A special souvenir program honoring a distinguished Liberian tailor and country cloth designer of Kolahun District, Lofa County, was held on Sunday June 19, 2016 in Monrovia. The program marked the 132nd birth anniversary of Alhaji Muana Kamara, which means that Alhaji Muana (which in Mende means “We are here) Kamara is the world’s second oldest living human being. The first, according to The Inquirer, a Liberian daily, is Madam Klayonoh Bleorplue of Nimba and Grand Gedeh, Over 150 years old.The Internet records the oldest living person as Madam Misao Okawa of Japan, who turns 117 years old today, June 22, 2016. The world’s fourth oldest person is Madam Susannah Mushaft Jones, an African American from Brooklyn, New York, who is 116 and 311 days. Alhaji Kamara was born on May 27, 1884, during the administration of the 11th President of Liberia, Hilary Richard Wright Johnson. He was President from January 1884-1892. Alhaji Kamara was born four months after President Johnson took the oath office.The old man, Alhaji Kamara, vividly remembers his life under the presidency of the following Liberian heads of state: Hilary Richard Wright Johnson (1884-92), who retired when Alhaji Kamara was only eight years old; Joseph James Cheeseman (1892-96); William David Coleman (1896-1900); Garretson Wilmot Gibson (1900-04); Arthur Barclay (1904-12); Daniel Edward Howard (1912-20); Charles Dunbar Burgess King (1920-30); Edwin J. Barclay (1930-44); William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman (1944-71); William Richard Tolbert Jr. (1971-80); Samuel Kanyon Doe (1980-90); Dr. Amos Sawyer (1990-94); David D. Kpormakpor (1994-95); Wilton G.S. Sankawulo (1995-96); Ruth Perry (1996-97); Charles McArthur Gankhay Taylor (1997-2003); Charles Gyude Bryant (2003-06); and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006-present).The President that Alhaji Kamara most vividly remembers is President Tubman. Old Man Kamara recalls that President Tubman was the one the President that did more than most “to open up the interior of Liberia.” The official ceremony was held at the Larkpazee residence of the honoree, Alhaji Muana Kamara, who was born in Grand Cape Mount County in the year 1884, during the administration of. Chief organizer and sponsor of the honoring program, Momo Boima Kamara, proprietor of African Country Cloth Tailoring and Design Shop on Camp Johnson Road, said he undertook the initiative as a mark of respect for his mentor and teacher. At the well-attended ceremony, the honoree, the 132 year-old country cloth designer and professional tailor, Alhaji Muana Kamara, urged Liberians that unity and prayers are key recipes for nation building.Alhaji Kamara added that in unity there is strength and in sustained prayers there is a great deal of success stories and splendid achievements.“In doing anything on the planet earth,” Alhaji Kamara cautioned Liberians to, “Pray all times, even if one wants to go do business, office work and work on the farm.”Another successful tenet of life, according to Alhaji Kamara, is to always try hard to be humble and to forgive those who most often hurt or hinder one’s development, growth and progress.He has visited the Holy City of Mecca in Saudi Arabia four times and stated, “There is no special medicine there, but prayers and supplication to God for directives and commands.” Alhaji Kamara further urged those who graced the occasion to hold together and tolerate each other every day, no matter what the circumstances may require. Alhaji Kamara also reminded Liberians, his children, grandchildren and great, great, great grandchildren and relatives that for one to attain a long life span, honesty, kindness and sincerity are the hallmarks.Telling his story, Alhaji Kamara narrated that at the age of 15, he moved to Sierra Leone to further his education in design and tailoring; and after many years of studies in Sierra Leone, in 1919 he returned to Popalahun, Lofa County, at the age of 35, where resided for a year.Later, he migrated to Kolahun based on an advice from the late Honorable Jusu Dunor to help mould the minds of the youth in design and tailoring.Alhaji Muana Kamara produced the first country cloth in Kolahun, which he made from cotton, designed with colorful threads. In 1920, the country cloth was manufactured into gowns that attracted everyone who saw his handy work especially, Honorable Jusu Dunor.This became a traditional dress code for chiefs and elders in Lofa County.In 1925, Alhaji Kamara introduced modern sewing machines to his students and people of Lofa County and taught 126 persons in tailoring and design, an initiative that spread the profession to other countries.In 1942, he made his first visit to the Holy City of Mecca, which was a first for a Muslim from Kolahun District.Old man Alhaji Muana Kamara has been blessed with 87 biological children, 174 grandchildren and countless numbers of great grand as well as great, great grandchildren in and outside of Liberia.In a statement delivered on behalf of all children and grandchildren, one of the youngest sons, Moivarney Kamara of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), expressed gratitude to the Almighty God and Allah for the long life given their father, grand, great grand and great, great grandfather.During the program, one of Monrovia’s leading country cloth designers and tailors, Momo Boima Kamara, gowned old man Alhaji Muana Kamara and his wife Haji Meito Kamara in appreciation of the old man’s mentorship and blessings.It was Alhaji Muana Kamara that trained Momo Boima Kamara in tailoring and country cloth design. Momo therefore took the initiative, with the blessings of the children, grand, great, great grandchildren to organize the program in honor of Alhaji Muana Kamara.Alhaji Kamara still has, by the grace and mercy of God, all faculties intact. Alhaji Kamara can still talk, which enabled him to make his speech on Sunday, though very slowly. He was born to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Senesee Kamara of Grand Cape Mount County. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
20th Biennial Congress– says party has performed wellLeader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), President David Granger said his Administration is committed to the Cummingsburg Accord – the sweetheart deal it signed with the Alliance For Change (AFC) back in 2015 to form a coalition which got them into office.He was at the time addressing a packed gathering at the opening of the party’s 20th Biennial Delegates Congress on Friday at Congress Place, Sophia, Greater Georgetown. This year’s congress is being held under the theme: “Better togetherPNCR leader, President David Grangerfor a brighter tomorrow”.According to the PNCR Leader, the party has done more and gotten farther than any other party to create an inclusionary democracy by firstly establishing the five-party A Partnership for National Unit (APNU), which then in turn entered into a coalition with the AFC.Granger noted that the PNCR will continue to work with its political and civil partners in to uphold the Cummingsburg Accord and also to have constructive dialogue with the political parliamentary Opposition and with civil society to strengthen the practice of “inclusionary democracy.”He further asserted his party’s commitment to the ideals of coalition politics and to the broader aspiration of national unity as well as to perfecting the country’s incipient system of shared governance in the belief that the coalition parties are better together than apart.“Our commitment to the practice of an inclusionary democracy has been vindicated, confirming the efficacy and necessity of the unique coalition that we created and which the electorate accepted,” he posited.The President’s remarks come on the heels of the AFC announcing nearly two weeks ago that it will be contesting the upcoming Local Government ElectionsA section of the gathering at the opening of the congress(LGE) in November separate from the APNU. The minority party in the coalition Government has been on the receiving end of heavy criticisms for the submissive role it has been playing since joining forces with the APNU. In fact, the top leadership of the AFC had decided back mid-November to revise the governing agreement with its majority coalition partner.Moreover, regarding the APNU – which is comprised of the PNCR, Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Justice For All Party (JFAP), Guyana Action Party (GAP) and the National Front Alliance (NFA) – the WPA over the past year has been complaining bitterly about being sidelined. In fact, the party executives had even hinted that consideration is being given as to whether the WPA should remain within the APNU alliance given the treatment it is being dealt with.However, President Granger during his address to the congress pointed out that as a coalition, they were able to achieve much in the past three years, bringing unquestionable benefits to the Guyanese people in every field.“It has allowed for the deployment of broad expertise to the task of nation-building. It has reignited hope and galvanised goodwill to confront the challenges which we inherited in 2015. The coalition governs for the common good,” he stated.The PNCR Leader said the coalition Government responded to a deluge of demands from the ordinary people, who needed change and wanted to see immediate improvements in their lives.“The PNCR, in Government, has been a force of good in improving people’s quality of life… The PNCR has performed well. It is the natural, national leader. It is the party of and for the future,” he posited, while adding that the coalition’s achievements has brought about measurable and substantive change.Following in the same trend, PNCR Chairman Basil Williams, in his remarks draw from the theme of this year’s congress, telling party members that having grown after experiencing its fair share of triumphs and trails, the PNCR is in the best position to take Guyana to higher heights but this can only be achieved if everyoneMembers of the diplomatic community among those at the opening ceremonywork together.To this end, he spoke of the need to return to the grass root level to further strength the party.Moreover, Williams, who is also the Legal Affairs Minister as well as the Attorney General, managed to push in some last-minute campaigning before Sunday’s voting which will see him going up against two other party Executives – Minister of State Joseph Harmon and Public Health Minister Volda Lawerence – for the chairmanship position.The incumbent Chairman told party members that in order to ensure that the PNCR-dominated coalition remains in Government to “care and control” the proceeds from the abundant oil and gas resources, then they should elect their “most tested, tried and proven” comrade so that the party gain the confidence of the electorate to win the 2020 elections.