During the past two weeks a local daily, The New Democrat of veteran journalist Tom Kamara, has been publishing the photos of two of the world’s legends completely nude on the front page at the great displeasure of majority of Liberians. Though these obscene publications were widely condemned by the general public, yet no concrete action has been taken against the perpetrators. Majority of Liberians cannot just understand why the veteran Liberian journalist is so untouchable. That’s the NOISE IN THE MARKET.
“I say my brother, what is really happening in this country? I can’t really understand why one man will be challenging an entire government and no one raises finger.” Emmanuel Ballah, asks his friend Gabriel Wilson. “What are you talking about again you boy?” Gabriel replies.
“I am talking about what The New Democrat has been publishing these days. The population unanimously condemned the act. But neither the government, nor the Press union of Liberia has taken any punitive action against the paper. So how do you call that one now? When the INDEPENDENT newspaper did similar act last year, both government and the PUL rushed with punitive actions against the paper. Why this time around none of them has been able to move against the paper involved?” Emmanuel says.
“Look!” Gabriel says while putting his hand on Emmanuel’s shoulder. “There is a very big difference between Independent and New Democrat my brother. If you were sleeping you need to wake up and face reality. You need to know that the connection the New Democrat has, the Independent does not have a quarter of it. You see Tom, from what I heard, he knows too much about lots of people in this government in a way that no one wants to irritate him for fear of a desperate reprisal that may be calamitous. Tom knows the other side of these people who are supposed to take action against him; this is the reason why they daren’t do it.” Gabriel explains.
At this juncture, I leave Emmanuel’s office to go to Paynesville’s market where my sister is waiting for me on family matters. In the taxi on my way to Paynesville, the same debate is on with a complete different flavor.
“Look you, if you don’t have anything to say, shut your mouth ok? If they were not going to take photos where they are nude how Tom kamara was going to get it? Hein? They wanted everybody to see their nakedness this is the reason why they decided to take such photos. The way Tom kamara published it now, next time they will be careful on how to take photos.” The man seating next to me shouts.
“You will shut up not me. You understand? You are insane just like the man who published this thing. Look at you; I know you did not receive any education from your parents this is why you are reasoning so badly. One thing you need to know is that it is a woman that gave you birth so you need to have respect for a woman if you mean to live a successful life.” A lady in the front seat reacts.
Another woman, about 54 years old, seating at the right of the man who made the statement, intervenes with anger. “Listen to me you little boy.” She says, “People like you are not to be blamed in this case because it is the don’t care attitude of those who are supposed to take action that has given you the right to talk the way you talk. Even if you did not receive any basic education, where are your senses of human? The authorities may be afraid of Tom as it is being speculated, but we women of this land will one day take to the street in demand of justice, and when I say justice, I mean equal justice for all because it is just unfair that selected justice is practiced where two individuals have committed the same crime. What kind of education are we giving to our kids here?”
“We are in Red Light everybody gets down.” The driver intervenes, putting an end to the debate that was nauseatingly becoming a fuss. But I was not yet at the end of the noise because in the market where my sister sells, the same debate had reached its paroxysm.
“That man is a real man. He has challenged the government, challenged the PUL, and even challenged us, the women. He did it first. As the government and the PUL were caressing him while telling him not to repeat it, he did another one. Is he not a real man? He is; he has shown that he is untouchable and I believe he is.” My sister says as she argues with a friend who was on the defensive for Tom.