Nothing Like Sammy Doe: Son of Late Liberian Prez Far From Father’s Shoes


07/08/2010 – Danesius Marteh

Source: FrontPageAfrica

ON FILLING FATHERS’ SHOES: “No, no, no. I am not even thinking that way. I don’t even want to be a politician or soldier in the first place because not everybody is going to be a politician. I was born to become a star and I am going to be a footballer so other people can follow my footstep to develop the game.”

CARECA DOE, Son of the late Samuel Doe

Monrovia – Samuel Kanyon Doe (May 6, 1951 – September 9, 1990) was the 21st Liberian president from 1980 to 1990. His regime was characterized by ethnically-based dictatorship and the suppression of political opposition.

As a soldier, Doe led a military coup on April 12, 1980 that killed President William R. Tolbert, Jr. in the Executive Mansion, thus ending 133 years of Americo-Liberian political domination. As a politician, Doe had a new constitution approved by referendum in 1984 and went on to stage a presidential election on October 15, 1985, giving himself 51-percent of the vote.

FORGETTING HISTORY

“….My mother never told me all the story but I have decided not to be bothered with it. I am not even willing to hear any story about my dad. For me, that is past. I am thinking about peace, reconciliation and rebuilding the country and concentrating on the game [football] so that Liberia can be like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

CARECA DOE, Son of the late Samuel Doe
The election was heavily rigged, as he took the ballots to a secret location and had 50 of his own handpicked staff count them, and prior to the election he had murdered more than 50 of his opponents.

It is also thought that Doe changed his official birth date from 1951 to 1950 in order to meet the new constitution’s requirement that the president be at least 35 years old, some traits of politicians.

With that brief biography of the late president, one would be thinking that his children (particularly his sons) would be following his footstep by either joining the military or entering into politics.

But Careca Laryee Doe, the 20-year old son of Doe, wouldn’t dare to wear the shoes formerly worn by his father.

“No, no, no. I am not even thinking that way. I don’t even want to be a politician or soldier in the first place because not everybody is going to be a politician. I was born to become a star and I am going to be a footballer so other people can follow my footstep to develop the game,” Careca rejected emulating the simile ‘like father, like son’.

Doe may have prophesized the career of his son. According to Maime S. Cole (mother of Careca), the name “Careca” was given to her son by the late Doe, who wanted the boy to be like the former Brazilian international footballer.

Born on July 8, 1990, Careca grew-up in Gardnerville where he played for Club Africa Football Association for two years before relocating to the dusty Caldwell suburb of Monrovia.

There he plays for Caldwell United Sports Association but, he says his mother is a “pain in the neck to his career”.

“Actually, my mom doesn’t like to see me playing football because of the series of injuries [that I sustained]. So she decided to put stop to my football career but you know I love the game so I decided to do everything possible to convince my mom so that I can become a good player for the country,” Careca says.

And Maime’s decision to stop Careca intensified when he lost a tooth after an opponent elbowed him during a friendly match on July 6, 2007 in Gardnerville.

“We were playing against 3rd division side Manchester United and while trying to take the ball away from me, my opponent elbowed me in the mouth and I lost my tooth. She got so angry because the team could not do anything for me. She then sent me to Ghana for treatment,” Careca recalled.

Careca’s father was a president but his upbringing has been challenging to say the least.

As a son of a president, whether dead or alive, means being born with the silver spoon in your mouth but Careca was only two months and a day old when his father was captured by ex-INPFL faction leader Prince Johnson (now senior senator of Nimba County) in Monrovia on September 9, 1990 and tortured before being killed.

The spectacle, which was videotaped and seen on news reports around the world, shows Johnson sipping a Budweiser beer as Doe’s ear is cut off.

NO SILVER SPOON
As a son of a president, whether dead or alive, means being born with the silver spoon in your mouth but Careca was only two months and a day old when his father was captured by ex-INPFL faction leader Prince Johnson (now senior senator of Nimba County) in Monrovia on September 9, 1990 and tortured before being killed.

Just like Senator Johnson, who vowed in a 2010 New Year resolution, never to talk about Doe’s death, so too, is Careca. And for him, the dead should bury the dead.

“….My mother never told me all the story but I have decided not to be bothered with it. I am not even willing to hear any story about my dad. For me, that is past. I am thinking about peace, reconciliation and rebuilding the country and concentrating on the game [football] so that Liberia can be like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon,” Careca said in a rather soft tone, apparently, trying to hold back his tears.

Like many aspiring professionals would do, Careca has chosen Varmah Kpoto (who formerly played for the Lone Star) as his role model. This could be described as “perfect coincidence” since the duo (Careca & Kpoto) are defenders, playing mainly the right back position.

But that has not taken away his love for other past and present Lone Star players.

“I admired James Debbah, George Weah and Joe Nagbe. But there are other young guys like Chris Gbandi, Theo Weeks, Murphy Nagbe and Melvin King, who if given the chance, can make a difference,” he continued

Locally, Careca is a fan of IE and he believes he will one-day wear their blue and yellow colors.

“…I am a fan of Invincible Eleven (IE). From the day I heard the name IE, although my father was a [Mighty] Barrolle fan, but I really love IE. [I love] the way they play; IE is my dream team and I will one day play for them,” Careca concluded.

As a 10th-grader of the Caldwell Assembly of God Mission, the late president’s son can’t wait to complete high school studies so that he can fully concentrate on his football career.

With some helping hands from Robert Sirleaf (President’s Sirleaf son), Careca can focus on his studies as he also wants to play for Manchester United in England.

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