Following concerns on why the Weeks family, particularly children of Dr. Rocheforte L. Weeks, first Liberian and longest-serving UL President, have risen so fast to high governmental positions, Madam Angelique E. Weeks said “integrity and honesty” are among the principal qualities revered by her family, citing them as reasons for their level of success.
Speaking to the Daily Observer on the family’s moral, social and professional life recently at her office in Paynesville, the chairperson of the Liberia Telecommunications Authority said her family’s coming into prominence did not come by magic, nor by any manipulative means.
“Our parents stood with virtues of truthfulness, honesty, diligence and hard work. We did not grow up as lazy kids, neither were we with silver spoons in our mouths as it may be imagined by others,” she said.
She quoted “Res Ipsa loquitor,” a Latin expression that means “The thing speaks for itself,” and called on fellow Liberians to disabuse their minds of the thinking that it is by miracles, friendships or corrupt means she and her siblings have reached top positions in government.
She said family unity was, is and will continue to be their foundation. “We are very important to each other and so we care for one another. We love each other and support the goals of individual members of our family that promote respect for justice, human dignity, and civility,” she noted.
Dwelling on education, Madam Weeks said although there were more than 15 children growing up with their father, the educator, he made it his duty that none of them (his children) would leave home to face society without obtaining his or her first degree.
“He did not have silver and gold to offer us, but we are proud that we had him as our father. He was a venerable leader who believed in the good offers of the future; and as such, he always worked hard to keep us together and educate us properly,” she said, adding that due to the respect and value for education they received as the foundation of their family life, today their are bachelor, master’s and doctorate degree holders in their family.
Madam Weeks’ eldest sister, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, was recently inaugurated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the 14th President of the University of Liberia after years of service at the nation’s public university in various administrative and academic positions.
Milton Weeks, her younger brother, is the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.
Touching on their individual professional lives, she said the records of their services both at private and public levels speak for them. “Yes, it is very common for certain people to over-generalize but what I know and is true is that our hands have been and are still clean. We are human beings; though, there is no record that contains an indictment for us on the basis of corruption or whatever. Integrity and honesty made us and so we cannot afford to betray the trust and confidence of our late parents who so dearly sacrificed their precious lives to train us,” she said.
Madam Weeks became an interim chairperson of the LTA in June 2009 and was later officially nominated along with others to serve in the LTA chair in September of the same year. “My first tenure as chairperson of this great agency was at the end of 2013, but President Sirleaf, having seen my hard work and seriousness to serve the telecommunication sector of our country, reappointed me in January 2014,” she said in between smiles.
“What is there to say about us? Since Milton took over the CBL he is focused on doing the right thing in his own capacity as head of that lucrative national establishment. My sister, Dr. Weeks, who now heads the UL has her own records. She is a servant who has accepted to serve with humility and commitment to the collective progress of her nation (Liberia),” Weeks noted. She added that there is no record, even outside of Liberia, that says they have ever defrauded any system or a person of anything. “Aspire to be like us if only you believe in integrity and the unity of a family, which is the bedrock of society,” she admonished.
“I knew no one in the United States when I first got there, and was denied a job several times before I got one. And it was a telephone sales job on a part-time basis,” she said. “I had no good wages but I loved the job and did it well until I was given a prize for my commitment and honesty.”
About President Sirleaf’s legacy, she said “it is very easy to criticize but the best thing Liberians can do is to celebrate her. For the first time in our country’s history, a huge debt was waived. Investors in a greater number than ever before have come and invested their funds in the establishment of companies, which in turn have provided jobs and are helping in the alleviation of poverty,” adding that Sirleaf is a heroine not only for Liberia and Africa, but the world.