Taa Wongbe Storms Nimba With “One Nimba Peace Festival”

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Taa Wongbe (center) leads a parade through the streets of Ganta for the One Nimba peace festival.

Taa Wongbe, a son of Nimba and aspirant for the 2020 senatorial seat of the county, has begun using Nimba traditional music to celebrate oneness among the five tribes under the theme, “One Nimba Peace Festival.”  On Saturday, February 2, the festival brought together scores of Liberian musicians and traditional mask dancers.

The “One Nimba Peace Festival” was held under the banner “Moving Nimba Forward” which was launched over a week ago in Doe Zuaplay, Doe Administrative District, Lower Nimba County.

Nimba has so many musicians, both secular and gospel.  Besides a few peace and reconciliatory festivals the Liberian Government organized in the past, this is the first time such festival, mainly involving people of the county, has been organized by an individual where most of the top musicians were in high gear, entertaining the hundreds of thousands of citizens at the jam-packed Ganta Sports Pitch.

The momentum of the festival thrilled Ganta City, beginning with a grand parade through the main street of Ganta, led by Taa Wongbe and his fans.

Representative Larry Younquoi, among other prominent citizens of Nimba, joined the peace festival and musical celebration, which took the occasion late into the evening and finally climaxed at the Jackie’s Guest House.

Some of the musicians thrilling at the festival included Bucky Raw, Stunna, CIC, MC Caro, T. Floyd, Biofatty and 10 other Nimba artists, backed by DJ Blue, with the Gio devil on the side.

Taa Wongbe said the occasion is all about bringing the citizens together as one family for a celebration to rejoice and strengthen the bond of peace and unity.

Taa wongbe is among many Nimbaians desiring to contest the coming senatorial election for the only vacant seat created by the Liberian Constitution in Nimba. His slogan in his political sojourn has always been “One Nimba”, under the banner “Moving Nimba Forward.”

The Ganta sports pitch was packed with spectators at the One Nimba peace festival, organized by Taa Wongbe

He explained that the key emphasis of the movement is to make the county self-sufficient in everything, especially in agricultural productivity.

The senatorial election in Nimba has always been slanted by tribalism, with the Gio in the majority, who have for the last nine or more years dominated the vote, leaving out candidates of the other tribes, including the Mano, which is the second largest group.  This way of voting created tension in 2011 after the presidential and legislative elections that saw the rise of Senator Thomas Grupee, adding to Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who is also of the same tribe.

This brought about a suggestion from members of the Mano tribe that Nimba should be divided into two counties as had happened in other places, but youths and other people who see the county’s cohesiveness as essential, opposed the view.

Most of those seen at the festival carrying Mr. Wongbe’s picture with his “One Nimba” message were all young people from diverse backgrounds, indicating that he might likely get great support from the youth.

However, the festival was the climax of the week-long community sports tournament organized by his movement in Ganta, where “Royal Community” emerged as the winner of the football tournament.

Mr. Taa Wongbe also used the occasion to celebrate his 41st birthday.

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