The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival Kicks Off April 15-17 in Harper Maryland County

... in Celebration of DATI's 45th Anniversary

By Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc.

The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival officially commences on Friday, April 15,  2022 at 5 AM GMT with slaughtering of a bull to give thanks to Almighty Younsuah for the  peace we enjoy today in Liberia under the administration of the Weah government and with the  help of the international community. The cow is also being slaughtered to appease the spirits of our forefathers so that our land will be cleansed of misfortunes and the blood that was spilled  during the Liberian civil crisis.  

The bull to be slaughtered to jumpstart the three-day Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival in Harper,  Maryland County, Republic of Liberia April 15th-17th in celebration of DATI's 45th Anniversary and the 48th  Anniversary of Rabbi Dr. Joe Gbaba as Liberian Playwright and Custodian of Liberian culture. 

The traditional ritual will be supervised by Chief Zanzan Karwor, Chairman of the National  Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and co-administered by a Bodioh (traditional Grebo/Kwa  High Priest) and Grebo elders with DATI Peace Advocates as co-participants and witnesses.  DATI Peace Advocates will witness and participate in the ceremony as a teaching and learning  experience for Liberian youths who are not conversant with such an important traditional rite that  takes place during a traditional feast. 

The three-day festival is expected to bring together hundreds of students, traditional elders,  Liberians and foreign nationals and tourists who are eager to sightsee and experience the display  of Liberia’s rich and diverse cultures. Below is the calendar of events for those who are  interested in attending The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival in Harper City,  Maryland County, Southeastern Liberia. 

Calendar of Events 

Friday, April 15, 2022 

The three-day festival begins at dawn early Friday morning, April 15th with the traditional animal  ritual sacrifice. A bull will be slaughtered at 5 AM GMT. The rite will be administered by  traditional elders and the event will be recorded as part of DATI’s cultural research agenda. 

The soccer tournament is named in honor of Honorable Timothy Gardiner, DATI-U.S.A. Board Chair. First  African American to chair DATI's Board of Directors in 45 years! 

The ritualistic animal sacrifice will be followed by the Timothy Gardiner Peace Soccer  Tournament at the Martha Tubman Sports Stadium in Harper City, Maryland County. The  tournament starts from 7:45 until 5 PM. Five local high schools in Harper will vie for The  Timothy Gardiner Soccer Trophy. Both the trophy and soccer event are named in honor of  Honorable Timothy Gardiner, Chair of DATI-USA Board of Directors. 

Five high schools in Harper City will vie for The Timothy Gardiner Peace Soccer Trophy. Mr.  Timothy Gardiner is an African American married to our own Liberian daughter named Munah  Somah-Gardiner and he is the Chair of DATI U.S.A. Board of Directors. Participating schools  include Our Lady of Fatima, J.S. Pratt United Methodist High School, Cape Palmas High School, John Hillary Tubman High School, and East Harper High School. Admissions to the  Olympic games is 50 Liberian Dollars. 

 The Timothy Gardiner Trophy 

The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Performing Arts Concert at Harper City Hall:  Friday, April 15th 6-10 PM 

Guests of The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival guests will be entertained at the  Harper City Hall by some of the most talented local artists in Maryland County. They include but  are not limited to Super Culture Dance Crew, H. Godbless Collins, John Navies, Christian  Paul, M.G. Kyle Drag Group (Skinny Boi, Captain, C.M.Chatta, Emmanuel Thompson), and  "DATI's Nightingale", Statesman Oliver P.K. Griffiths, among others. They will feature original  music and cultural performances that represent the various ethnic groups and communities in  Maryland. The various artists will vie for The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Performing Arts Trophy. The  Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Statesman Shadrach Davis, valedictorian of the DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter Cohort II Graduating Class of 2022. Stateswoman Philomena  M. Arkue will introduce the occasion for that night. Admissions to The Rabbi Joe Gbaba  Performing Arts Concert are: Ordinary $200LD and Patrons $500LD 

 Master of Ceremonies: Statesman Shadrach Davis

Saturday, April 16, 2022: DATI Peace and Cultural Parade and Pageantry  Feast:7:30 AM-10 PM 

Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. Gbenelue Chapter performing the Grebo War Dance during the formal launch of  the Dehkontee Artists Theatre Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia

The highlight of The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival is the DATI Peace and  Cultural Parade and Pageantry. It will blow your minds away because the event itself is a tourist  attraction! Participants include the various cultural troupes in the region, traditional elders,  students from the 15 counties in Liberia, immigrants from neighboring African nations, and  members of the local communities in Harper, Pleebo, and adjacent villages and towns.  

 Master of Ceremonies: Statesman Oliver Garlo 

All participants, including tourists, are required to be dressed traditional African attires. There  will be Grebo and Kru war dancers carrying traditional artifacts, relics and wearing make-up. In  addition, all those who intend to watch the spectacle are also required to wear traditional African  attires to exhibit great pride in our cultural heritage as Liberians and as Africans. Participants of the DATI Peace and Cultural Parade and Pageantry will assemble at the Merry-Go-Round  opposite the Mt. Scott United Methodist Church in Harper and march through the principal  streets of the city. The parade will end at the Harper City Hall with an indoor program. The  Master of Ceremonies is Statesman Oliver Garlo. The occasion will be introduced by  Stateswoman Jeanet G. Toe. 

 Stateswoman Janet G. Toe 

The Festival Dinner and Delivery of Cow Head Sauce to Traditional Elders 

During the festival dinner, there will be a traditional ceremony during which the head of the  women who prepared the festival dinner and cooked the cow head will bring the pot bearing the  sauce with the cow head in the hall. The women will do a traditional dance and chant before  delivering the cow head sauce to the elders and attendees of the festival feast. Chief Zanzan  Karwor, Chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia is expected to receive  the cow head sauce from the caterers, bless and thank the ladies for their service and then grace  the food before the guests can eat the meals prepared for the feast. 

DATI 45th Anniversary Program 

Statesman Jerry Mwagbe, MA, Co-founder, DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter 

The formal DATI 45th Anniversary Program starts immediately after dinner is served. The  occasion will be introduced by Stateswoman Jeanet G. Toe of DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter  Cohort I Graduating Class of 2019. Eight DATI Peace Advocate trainees who successfully  completed their training in Peace Mediation, Conflict Resolution, and Cultural Awareness will take oath and be sworn-in as DATI Peace Advocates. Seven are members of DATI Maryland  Gbenelue Chapter: Statesmen Shadrach Davis (Valedictorian of Gbenelue Chapter Cohort  II), Oliver P.K. Griffiths, David T. Hinneh, George Grear, Jr., Ambrose Brilliant Weah,  Jr., and Stateswomen Nelly Sieh-Dweh and Christina Quayee. There is only one graduate  from DATI Montserrado Dougbor Chapter, Statesman Cyrus T. Gblinwon. 

Statesman Henry Fayiah Tamba, Acting Director, DATI Montserrado Dougbor Chapter (Kissi, Lofa County) 

Professor Statesman Jerry Mwagbe will swear in the new DATI Peace Advocates and then  Statesman Shadrach Davis, the valedictorian of 2022 Class, will deliver his peace message to the  audience. Stateswoman Nelly Sieh-Dweh of Gbenelue Chapter Cohort II Graduating Class of  2022 will introduce DATI’s 45th Anniversary distinguished Guest Speaker, Stateswoman D.  Sheba Brown, Chair of DATI-Liberia Board of Directors. Mrs. D. Sheba Brown will deliver her  keynote address to the nation and people of Liberia on the dire need to promote peace and  reconciliation and preserve the rich and diverse cultures of Liberia. Her speech will be followed  by greetings from DATI Montserrado Dougbor Chapter to be delivered by Statesman Henry  Fayiah Tamba, Acting Director of DATI Dougbor Chapter. The Executive Director and Founder of Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. will present a virtual message to the audience from his  residence in the United States where he has lived for the past twenty-five years. Meshach Sieh  Elliott, Director of DATI Gbenelue Chapter, will give the vote of thanks. 

Statesman Alfred Jluewehtee Klogee Nugba, B.Sc., Chair, The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival  Planning Committee & Playwright Apprentice under the tutorship of Rabbi Dr. Joe Gbaba (Kru, Grand Kru  County)

The “Bah Noh Deh Doh” Theatrical Production 

The last item on the calendar of events for Saturday, April 16th is the dramatic production  entitled “Bah Noh Deh Doh”. It was written, directed by Dr. Joe Gbaba’s playwright apprentice,  Statesman Alfred J. K. Nugba. The play narrates a land feud between two Grebo villages and  DATI Peace Advocates intervened to peacefully resolved 

Statesman Meshach Sieh Elliott, B.Sc., Director, DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter & Chief Host of The Rabbi  Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival (Grebo, Maryland County) 

Sunday, April 17, 2022: Thanksgiving Service 

A Thanksgiving Service is expected to be held on Sunday and a brunch to be followed at the  residence of Stateswoman Philomena M. Arkue’s residence. The exact venue and address of the  thanksgiving service will be furnished later. 

How to Donate to DATI Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia

1. Via Post: Make check or money order payable to: Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc., P. O. Box 143, Clifton  Heights, PA 19018:

2. Bank Transfer Info: You can also make payment through Dehkontee Artists Theatre,  Inc. Wells Fargo Checking Account#3931972677; Routing #055003201; 

3. Cashapp: $JosephGbaba (267) 973-1709.