Fighting Ebola – A Test to Our Patriotism

first_imgHmm! This is how far the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) has come. We can’t even imagine how far it is going. When the EVD hit just one county, we advised our leaders to take some actions but they really didn’t take heed. Now, see how far the virus has raged. What is our fate like now?Thank God we now have a National Task Force to battle this virus. But like the chair of the Task Force has been calling, I also think we all must join in the fight against Ebola. It is very worrisome waking up every morning to hear about a new victim of the Ebola virus. Reading the regular updates from UNICEF and other organizations is not exciting because the documents themselves are not exciting and I am sure experts who prepared them themselves do not feel excited writing such reports.Also, going through the various dailies and online sources and the headlines, all are saying Ebola, Ebola, Ebola and fear keeps developing.Besides, this virus has interfered with our normal way of life – we no longer feel safe to even shake hands; which is one of the most common things in our society. Why? Because we are being advised not to do so–talk of hugging and other forms of greetings. The fear of the disease is even making us to look like strange human beings – we dress differently, wear gloves and other forms of protective clothing, take bath with clorax and other detergents, only because we want to feel safe and live on.The Fear of Ebola has also interfered with the way we even care for our sick friends and relatives and how health workers care for their sick patients. As a result of the fear of the virus, we isolate ourselves from our sick friends and family.  We call authorities on them as if someone is reporting that health workers are refusing to take in some patients.  People are being stigmatized only because we fear Ebola.One cherished part of our Liberian culture is how we honor our dead. But in the wake of Ebola, your dear departed will not be given that degree of honor, particularly if authorities say they died of Ebola. We are being strictly prohibited from going close to the dead person. This is terrible! This is a cherished part of culture and doing away with it is terrible. How long will this persist? For how long will our people die from Ebola?Who knows whether it is still safe for us to go to our places of worship.Let us be more serious in the fight. Let all of us get on board. We need to stop politicizing this thing. In fact, I think the National Elections Commission (NEC) needs to pause her preparations for this year’s senatorial elections as some of us have done to our events and gatherings as we join the fight against this menace that is waging war on us. Since Ebola has declared war, let us fight back.I saw that the NEC has released 139 names of people who want to be senators. To all 139 of you I say, pause your political activities, go out to those people whose votes you want. Tell them to play safe to stay alive come October this year. Tell them Ebola is real and has no cure. Tell them to tell others to play safe.Go back in your communities and districts. Go to places where you play in and places where you pray in. Tell the people you meet there that Ebola is in Liberia and the best place to treat sick people is the hospital. Make it very clear to them in whatever way or language and dialect you can that hospitalizing the sick is the only way to stop the disease. Keeping sick people in homes and other places would not do the situation any good but harm.Tell your people that Ebola is not just bleeding. It develops over a very short period of time and by the time the person starts to bleed, the situation has become fatal. Tell them not to wait for bleeding. Beg them, if you must.To me, this is what true leadership is about. It is not just about fighting to occupy an office or occupying an office. It is about reaching out to people. It is about serving your people. This year, this is how we will identify our true leaders – people who care for us.Government’s honest priority too should be to try to stop this outbreak. We need to be vigorous and proactive. We need to put hold on the things that matter to us and fight to save the lives of the people we govern – the people who have  entrusted us with the mantle we are wearing, the people whose confidence we have. We need to be there for them more than ever before. We need to show our people that we love and care about them.Some of us have lost the confidence that was entrusted unto us. This is an opportunity to restore it. This is an opportunity to restore hope. This is an opportunity to rebuild broken bridges and relationships. This is an opportunity for you to reconnect with your people and their welfare.Do this individually if you must. This is not one of the times when you need your colleagues to endorse your actions. Move out as the leader and see if people will not follow you. Engage with the people who are already championing the cause. Ask them how you can be of support. Don’t wait for them to come knocking on your doors calling ‘honorable, honorable’. Reach out to them.With all the measures we are putting in place, we must pray. We must call on God to intervene. We must renew our trust and continue to trust that He alone is God and He will deliver us from this terrible menace. Let us ask Him to heal our land. He did it in the past and He can do it again because we know that He is the same God of yesterday, today and forever.Fellow Liberians, let us know that God is God and He is still on the throne. He does not have a successor (and He will never have) and neither does He have a predecessor. If we trust in Him, we shall not me moved. We shall be like Mount Zion which is neither moved nor shaken. We will be still and watch to see the salvation of the Lord our God.We must save the state. In light of the increase in the cases of Ebola, our main concern at this time should be to ensure the safety and security of ourselves and the people around us. We must do our best. This is because our best is Liberia’s best.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

SABC, Government pledge support for South African music industry

first_img11 September 2015At the opening of the 12th Moshito Music Conference and Exhibition at the SABC, Auckland Park on Thursday 10 September 2015, venue hosts SABC and Moshito partners the Department of Arts and Culture assured delegates of their continuing support in helping initiatives like Moshito in developing and curating South African music.Celebrating the legacy of SA music #fromkwelatohop & not forgetting our fallen heroes #TheGreatSouthAfricanSongbook pic.twitter.com/HrultThKBX— #Moshito2015 (@moshito_music) September 9, 2015Moshito Music Conference chairperson Sipho Sithole welcomed guests, delegates and visitors to the conference, saying that the Moshito ideal was to make the event a “premier destination for music makers and the music business” not only for Africa, but for the world. This year the conference has invited music business representatives and musicians from as far as China, Brazil and Jamaica to share and exchange ideas on how to strengthen the business as a viable commodity in the digital age.Chairperson of #Moshito2015 Mr Sipho Sithole opens the conference with a brief historical background and emphasizes it’s capacity to accomodate members of the entertainment industry #TheBusinessofMusicPosted by Moshito Otswela Pele on Thursday, September 10, 2015Sithole said that in the 12 years the conference had been running, Moshito has achieved a reputation as being the “most admired local event for music business engagement”, and that the three-year relationship the conference has built with the Department of Arts and Culture has only strengthened that credibility.In explaining this year’s conference theme, “From Kwela to Hop”, Sithole said Moshito wants to highlight the respect paid to South African music of the past, and how that respect informs and guides the music of the present and future. “South Africa,” he said, “wants to be known for a variety of genres: this variety defines who we are as a country.” But the conference, he said, pointing to the selection of musical showcases and collaborations with international artists to be held during the event, was not just about talking about music, but also an opportunity to feel, see and hear the power of South African music.#Moshito2015 Mr Matlala took the floor emphasizing the importance of the conference and exhibition #TheBusinessofMusic #TheGreatSouthAfricanSongbook #FromKwelatoHopPosted by Moshito Otswela Pele on Thursday, September 10, 2015In some words of support for the conference, SABC Group CEO Frans Matlala welcomed Moshito to the SABC venue, calling the event a pivotal instrument in promoting music across Africa, saying it was “fundamental in preserving South African culture.” He requested that Moshito do its part in telling the South African story to the world. Matlala hoped, as the success of Moshito grew, that the power of music would bring the rest of the world back to Africa. Matlala was confident this year’s event would be the best one yet, pledging that Moshito would always have a home at the SABC.SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng reiterated that commitment, praising Moshito for “doing well to stand by local artists.” He did, however, urge the music business in general to find a way to bring the various organisations that dealt with finances and support systems of the music industry under one umbrella organisation to insure a holistic philosophy to deal with the challenges of the industry. One of those challenges is the payment of music royalties to songwriters and artists, and Motsoeneng announced that after long negotiations with the industry, the SABC would commit to paying outstanding royalties to the sum of R100 million to local artists.“We want to make sure the money reaches the right people,” he said. Motsoeneng welcomed Moshito and its visitors to the SABC, saying the event’s philosophy “reminds us of where we come from, as well as where we, as a nation, are going.” The SABC is committed to adding more of that history, the legacy and the works of some of the country’s greatest music artists past and present, to all radio and television programming.Motsoeneng concluded by urging all music lovers to be active in that curation of culture by paying TV licences, the money from which goes back into promoting that culture to more South African, the African continent and the rest of the world.Representing the Minister of Arts and Culture, Deputy Director General of the department Monica Newton praised Moshito for changing the cultural landscape of the country over its 12 year existence. “It gives me a warm feeling in my heart that events like this do so much for nation building,” Newton said, adding that the Moshito organisation did well with dealing with the trials and tribulations of the music industry on behalf of the artists and music lovers in general, highlighting the challenges faced by the industry like piracy and technology changes. Newton added that it was important to create a living heritage of the arts in South Africa, respecting and honouring the legends of the past, using the lessons learnt from that to help guide and grow local musical culture into the future.“Music,” Newton said, “was a canary in a coalmine for society, a way to measure and negotiate the cultural landscape,” adding that the department’s partnership with Moshito was a pleasure and privilege to be part of. Newton concluded in wishing the event success and hoped it would become the foremost collaborator with both local artists and in its growing international friendships, “the people of Moshito have done a lot of hard work in strengthening the music business, and we wish them well for the future.”Lemmy “Special” Mabaso @EmileYX & Chachi Carvalho took us on a journey #FromKwelatoHop #Moshito2015 #AfroWorldNight pic.twitter.com/oQYHDgx2nE— #Moshito2015 (@moshito_music) September 10, 2015The Moshito Conference and Exhibition includes discussions on various aspects of the music industry in both local and international contexts, as well as looking at trends and changes that touch both the business and artistic development. Seminars include music branding, archiving of musical legacy, changes in digital musical technology, song writing and exploring new markets for music.In between the seminars, visitors and delegates will be entertained by various public performances at the exhibition at the SABC’s Radio Park venue, as well as at some of Johannesburg’s legendary music venues.The Kwaito & Hiphop discussion seeks to unpack the messages & context behind these genres #Moshito ^KM pic.twitter.com/hEnkeLeH07— City of Joburg (@CityofJoburgZA) September 10, 2015The exhibition marquee showcases a range of top industry goods,service providers and organisations #Moshito2015 …Posted by Moshito Otswela Pele on Thursday, September 10, 2015The conference will culminate with a special concert titled “The Great South African Song Book” on Saturday, 12 September at Newtown Park featuring an all- star collection of some of South Africa’s best music artists, including Arthur, Judith Sephuma, Mzwakhe Mbuli and Cortina Whiplash.The beautiful songtress Ms Judith Sephuma took over the night as she graced the #Moshito2015 Afro World Night with her…Posted by Moshito Otswela Pele on Thursday, September 10, 2015last_img read more