An overview of Liberia

For this post I’ll walk you through another featured location from my novel, Eteka Rise of the Imamba: Liberia.

Liberia is a very interesting place, and similar to the Congo DRC has had to deal with a troubled history. It’s a country situated in West Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. English is the dominant language, and other languages are also spoken, including a unique vernacular based on English, which to me sounds like Pidgin English on steroids. Below is a video of a Liberian actor speaking proper Liberian vernacular:

History

Liberia is the only country in Africa that was formed as a colony for the United States. Even more unique was that it was a colony formed by freed black slaves. These freed slaves, with the assistance of pro abolitionist groups at the time, established the Republic of Liberia and modeled its government after that of the United States. Liberia was in close cahoots with the United States up until the 1980s, when a military coup overthrew the pro-American government and began what would be an era of civil war (two back to back civil wars to be exact) that would devastate the country’s infrastructure. Similar to the Congo, both of Liberia’s wars involved multiple armed groups, countries, and worst of all, exacted a needless high toll on human life. But Liberia seems to have put its worst days behind, and today is striving for a peaceful future.

Liberian Jewels

Despite Liberia’s troubled history, it has produced some personalities, whether directly or indirectly, that have accomplished great things. For example:

  • George Weah, widely regarded as one the greatest African footballers, and definitely in the top 20 when it comes to the best strikers ever (in my opinion) hails from Liberia. He had successful runs with many international clubs, most notably with AC Milan. Today he’s a well regarded humanitarian and politician.
  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is Africa’s first ever female Head of State/President and a major force behind much of the positive change in Liberia.
  • Tamba Hali, who is a linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.
  • Darlington Nagbe who plays as a midfielder for the Portland Timbers in the MLS.

So how does Liberia play into my novel, Eteka: Rise of the Imamba?

Liberia is featured within my novel in 1990, which was a very turbulent year. This was a unique period during the first Liberian Civil War, that saw the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) send a peacekeeping force to Liberia, and the year in which Samuel Doe was brutally executed by an offshoot of the NPFL, a rebel group that was led by Charles Taylor. In case you’re wondering who Samuel Doe was, he and his group led the first coup d’etat in Liberia, in 1980.

To end on a positive note, I’ll leave you with this video highlighting Liberia’s moves in more recent years to become a good region for investment: