The affect of infidelity is shocking, destructive and detestable. Although it’s not a word we often use within our culture – the noun is not foreign to us. Westerners would describe it as an act of being unfaithful to a sexual partner or a spouse. You may have experienced this first hand or got wind of it through a friend, neighbor or a family member.
In this day and age, a woman or a man stepping out of their matrimonial home is no longer a foul thought. Liberian men, unlike some West African men are often praised for the level of respect and freedom given to their better half. In a typical Liberian Household, the woman is the glue that keeps the home together – fully functioning. Neither would like to rock the boat, due to the mutual admiration they both share (so I thought).
Despite being situated in West Africa, we have a tendency to go against our indigenous upbringing. As we continue to embrace western cultural practices, we are unconsciously living up to our nickname "America's Step Child" and slowly losing our identity.
Maybe, having been through years of disruption and being seen as a rebellious nation, through the lenses of the international community, we have lost the will to follow through with basic commitments.
Liberia prior to the Ebola outbreak was, as some would say, “sweet “. In the name of “jolly-jolly” after work or school, we frequently entertained ourselves at various nightclubs, bars and entertainment spots; abandoning our moral values along the way. Please note, infidelity does not have a gender, it can go either way. Our habitual manner – being free spirited and living as we please – has not only affected our relations, but it has a profound effect on our reputation.
On the 22nd of October, a Liberian blog site (C Liberia Clearly) published the alleged affair of model, Macdella Cooper and Ambassador George Weah. The post received a mixed response.
Some frowned against it, commenting, “This is what is wrong with us, we take things as a cultural matter and we wonder why we are not developing. We frown on the president and corruption. Yet we say, it is okay for someone to have a child outside of his marriage and call it cultural? Wow!!! This, to me, is double standard. As I can see this is corruption in its pregnancy. When he becomes president, he will have many more girl friends and more babies and he will use the Liberian people's money to take care of them. Do you expect us and our country to develop with behavior such as this? Just wondering.”
On the contrary, a young male boldly wrote the following: “C Liberia Clearly, that's reality, oh. George is not and won't be the last to have child/children outside marriage.”
“Another followed with this comment “Thanks, Mr. George Weah, for the new baby. Liberia needs to replace her lost population. War has affected us, now Ebola is on board and taking its toll. Monogamy, in all things considered, is not good for us. Presidents Tubman, Tolbert, Doe, and Taylor practiced polygamy. Nothing ever happened. Why not a simple presidential aspirant?”
As stated above, our past leaders (allegedly) practiced polygamy. Infidelity has long been imbedded into our culture. Should we now denounce our biblical teachings and upbringing, because infidelity is "reality" to some Liberians?