Monrovia — January 17, 2022, marks yet one more birthdate of the late Rev. Jonathan Emmanuel Zekpehgee Bowier, former Minister of Data and a “Historian” or a Storyteller as he used to name himself. His family members have been memorializing him.
Many knew Rev. Bowier for the wealth of historic accounts that he knew about Liberia and the remainder of the world. Till his demise, he appeared on native radio applications in Monrovia, narrating “correct” historic accounts of Liberia. Many Liberians, particularly the youthful era, knew him as a historian, which he rebuffed on many events. Throughout these radio appearances and or at workshops and or symposiums, he stated some well-known quotations, which I’ve endeavored to piece collectively in his reminiscence because the nation posthumously remembers him on his 72n birthday, this Monday, January 17. A few of what this write up incorporates are the final interview I carried out with him on his 71st birthday earlier than he went house to be along with his Maker.
Beginning along with his title and giving a quick historical past he stated, “My first title earlier than I used to be born was Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” This title was given to him by Elizabeth Wilson of the Church of the Lord Alladurah. I used to be born on a plantain leaf behind a home in Abrahima Kabba’s Compound, in a village in Grand Gedeh County. My father had settled along with his seven wives there for worry of different males molesting his wives. My father believed his wives would have been secure among the many Muslim individuals. My maternal grandmother named me Jedehnee, which means in Grebo “You see now?” as a result of when my mom was pregnant, the opposite wives stated she was faking it and stated it was “soiled water” she had in her abdomen. My maternal grandmother went to ship the message to my father, as a result of the opposite wives have been all combating to have this little one of prophesy. So after I was born, my father stated my title was Jonathan, which means “God has given” as a result of God by means of the church promised him a toddler and had given the kid. Zehkpehgee means “Leopard”. My grandmother gave me the title Jedehnee. She stated individuals will accuse me falsely however, in the long run, I’ll all the time say, “Ehn you see now?”
In accordance with him, all all through his 70 plus years, he lived based on the meanings of his names, particularly the one his maternal grandmother gave him. He stated in the long run, he had all the time instructed individuals, who doubted or resisted a bit of recommendation from him: “Ehn you see now?”
“Through the 1990, after I was Data Minister, some individuals accused me of being a insurgent sympathizer and so they went and instructed [President Samuel] Doe that I used to be fooling him. If President Doe had listened to me, he would have been alive right this moment. However I can solely say to them, ‘Ehn you see now’. If Doe had listened to me and resigned, he would have been alive right this moment.
A few of his well-known sayings
In accordance with Rev. Bowier, nothing is new beneath the solar. “Every little thing you see taking place round right here right this moment, occurred previously. It’s important to sit on the outdated mat to plait the brand new mat. Which means, the younger individuals have to take a seat with the outdated individuals like us, to learn the way issues labored earlier than, as a way to assist them clear up right this moment’s issues.”
I requested him why he was not working within the authorities with all of the information he had about governance, he stated, “Within the fullness of time. Considered one of my associates instructed me that in one among President [George] Weah’s appointment assembly, somebody advisable my title to be Data Minister, after which one other individual stood up and stated for those who appoint that large mouth outdated man, he’ll put sand in our gari. I instructed my pal in that case, allow them to preserve their gari, and let me preserve my bag of sand yah. So, if I’ll work in authorities which I’ve not refused to do, it should occur within the fullness of time.”
He had instructed me that he was keen to assist the federal government freed from cost to coach their individuals in public relations including: “The Minister of Data is meant learn each newspaper and transient the President of the main happenings within the nation. Inform the President the great, the unhealthy and the ugly. If I have been to talk to Weah, I might inform him the reality, as a result of I’m not right here to make any child feels good, as the idea in Liberia, you aren’t purported to make the President feels unhealthy.” Sadly, he was by no means referred to as to work for the federal government as much as his demise.
Rev. Bowier had set as much as write a e-book on a lot of the issues he knew about Liberia. He had titled his first e-book, “Liberia’s Palava Is Too Onerous to Speak.” It is unhappy he by no means obtained round to publish the e-book earlier than he handed. Nevertheless, his widow, Mrs. Ruth Bowier, has promised to work with a few of his associates in publishing his manuscripts into books and open a library in his reminiscence.
Tributes from spouse
“My husband Reverend Bowier was a great man, and my finest pal. He all the time needed peace for Liberia. We’ll miss him for his teachings. You performed a significant position on this nation; you’ll all the time be remembered in your nice work. I like you, however God loves you finest. Relaxation on my husband,” out of your darling spouse, Ruth Soe Bowier.
Tributes from his youngsters
“It has been 204 days since your passing, and it nonetheless would not appear actual. Your passing was so abrupt and got here with no warning. All of us miss you sorely and we’re grieving in our personal method, however we’ll proceed to make you proud daily.
“Mama Liberia, you’ve got misplaced a terrific man! He cherished you. The love was so deep; it was buried within the depths of his soul. Even whereas residing overseas, he all the time yearned to return again to you. As youngsters, we did not perceive it, however now we do.
“My individuals, at occasions you felt our father’s fast tongue and harsh criticisms, however he felt the required fact was wanted to get issues finished. Assist us keep on his legacy by protecting God first, persevering with to study your historical past of our beloved nation Liberia, and being the change, you wish to see. Thanks, God and Mama Liberia, for protecting our dad going for so long as you might,” out of your loving youngsters.