The Managing Director of the Liberia Observer Corporation (LOC), publisher of the Daily Observer newspaper, Kenneth Y. Best, turned 77 years old yesterday.
During a brief celebration at the newspaper’s new offices in Paynesville, LOC staff joined the Best family to celebrate his journey thus far.
Mr. Best, who presently devotes considerable time to research for instructive and thought provoking editorials that are meant to help opinion leaders and politicians direct their focus when they seem to have lost track of their constitutional responsibilities, solemnly responded to the cheers of Daily Observer staff and family with great warmth and appreciation.
Incidentally, what also excited the gathering was that the birthday of Daily Observer reporter Ms. Gloria T. Tamba and little Abigail, Mr. Best’s granddaughter, also fell on the same day.
Before the cutting of the two birthday cakes, Mr. Best’s daughter, Ms. Lindiwe Khumalo Yasiah, Daily Observer’s business strategist, offered prayers of thanksgiving for her father, the workers and the Daily Observer Family, for the journey so far. She mentioned being grateful to God for celebrating Mr. Best’s natal day at the corporation’s new offices in Paynesville.
Cheered by his wife, Mae Gene, who expressed the family’s appreciation to God for the journey, the atmosphere was characterized by cordiality and unity among a family that is marching towards what the Daily Observer has stressed again and again as: “The commitment to help Liberia shape herself through patriotic Liberians who are guided by the fear of the Lord.”
Despite chalking three-score and seventeen years, Mr. Best seems to possess abundant energy, which was evident when he began to shake hands randomly, which he often does, with an immediate pull, that can leave the unsuspecting recipient in great jeopardy. He also has a youthful ability to jump, which he did not perform yesterday.
And as the accompanying photograph shows, Mr. Best, as usual, was in his vibrant element, demonstrating his physical prowess, an act which never fails to surprise and delight people.
Admittedly, Mr. Best has on occasion wondered how many young people, his employees included, are often reported sick, when he has been able, due to proper management of his body, to be free from many of the troubling illnesses, including fever, that seems to hold many young people captive.
Described by many of his employees as a workaholic, Kenneth Best is usually the first to arrive at the office, and even when the Daily Observer’s offices were located at MacDonald Street in Monrovia, he would arrive from his Paynesville residence before anyone else. He is reported to rise at 4 a.m. in order to beat the heavy traffic going into Monrovia.
By 9 a.m., a time when reporters are arriving in the office, he would have completed at least two editorials and started looking for materials, through research in his thriving personal library, to complete an additional two.
Mr. Best, Ms. Tamba and little Abigail, who turned five, cut their birthday cakes, after everyone had feasted on a sumptuous dinner of jollof rice, chicken and potato salad said to be provided by Best’s two grandchildren, Abigail and her brother Lindani Kenneth, 2, supervised of course by their mother, Ms. Yasiah.
Reporters and other staff members returned to complete the day’s production, satisfied that the Old Man Above would grant Ken Best and all the others many more glorious years to see the eventual transformation of Liberia, a hope of realization that is so close to Best’s heart.
And of course reporters and others, who have gone through the practical tutorials of Mr. Best on punctuality and self-sacrifice in their calling, would always consider him as a man who stands for a better Liberia.
Even at age 77.
May the good Lord shower his bountiful blessings on Ken Yakpawolo Best, as he has decided to be known now, so that young reporters at the Daily Observer and those at other media houses who have known the kind of man he is, will always look up to him for insightful opinions that provide them the energy, inspiration and direction that is needed in Liberia today.