Mâhn Vüoh: A Liberian Independence Story
Today marks the 175thindependence celebration of the Republic of Liberia. Each year, as Independence Day commences, Liberians around the world reflect on how far the nation has come. Likewise, we use that time to connect and reflect on what it means to be truly independent. For many, the country has come very far, but has a longer way to go. Although, for others, the country could do so much more that will bring pride to its people. For me, on the other hand, I take the time to reflect on what true independence looks and feels like. As such, to celebrate the 175thindependence of my beloved Liberia, I have decided to share that reflection through art. Celebrate and reflect with me through my short film, Mâhn Vüoh: A Liberian Independence Story.
When I think of what it means to be independent as a Liberian, I try to consider my own identity as an indigenous Liberian. I also consider how that identity merges with that of Congor Liberians. You see, to be a Liberian, is to understand that being one means connecting with all the diverse identities which unites us. For a major part of our history, the focus has been on how those identities divide us. Although, if each Liberian dig within and accept the calling they hear, the nation will stand a better chance at understanding, accepting, and thus uniting itself.
What does Independence mean?
The film, Mâhn Vüoh serves as a depiction of my own awakening. When I accepted my calling to go back home, it was an opportunity to rediscover who we are as a nation. It was also a way to understand what it is that Liberia needs from us, and how we can go about meeting those needs. The peak of that journey helped me discover that it isn’t necessarily money, or knowledge, or even physical development that the country needs from us at this moment. What Liberia needs from me, you, and all of its people is a deeper understanding and acceptance of who we are, all the things which makes us unique in our story, and how our story can be of benefit to us. After that understanding is found, the rest will fall in place.
Liberians are a diverse group of people with a range of identities – that is our superpower. We sound like no one else in the world – that is our uniting factor. Liberians are blessed with rich resources – that is our selling factor. We have survived every temptation thrown at us – that is our redeeming quality.
As you watch and experience my own awakening through this film, I urge you all to find yourselves both from within and without, fellow Liberians. Stop hiding, and start seeking. Only when you seek, will you find. Happy Independence Day, my people. I love you, I love you, I love you.