Malawala Balawala International Foundation over the weekend celebrated Liberia’s twelve years of peace with a series of activities, including a cultural dance on the country’s 168th Flag Day.
The cultural dance was a spectacular sight that explored people’s love for culture, and left the audience spellbound.
Liberia Maritime Authority boss Binyah Kesseley, who served as keynote speaker, said that for decades the nation’s culture was a strong influence that created unity among our parents.
“Our culture has gone and every one of us has failed to protect it, including government officials. The Liberia which I would like to see is a Liberia where all people can embrace their culture in unity,” he said.
He emphasized that it’s about time Liberians come together to rescue the already dying culture and stop embracing foreign heritage.
Mr. Kesseley stressed that Liberians should begin by having a keen interest in the nation’s cultural development process, and not leave it with government alone.
“The culture we are talking about is the culture of peace, development and integration,” he said. “It is not a culture that promotes violence, greed among its people.”
He noted, “The time has come for us Liberians to use our resources in order to preserve and promote the character of our nation’s culture.”
Mr. Kesseley’s remark that government officials are also responsible for “failing to protect” the nation’s culture, received mixed reactions, as some appreciated his honesty while others felt he should have looked in the mirror.
Senator Conmany Wesseh, who represented the Vice President, applauded the foundation for its continued efforts to promote, persevere and inform the public of the importance of Liberian culture.
Sen. Wesseh added that a country’s culture takes various shapes across time and space. This mixture is personified in the distinctiveness of how the people try to uphold it.
“Culture is a nation’s common heritage of humanity and we should do all we can to resurrect our fading culture, maintaining it for future generations,” Sen. Wesseh emphasized.
During the event, government officials made a number of brilliant speeches. Noteworthy was that both Mr. Kesseley and Senator Wesseh appeared in western or casual clothing.
The Balawala Foundation is a non-governmental organization with the goal of preserving the arts and culture of Liberia. It currently has 50 members comprising singers, dancers, actors, performers and more. It is also developing and showcasing new talents.
The foundation, through the Balawala theater group, has created dramas to help with the Disarmament Awareness Campaign throughout Liberia.