As it can be: What Laymah Gbowee did during Liberia’s civil war.

Hey hey hey!

In Chicken Soup for the Soul, the 10th edition, I saw this quote I put up in my room:
…But one idea by one person with the right people buying into it, can have dramatic and magical effects and produce something of greatness!

I love my level 400 courses. Most of them are interesting and allow for serious discussions in class. One of my best is our Gender and Media course. We watched a documentary in class last week that I wish everyone could watch. Pray the devil back to hell got many of us teary-eyed and challenged us to be passionate about our countries. Though the main aim was to show us how influential women can be, I got many lessons from the documentary.

Which takes us back to the quote I shared at the beginning of this post…

One person… Just one person can influence a whole Nation and cause change, especially with the right team!

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Sometimes, it seems like the great activists we hear about were/are super-human; meanwhile, they’re just like each of us; they have flesh and blood.

Leymah Gbowee, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize just got tired!
As simple as that sounds, it means she got tired of the bloodshed and chaos in Liberia during the civil war.

She then started a peace movement in her church called ‘Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace’. Soon, the women in her church ran with her vision and met regularly to discuss how they were going to bring about peace in Liberia.

Interestingly, a Muslim woman came out one day during their meeting and said she was also going to take this movement to her sisters in the Mosque. Then, it expanded; these women put aside their differences and continually met to do something, anything!

The war was mostly between the ruling government and rebels, (I sincerely think it was all about the diamonds and resources and so many people didn’t have to die for that!)

Leymah in ‘Pray the devil back to hell’ said she asked the women to ALWAYS keep to the word PEACE. This enabled them stay neutral during Liberia’s civil war because all they wanted was peace.

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They began to tie their hair and wear white everyday during their prayers and nonviolent protests. Charles Taylor, who was the one in power refused to see the women though they sat under the sun/rain everyday waiting to speak to him.

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In summary, these women DID NOT keep quiet. In fact, their pressure eventually put the ruling man into exile during the peace talks in Ghana when other Nations came together to meet for Liberia’s peace. I’m glad the Nigerian government wasn’t quiet about the plight of these women.

If you can, watch the documentary ‘Pray the devil back to hell’. It’s probably the most interesting one I’ve ever watched. I was moved to tears a few times because women and children were the ones who suffered most during this war.

The systematic rape and brutality was inhumane and downright wicked!

One woman in the documentary said she met a woman in one of the internally displaced camps who was still singing the sing she was asked to sing when her husband died.
Gunmen (either part of the army or rebels) came to her house, raped her daughter in her presence and asked her to sing and dance as they cut her husband’s neck…
She’s still singing and dancing.

The war ended and they democratically elected a woman as President.

My point here is: all these happened because one person, one awesome WOMAN got tired and decided to do something.

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We might think we’re fine because there are no wars around us, but places are really experiencing wars and bloodshed everyday.

What’s the problem in your society?
Who do you think can solve it?
Your neighbor or government?
What about you?

You can do something!

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Now that I know that Leymah Gbowee has a book, I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

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Love always,
Mobolaji.


 

If you’re new here, welcome!

The Wednesdays ‘As it can be’ segment is where I share stories of people and organizations doing awesome things in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. My heart for social change and development compels me to share these stories with the hope that you will be encouraged and compelled to cause change in your society.

God bless you.

(All pictures were gotten from Instagram)

Read all ‘AS IT CAN BE‘ posts here.

 

 

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