By Togba-Nah Tipoteh
In the drive to find a way out of the longstanding and widespread poverty in Liberia and other countries, we can take some helpful lessons from some movies, like the Nigerian Movie called Sons of Thunder, to help us solve the poverty problem.
The movie, Sons of Thunder, is about the Struggle to get rid of the system of injustice and bring in the system of Justice for All, the only ingredient that leads to peace and sustainable better living conditions. A Struggler for Justice died and left living his Wife and Son. The Son, taking the family tradition of struggling against injustice, saw two men trying to rape a woman who was on her way to the village creek to get some water. Immediately, upon seeing the rape attempt, the Son wrestled with the two men and defeated them to the point that they ran away. The Son then comforted the woman and made sure that she got her water and went back to her home in the village.
One of the men who attempted the rape went to his Mother and complained that he had been violently attacked by the Son. The Mother immediately ran with him to the Mother of the Son and began yelling about the bad thing that the Son had done. The Mother of the Son told him to tell her what had happened. He told his Mother that upon seeing the two men trying to rape the woman, he beat them and they ran away. The Mother of the attempted rapist apologized to the Son’s Mother and began to chastise her son, the attempted rapist, who ran away in shame.
When the Igwe, King of the Area, learned about the courageous act of the Son, he sent for the Son, thanked him, in full view of his Mother, and awarded him a scholarship to attend school up to the completion of the first University degree. The Son studied well and became a well known activist, promoting Justice for All. One day, when the Son was in a book store, he met a female student who wanted to buy the book that he was to buy and she begged him to buy the book because it was the only copy in the store. He told her that that she could have the book. Talking from one thing to another, she recognized that he was the well known activist on campus and they became friends. He invited her to lunch many times and in their conversations he asked her about her family situation. She said that she had to run away from home with the help of her Mother because her Father did not want her to go to school and was keeping her at home to get money from some rich man who wanted to marry her as a teenager.
Upon hearing about her situation, the Son got angry and became motivated to work even harder against rape, forced marriages. unequal treatment of females and other human rights violations in the Struggle to get Justice for All. As they got to know one another well, he asked for her hand in marriage and she agreed. Her Father, having already got the money from the rich man for his daughter, went wild when his daughter ran away and he began looking for her all over the place. He even went to his Brother’s home in the nearby city, where his daughter was staying. The Brother refused to let her go back home because he insisted that she had to go to school to prevent marriage without equal rights schooling. As the Brother called the security guards to get the Father out of the Brother’s compound, all that the Father was thinking about was he had to pay back the money for his daughter that he had already received from the rich man.
Well, the Father had created his own problem that he had to deal with. As for the Son, he married the daughter upon her completion of her first degree at the University. Then, the Son went to a higher level in the Struggle for Justice by confronting the Igwe about the longstanding and widespread poverty in the Kingdom while the Igwe and his Councilmen were benefitting from the money given to them by the foreign oil companies that were producing and exporting oil from the Kingdom. The Igwe threatened to put the Son away if he did not stop his talk against poverty. This situation is just like the situation in Liberia, where foreign business people have access to USD2 million a day and their national decision-makers have access to USD1,000 a day while nearly all Liberians (over 80 per cent) have access to less than USD2 a day.
The Son used his knowledge about the oil business to send a fine-looking woman to sleep with the owner of the largest oil company. She managed to get the owner to get himself naked while she went to the bathroom, having planted a video device to film the naked owner. After she got the video recording, she said that she had forgotten something that she had to get and come back quickly. But she never came back. She gave the video recording to the Son. The Son managed to get to the owner and told him that if he did not return all of the profits from the oil production to the poor people in the communities of the Kingdom, he would send the video recording to newspapers, radio stations and television stations all over the country and abroad. Then the owner, realizing that he would come to an end if he did not do what the Son wanted done, he agreed to do what the Son told him to do. From that time, no more money came from the owners of the oil companies to the Igwe and the Council. The Son then worked with other activists to form a company to produce and refine the oil locally to get gasoline and fuel. Locally, they got enough refined products for themselves and then began supplying neighboring countries, while encouraging civil society there to form local value addition businesses. In effect, the Son had provided leadership in engaging in value addition (e.g. manufacturing) by moving away from the corruption that promoted the production of raw materials for export and poverty generation and bringing in a fair electoral system to elect persons with good records, records of having helped the poor people to help themselves in improving their living standards sustainably, through ownership of local income-generating resources.