By Alva Mulbah Wolokolie
The Tom Kamara Foundation (TKF) has launched a lecture series in honor of versatile Liberian journalist, the late Tom S. Kamara. The launch took place on June 8, Sunday night marking the first anniversary of his foundation. Tom Kamara was publisher and founding managing editor of the New Democrat Newspaper.
Human Rights Activist and former Solicitor General of Liberia Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe served as chief launcher of the lecture series to memorialize the ideals and legacies of a man he described worked fearlessly and impartially using the might of the pen to resist abuses on the inalienable rights of humankind.
Cllr. Gongloe told the audience that Tom Kamara had a vision and a mission for his country and so he chose Liberia over all his friends and family. “He was a prolific writer and a professional journalist who earned special place in the hearts of many Liberians. If you love Liberia, don’t whisper, come out and speak. We should encourage people to speak out. Silence has caused problem for us in this country before 1980, 90 and now,” Cllr. Gongloe said.
The human right lawyer indicated that Tom Kamara’s footstep is in the foot-print of the late Albert Porte and then reminded Liberians that the lecture series will stand deep dealing with critical issues confronting the country and its people.
In a special remark, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai lauded the wife of Tom Kamara, Mrs. Rachael N. Kamara for keeping the legacy of her husband alive since his demise about a year or two ago.
VP Boakai noted that it is time that Liberians begin to recognize the quality of work people have done and continue to do. He wants people to respect the view of others and say the truth in the interest of the nation.
Ambassador Boakai lauded the foundation’s initiative for the establishment of the lecture series and expressed hope that young people in the country would be encouraged to read and write.
“You can count on me, New Democrat family to support this foundation. We want the best for our country. Let us make Liberia proud. I want to thank you Rachael for being strong since the day Tom died; your institution has been great,” VP Boakai stated.
In her welcome remark, the CEO of the Foundation, Mrs. Rachael N. Kamara, thanked families, friends and well wishers who attended the program and explained that since the establishment of Tom Kamara Foundation (TKF) in 2013, they have been engaged with building the capacity of high school students press club and for the first time, the New Democrat will develop a student column to encourage young Liberian students to take keen interest in journalism.
The launch of the lecture series was characterized by speeches, jokes and gospel music performed by a Liberian refugee group founded in Ghana, but now back in Liberia. The Ebony Heritage as they are called is specialized in acappella singing. The group is being sponsored internationally by Sis. Joanna, a Dutch friend of Tom Kamara, while its local manager is Mr. John Zurbah, a Liberian who had spent 15 years as refugee in Ghana.