By Lekpele M. Nyamalon
The appointment of Bai Best as Managing Director of Liberia’s oldest independent daily, the Daily Observer newspaper, is laudable and brings the glorious chapter of the senior Best, Kenneth Y, to a momentous close. While the curtains draw on the tenure of KY, it reinforces the inevitability that one generation would take over from the former, almost unapologetically.
KY and his wife Mae Gene led the Observer during one of the most tumultuous times in our political history. From the early 1980s of the military dictatorship to the beginning of the first Liberian civil war, when the Observer was burned down, the Daily Observer remained a voice of conscience deeply wanting in a society that had sunk to its lowest ebb of socio-political consciousness.
As Bai steps onto the larger stage to head a paper whose reputation as a fierce change maker in our discourse, expectations are mounting, and rightfully so that he takes us on a cruise, safely. The Daily Observer remains an epicenter of ideals expanding its reportage on topical issues outside of mainstream politics: Arts & Culture, the Environment, Women and Gender and Entertainment. No doubt, Bai is a passionate journalist, arts enthusiast and a consummate professional whose hands are steady to guide the Observer to enviable heights.
This brings to view cardinal points to consider:
Every generation has a time on the stage and would fade away, whether by wish or will. It behooves therefore for mentorship and coaching to exist alongside professional training in preparing the next generation of leaders, scholars, journalists, teachers, doctors, etc. A gap in the phase of mentorship and training leads to the emergence of inexperienced, poorly qualified, and unguided youth barking for their place, rightfully so, when the time is due. And, society would have to hush and watch them ply the carpet.
Every generation should leave an indelible stamp upon its shores that compels succeeding generations to aspire to maintain or improve upon. The halls of mediocrity are loose grounds that set no standards; and never challenge.
It’s honorable always to bow under the shadows of applause and cheers, to sit, reflect and watch the sun rise on a new generation. All through history, it’s inevitable that one generation would take over from another.
Congratulations, Bai. Walk these shores in your time and never leave, even long after you’re gone. Best Wishes.
Lekpele M. Nyamalon is a Liberian Writer, Poet and Inspirational Speaker. He can be reached at [email protected]