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Aaay Siafa!

first_imgSiafa Kollie Ballah – Advertisement – A tribute by Robin Dopoe Jr. In the afternoon of Saturday, May 6, Liberia learned that Siafa Kollie Ballah, Executive Director of Flomo Theater Inc., has passed away at the age of 45.Siafa, a fearless advocate during his short stay on earth, left his mark on and fought for the survival of Liberia’s cultural legacy.This legacy, which Siafa fought for so passionately, was the preservation and promotion of Liberia’s cultural values and to keep alive the legacy and profound works and memories of the late-great Liberian culturists Peter Y. Ballah, Bai T. Moore and Ma Gbessie Kiazolu.Like his father Peter Y. Ballah, Siafa was truly a blessing to his family and Liberia. During his short life, he fearlessly advocated, albeit behind the scenes, for the promotion of Liberia’s culture; and on several occasions, he persistently challenged the government to preserve and protect cultural heritage sites across the country.Born during the heyday of Liberian culture, and unfortunately lived long enough to witness its decline, Siafa led a resistance movement – a movement which has resulted in an almost renovated National Museum.Through his fearless advocacy and unbending sacrifice to promote and preserve our culture, the government has now been able to develop a strategy to identify, preserve and promote several cultural and heritage sites around the country.According to Dr. Dawn Cooper Barnes, Associate Vice President for Academic Support Services at the African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU), “This is a big blow to Liberia. He was a patriotic and visionary cultural leader who worked tirelessly to restore the heydays of Liberia’s culture. I’m absolutely devastated and cannot believe that he is no more.”Yes indeed, Siafa was a great man who loved his country and also challenged Liberians to respect and practice their culture through exhibiting their traditions and culture on a daily basis.A true patriot, Siafa lived a humble life because he believed that a leader should lead, which earned him a lot of adoration. But he refused to accept praises, which clearly demonstrated his humility.His journey from being just a boy who graduated from the Poro Society to a cultural icon embodied the promise that we all can make a change for the better.And the fact that Siafa did this with grace and good humor, and his ability to acknowledge his own failures, made him such a remarkable man.I am one of the millions who drew inspiration from him. I remember on several occasions discussing ways that Liberia’s culture can be promoted and preserved. And from those discussions, I put myself into his shoes and started writing several articles that called on Liberians and the media to promote our culture.And like so many whose lives he impacted, I cannot fully imagine my own life without the examples that Siafa lived by; and as long as I live, I will do my best to imitate him.I close this tribute with what the Former Assistant Minister for Culture at the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Louise W. McMillian, said about Siafa when she described him as one of the most gifted and prolific cultural figures Liberia has ever had.“Siafa was a person who has a strong passion for culture and never gave up doing his best to preserve and promote Liberian culture,” she added.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Youth raise walkway concerns at Dr. Kearney, North Peace Secondary

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The Youth Advisory Council paid a visit to City Council yesterday to discuss the issue of lacking crosswalks and sidewalks at Dr. Kearney Middle School.YAC presented a hand-drawn map to show where a suggested sidewalk on 90 street and 107 avenue would be beneficial, as many people seem to cross there.In a 20 minute period, they counted 56 people who crossed the street.- Advertisement –Credit: Youth Advisory CommitteeCredit: Youth Advisory CommitteeThe other concern is regarding sidewalks. One is in the works to be placed at 107A avenue, and 88 street to 90 street, and another is being considered for the 2017 budget to cover the portion on 107 avenue in front of Dr. Kearney.The City typically puts sidewalks on the South side of an avenue, as the sun will melt any snow.Advertisement Mayor Lori Ackerman said she appreciates presentations from youth before Council, informing the City of how they view Fort St. John. “Sometimes, as adults, we get into our vehicle or we even go for a walk — and we view the world a little bit differently. So, we very much appreciate you bringing this to us.”Later, Council discussed another area of sidewalk concern. Sierra Grange, a grade 11 student at North Peace Secondary School, shared her wish to see more sidewalks west of the school in a letter to Councillor Trevor Bolin, outlining the need for sidewalks along the Toboggan Hill Park on 93 avenue, and sidewalks near the Pomeroy Sports Centre, and the Curling Rink.“I feel as though some of the sidewalks need to be fixed, or some need to be added,” her letter writes. “There are a lot of sidewalks in Fort St. John that are in good condition, but I do know that there are places that could use a sidewalk.”Credit: City of Fort St. JohnCredit: City of Fort St. JohnAdvertisement Councillor Bolin said he feels she makes some valid points, especially along 93 avenue. He recommended that staff respond to the letter and let her know the City is examining these issues.Two out of three of these sidewalk recommended run along 93 avenue, which is being assessed for resurfacing currently.last_img read more

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