive Sayee, 2018
"lib on point πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘❤πŸ‘„"

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77. Jay Houston, 2018
"Respect your culture and tradition
Nice song
The cell phone man"

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78. Nordrick Delaney, 2018
"Rise Liberia."

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79. Hijazi Cell, 2018
"L.i.b all day!! 😍😍"

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3 comments:

  1. Maryland County (Liberia) is mentioned several times in the discussion thread for the showcase video that features Friday The Cellphone Man's hit song "Biggest Mistake".

    Here's some information about Maryland County, Liberia:
    From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maryland_County
    "Maryland County is a county in the southeastern portion of Liberia. One of 15 counties that comprise the first-level of administrative division in the nation, it has two districts. Harper serves as the capital with the area of the county measuring 2,297 square kilometres (887 sq mi).[1] As of the 2008 Census, it had a population of 136,404, making it the seventh most populous county in Liberia.[1]

    Named after the State of Maryland in the United States, it was an independent country as the Republic of Maryland from 1854 until it joined Liberia in 1857. The most populous city in the county is Pleebo with 22,963 residents, while Maryland's County Superintendent is Nazarine Tubman.[1][2] The county is bordered by Grand Kru County to the west and River Gee County to the north. The eastern part of Maryland borders the nation of Ivory Coast, separated by the Cavalla River."...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed that the government section about Maryland County, Liberia indicated that its Superintendent's name is "Nazarine Tubman".

      Most adults in the United States are familiar with the historical figure "Harriet Tubman". In case you may not know about her, here's some information from her Wikipedia page:
      "Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross, c. 1822[1] – March 10, 1913) was an American abolitionist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made some thirteen missions to rescue approximately seventy enslaved people, family and friends,[2] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped abolitionist John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry. During the Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the United States Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the struggle for women's suffrage.".https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman

      However, I believe that we are much less familiar with this Liberian historical political figure whose last name is also "Tubman":
      From
      "William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubmanhttps://www.encyclopedia.com/people/history/african-history-biographies/william-vacanarat-shadrach-tubman

      "William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman (1895-1971) was the nineteenth president of Liberia. His efficient management during six terms began the transformation of his country into a modern state.

      William V. S. Tubman was born on Nov. 29, 1895, in Harper, Maryland County, Liberia. His father, the Reverend Alexander Tubman, was a general in the Liberian army, former Speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives, former senator, and a Methodist minister. His mother, Elizabeth Rebecca Barnes Tubman, came from Atlanta, Ga.

      [...]

      As president, Tubman's most significant contribution to Liberian politics was his "unification policy, " by which the hinterland counties, previously economically and politically neglected, were gradually brought into the national framework. The inland counties became fully represented in the Congress, roads and amenities were brought to the interior, and, most significantly, hinterland leaders began to play an important role in all areas of government. The open-door policy of Tubman, another major political line of his administration, permitted extensive foreign investment in Liberia's economy, particularly with respect to the development of the rich iron ore areas of Mt. Nimba and in the Bong and Wologosi ranges."...
      -snip-
      It probably isn't a coincidence that "Harriet Tubman" was born in the state of Maryland in the United States and "William V.S. Tubman" was born in Maryland County, Liberia.

      Delete
  2. The female dancers' temporary face and body painting reminded me of this pancocojams post: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2016/01/afrocentric-fashion-at-afropunk_13.html Afrocentric Fashions At The AfroPunk Festival (New York) 2013-2015 (with a bonus video of AfroPunk Paris 2015)

    ReplyDelete