President Sirleaf Commends George Wisner, As He Launches First Novel, ‘When the Heart Decides’

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Copies of the novel, When the Heart Decides, on display at the formal launch on Saturday.jpg

 

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has applauded Mr. George G. Wisner for his achievements so far, and commended him, most especially, for the publication of his first fiction novel.

“Many of us who had the opportunity to work with George know what he brings to a task. We know what he brings to duty, to his responsibility and the kind of commitment that we all look forward to. We know how he applied his time when he went to study, going beyond what was required, going that extra mile not only to obtain two degrees but to write a book,” the Liberian leader indicated.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion at a program marking the formal launch of Mr. Wisner’s novel, When the Heart Decides, at the C. Cecil Dennis Jr. Auditorium last Saturday, December 28.

The Liberian leader, who had earlier encouraged some of the students she’s personally sponsoring to attend the program, said it was intended to serve as a motivation and inspiration for them to follow in the footsteps of young people who have already grasped the commitment to serve their country and who have already established themselves in leadership roles. “I hope this will motivate and inspire them to be able to do well in school and go out there and claim it – your leadership role, responsibility and commitment to country,” she stressed.

President Sirleaf applauded Wisner for the leadership role when he served as President of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY), and not only that, but his honesty in the various capacities he served.  “Something is missing in too many of our institutions, which is honesty,” President Sirleaf stressed, adding, “George, I applaud you for your honesty, for the example you set, and for whatever you did; whether it was your role in FLY, whether for the campaign, or whether it was working in public service.”

She continued, “I never heard anyone say he has been involved in this scandal or that fraudulent act. So let me just say we applaud you for that. This is exemplary, and I hope others will be able to copy your example.” She hoped for God’s continued blessing and that he would continue to motivate and inspire young people of this country to be like him.

Earlier, the President of the Stella Maris Polytechnic, Sister Mary Laurene Brown (OSF), who formally launched the book, made the point that Liberians have not developed a reading culture, but hoped that Liberians would do so. She believed that Mr. Wisner has done Liberia proud, and she was impressed with his achievements. “Let us take cue that there are other Liberians who are capable of doing something good,” she stressed.

Speaking earlier, the author, Mr. Wisner, recapped his humble beginnings – being raised by a single mother – and reminded the audience that all he does in life is not only to bless his country but to also ensure that the greatest tribute that he can pay is to be a good citizen and to serve, in anything he does, with honor and dignity.

He recalled a comment made to him by the Vice President, Dr. Joseph N. Boakai, sometime back: “In life, you go to school, take the lessons, and then take the test; but in life you take the test and learn the lesson.”

He said his attempt at capturing the experiences of the war is to ensure that his generation and those after him do not forget its lessons. “I lived all my years here during the war, experienced every faction, and saw the horrors of the war. Only in 12th grade then, I said that there’s something I can do to make a difference,” he said. Because Liberia depends on its young people to move forward, Mr. Wisner admonished them to develop their skills and potential for their future.

Mr. Wisner, who served as a campaign coordinator for the Unity Party in the 2011 presidential and legislative elections, said that his reason for writing the novel was to ensure that as Liberia moves from war to peace and prosperity, the lessons of the war will not be lost.

Why a romantic fiction? The former president of FLY asked, and answered that he wanted his message to have a universal appeal, especially amongst the youth and young adults. He said that the book is one of several ways he intends to contribute to the socio-economic development of his motherland. He observed that although all was not rosy, Liberia is on the right trajectory to full recovery and development. The former junior Liberian foreign minister extolled the country’s leadership for building a foundation on which further progress can be made.

Also making remarks, a member of the Federation of the Liberian Community in Australia, Mr. Bobby Whitfield, praised Mr. Wisner for his exemplary skills. He said he first met Wisner in Queensland, where he had gone to speak to Liberians there on the progress the country is making. Following Mr. Wisner’s speech, he instantly became a fan, Mr. Whitfield said.

He noted that when Wisner mentioned to him his desire to write a book, and complete his double Masters at one of the top 10 universities in Australia, he was convinced that Wisner could not have been serious. But, he concluded, “When the heart decides, you can do anything.” 

The book, which is published by Iuniverse in Indiana, in the USA, and marketed by Amazon and Barnes & Noble, is a romance fiction based on the Liberian civil war. It highlights some of the social and political undercurrents of the war, using universal themes such a love, loyalty, and faith.

When the Heart Decides is a story of the triumph of love over adversity and of the strength of the heart that seeks love even in the midst of one of the world's bloodiest civil wars.

When Sarah Lawson's father is rescued from the claws of death by David Saye, a notorious rebel commander, she believes it is simply a miraculous coincidence. It isn't long, however, before Sarah realizes that behind this extraordinary intervention is David's wish to lure her into his arms.

He is handsome, educated, and generous – all qualities that ignite the fires of her heart. But they are from very different worlds: Sarah is the daughter of a respectable middle-class family, while David has been accused of gruesome atrocities. As the heat of the Liberian civil war casts waves over them all, Sarah faces a three-front battle of her own. Despite her feelings, she must contain David's advances, preserve her family's integrity, and prevent her heart from betraying her.

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