All Heads Not Equal: Poor July 26 Celebration In Monrovia


07/28/2010 – By Precious S. Seboe

Source: FrontPage Africa

Despite the fact that the popular Redlight, Duala, and Waterside markets were crowded as usual, but the merchants and peddlers were more than those wanting to buy and yet among the purchasers many where just there to solicit prices of things.

In observance of Liberia’s one hundred and sixty three years of independence which was celebrated in Nimba County this year, little was seen in the Country’s capital City of Monrovia and its environs to mark the celebration. The red, white, and blue flags was sold everywhere but the usual Red, White, and Blue painting and decoration of streets in the center and around the city was visibly missing this year.

Even though the capitol hill square hosting the Capital Building office of the Legislature , The famous Executive Mansion yet to be renovation after fire destruction , The Temple of Justice, and The Foreign Ministry where the President office now reside, are smartly decorated while other area could barely give one the sense of the July 26, 2010 festivity.

John Andrews an artificial hair dealer in the well-known Waterside market reveal that there we though are in flock of customers in his shop but few were buying as compare to those only wanting to know the price.

Despite the fact that the popular Redlight, Duala, and Waterside markets were crowded as usual, but the merchants and peddlers were more than those wanting to buy and yet among the purchasers many where just there to solicit prices of things.

There were traffic in and around the city but not those ones seen when there is high momentum for a celebration, from taxi drivers to petit traders and beautician were all complaining of lack of customers.

“I have been driving in this country for years and has seen many 26s from President Samuel Doe to Charles Taylor and now Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf but this 26 not many passengers are in the streets and most of all to get a charter is not easy” taxi driver Mohammed said.

The taxi driver who appears to be in his fifties said the force for this July 26 is not high among Liberian.

John Andrews an artificial hair dealer in the well-known Waterside market reveal that there we though are in flock of customers in his shop but few were buying as compare to those only wanting to know the price. “This is sad for me looking at the kind of investment I made for this 26 celebration. Many are just asking the price while just few are buying, this makes me feel sick” Mr. Andrews said.

Similarly, Betty Nagba, a beautician who braids hair in Waterside market said she been plaiting hair since 1984 when she was a school going girl and usually during independence day celebration there are numerous of customers but this year things are on a slow paste.

“The business is hard this year oh, before the people use to start coming from the 15 of July many in cars and this ground use be jam-pack with customers but this year most of our customers are complaining about civil servant not being paid”, Betty stated in sad manner.

In the Duala market, a group of petit traders jeer at a lady who was continually inquiring the prices of things from one market table and wheel barrel to another “ if you not get money go home” they were heard saying.

And the lady feeling so ashamed of the situation said “I just want know the price I will come back to buy so you people should not boo at me my husband get his check and when he cash it I will bring the children,” but even with the noise was still high over her head.

Well the lady hopes may be achieved as radio stations in the city had an announcement from The Finance Ministry on air on Sunday telling civil servant that the ECObank will be open till 4:00 pm therefore they are encourage to go and cash their checks.

So the markets in and around Monrovia expected to be full on the Monday morning of July 26, 2010 not just with dealers and price solicitors but also with purchasers as well but one things is sure is that prices will double.

Even if prices double or city are not painted one thing is certain

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