Munah Pelham-Youngblood, the fashion model who shifted gears to enter the highest echelons of state power, has died.
The District #9 lawmaker and staunch member of the Coalition for Democratic Change, died in Accra, Ghana few hours ago. Before her death, she traveled across the world on extended leaves of absence from legislative duty in search of treatment for a protracted illness.
One of those extended trips kept her away from work for nine months in 2019, during which she travelled between Ghana, Ivory Coast to India, seeking medical treatment.
During her stint in the House of Representative, she was a strong pillar of the ruling party CDC, serving as Secretary to the Aggrieved Lawmakers, who ousted former Speaker J. Alex Tyler in 2016 in favor of former Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay. She is one of 31 incumbents who were re-elected in 2017.
As Chairman of the Executive, Rep. Youngblood was nevertheless active in discussions on national issues in the House, whether from her sick bed or not.
Elected in 2011 at the age of 28, Rep. Youngblood was robust in her Committee works and was outstanding in attendance according to IREDD’s grade card as well as exceptional in developing her district, a move which can be all attributed to her re-election.
Mulbah Morlu, chair of the ruling party CDC said: “We’re devastated by the news of Hon. Pelham’s untimely death; the CDC has lost a Revolutionary Lioness, an accomplished ideological trooper whose passing leaves a vacuum never to be truly occupied. The lost is irreplaceable, the damage repairable.”
Adding, political activist and one-time senatorial aspirant of Montserrado County, Kimmie Weeks, said: “This is truly a sad day for Liberia. We have lost one of our youngest and most dynamic female politicians. You were a truly kind and amazing person.”
In 2011, she became the youngest member of the 53rd Legislature at the age of 28, defeating 20 candidates and went on to serve as a member of the House of Representatives in various capacities including Chair on Executive, Chair on World Bank/IMF Parliamentary Network Liberia Chapter, Good Governance, Member on Youth & Sports, and Member on Public Accounts & Expenditure.
And two years later, in 2013, Noble Laureate Leymah Gbowee, in Monrovia, honored Youngblood as Ambassador for Humanity for being Humble and Willing to Serve, Love, Share, and Respect the People of Liberia. She’s also a recipient of the 2017 Political Pioneer Awards of the International Sheroes Forum worldwide held in Nigeria.
Born on September 22, 1983, the late Youngblood graduated from the St. Michael’s Catholic High School. She later earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a master’s degree in International Relations, both from the University of Liberia. In 2013 she got married to Dr. Raymond Youngblood, a union that was blessed with a daughter named Sarafina.