You’ve probably seen him around town, ‘dressed to kill,’ as Liberians would say. From head to toe, the man known on the streets as ‘Best Dressed’ never skips a beat in his vivacious attire. There’s always a wide-brim hat, sometimes a Stetson (cowboy hat), and the shoes to match; and then whatever else covers his tall dark frame is, well, another matter. And with his extra-large sun-shades and a Bluetooth headset, Best Dressed can be seen strolling all over Monrovia, Paynesville and environs with his head held high.
Speaking to the Daily Observer’s LIB Life recently, Best Dressed said he worked for the previous two presidents of Liberia (Doe, and Taylor) as an interior and exterior designer, a profession he has now replaced with farming.
Meanwhile he now spends his spare time showcasing his worth as a man who loves Liberians, who in turn shower praises and appreciation on his fashionable appearances.
Something to say
It isn’t all fashion and dressing for Best Dressed; the man from time to time would stop and get involved in the societal discourse. And what has piqued his interest of late is the issue concerning thousands of street vendors sprawling across Monrovia.
To solve the constant friction between street sellers and police officers who chase sellers and confiscate their wares, “government must build a market complex that can contain these people,” he says.
“Street sellers are Liberian citizens who have families to support and it goes without saying that the government must find a solution to avoid the constant struggle with police officers,” he said, adding that while beautifying the city of Monrovia is part of the development of the country, it makes sense if a practical solution to street sellers’ problems is found.
“Street sellers need to survive and therefore authorities should know what they can do to ensure that they are accommodated since the government cannot find jobs for all citizens,” he said.
He told the Daily Observer that he has great admiration and appreciation for Madam Mary Broh, who heads the Presidential Task Force to demolish make-shift structures and beautify the city. He said if there were at least six Liberians with the character of Madam Broh, “Liberia could be on the road to prosperity.”
Best Dressed, the Man
Born with the name Henry Brown Jr., the social icon said he has been described as ‘Best Dressed’ in Monrovia for eighteen years now; a practice, he said, he took from his father.
“My father was like that,” Brown said, “he used to dress when he worked in Bong Mines, and I just took after him.”
Brown, who sometimes describes himself as a ‘prophet’, is also the resident pastor of the Church of the Lord Prayer Fellowship of ELWA. He told the Daily Observer he was born with light and that’s why many Liberians love him. “People appreciate me and what I do and I think it shows that I am a child of God,” he said.
Brown, now 52, said his children, like the larger Monrovia community, appreciate him for what he is. “My oldest son is in Europe; and the other two, with the youngest at three years, appreciate how I dress,” he said.
He says in addition to being an interior and exterior designer, he is also a trained agriculturist and owns 600 acres of farmland in Gbarpolu County and grows corn and pepper on a 45 acre farm in Bopolu. He revealed that he is also willing to partner with investors interested in gold and timber.
Promising that he would take the Daily Observer reporter to his farm, Brown said many of Liberia’s problems center on those who are elected to represent the people but have turned out to be self-seeking. He is convinced that, because there have not been significant changes in the country to positively affect the lives of ordinary Liberians, lawmakers have not done much for the people.
“I want to appeal to lawmakers to do things right by working more to improve the living conditions of the people,” Brown said. “They must love their people by doing things that can be seen as tangible evidence of their work.”