By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
In the field of journalist, there are certain things that lead a journalist to be interested to write or broadcast a piece of event, situation or development to make a news story. Professionally, this must be in line with what is known as “THE ELEMNENTS OF NEWS,” a principle by which media practitioners determine what really is of public interest for publication or broadcast for public consumption.
One of the elements that gives an event or happening strong news value is “HUMAN INTEREST,” which simply refers to or deals with stories that bring about laughter, sorrow and strange developments. They are those kinds of stories that bring about unbelieving and credible situations, as well as bizarre for public consumption.
On Monday morning this week, one of our staffers, Jennie FallahWounuah after monitoring Truth FM, informed me of a four-year old child who could read and write. She said the child was on Truth FM and that it was indeed necessary to do a story on the child. From that, I agreed for the child stop by our offices to really ascertain whether or not that was a true story. Later the child was accompanied by Abigail Duwor of Truth FM to the offices of this newspaper, along with her father, a school teacher.
“Jennie,” as she is affectionately called, told me that the child’s performance was something that her father could not believe and holds the view that this is the work of a supernatural power or sorcery, rather than a natural talent. It is said that it was of this unbelievable act of the that, that led the father to take his child to the public because he could not believe that a child who is just a beginner or an ABC pupil would have such penmanship like a high school student and spelling skills by writing perfectly just from dictating to her.
The million dollar questions that abound are: How did she learn how to spell those words when she has not entered school? Was she imbued with those skills, intelligence by God? Indeed, there are genuine reasons for concern about this kind of cleverness or extraordinary skills.
Frankly, when the child was brought to the Inquirer’s office on Monday, I found myself in the situation of her father who had been in a state of disbelief for what his child was doing. In the first instance, the child was given a copy of Monday’s edition of this paper with headlines: “Ngafuan Resigns For 2017,’ which she read without any assistance from neither her father nor any staff member of this paper. Besides, she was given other works to read, which, again, she did well, like even a high school graduate.
For me, when I listened to her pronouncing words and also saw her penmanship, I stood dumbfounded and also became nonplused, as I could not believe what I was seeing or looking at. Being so enthused by this, I asked her to sit in my chair at which time she wrote two sentences with correct subject-verb agreement.
Of my more than 30 years in this profession, I have never seen such display of ingenuity of a four-year old child, whose performance is beyond imagination. I should not be misconstrued that there are no clever kids in this country. NO! This is not the issue. The issue is the age of this child and the fact that she has not entered school to acquire some knowledge before such display of educational skills. I know of stories of children born with deformities or heath problems, but to see a child like this with such skills is my concern and interest.
As we plan to observe International Day of the Child on October 11, 2015, the skills of this child should claim our attention, who, in her first year in school is outsmarting her classmates and even being a threat to her teacher, as she is said to be ahead of the subject matter. I am aware that given who we are, we may not take this matter seriously, as some of us may harbor the earlier belief of the father, allegedly associating her cleverness to sorcery.
I know and have heard about many stories concerning kids of such, whose performances are beyond imagination. But what has been done is to help and guide such a child or children.
Coincidentally, this story has come to the glare of the public few days to the observance of International Day of the Child on October 11, 2015. Perhaps, this could be by divine blessing for Liberia to see its genius, as it is in other countries.
The child needs assistance to begin her kindergarten education. For this, the father is appealing for assistance. I have already pledged to help. Can there be others to help to shoulder some of her responsibilities. I hope this will claim the attention of the Ministries of Gender and Education.
I am willing to help because I see her as a “GENIUS” that we must pay attention to. Indeed, a genius is born to Liberia. I REST MY CASE.