The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Conversation With Decontee Karngar

Conversation With Decontee KarngarDecontee: How are you doing?

Fannie: I am doing great.

Decontee: What is your name?

Fannie: I am Fannie Johnson.

Decontee: Let’s talk more about yourself; who are your parents?

Fannie: My mother’s name is Helen Quiah and my father’s name is Rufus Johnson; they both are Liberians from Nimba County. My parents bore 8 children- four boys and four girls, and all of us are still alive, including my parents. I was born in Nimba County, in 1996. At the age of 14 years, my parents and I came to Monrovia to make a living. I was staying with the both of them when we came to Monrovia, but things became difficult on us so I had to move to my aunt’s place in Buzzy Quarters, where she was supporting my education.

After a few years, my aunty travelled to the States and left me with other relatives in the house. She was still supporting my education while in the States, but at a certain point in time, I don’t know what happened, she stopped supporting my education. I was in the 8th grade attending the Newport High, and things became so hard that I dropped out of school because I never had the support to continue my education, and my parents never had the hand, because of how things were difficult on us, so my parents had to go back Nimba County. In 2009, I started struggling to make life on my own, since I never completed high school; I got involved with business to keep myself going. I left my aunt’s house and moved on my own on the Bypass in Bassa Community.

Decontee: How many children do you have?
Fannie: I am a single mother with three children, and taking care of three children all by yourself is not easy. At times you want to give up on everything but you don’t know what the future holds, and by the grace of God, all of them are going to school from the business I am doing.

Deontee: What are you doing for a living?
Fannie: I am a business woman, I have to sell so many things like pepper kala, chips, and other things before selling cooked bowl. I started the cooked bowl market since 2012 till present, and it’s through that I am paying my rent and sending my children to school. For the past months, there have been challenges on the market; at times people will buy and at times the market will not go, and it’s not good at all. Things are not good because I have not paid my rent or completed my children’s school fees.

Decontee: Have you encountered any barriers in society as a woman?
Fannie: being a woman, society has given us so many conditions to live by, but one of the main barriers I have encountered is with the relationship I had. I had a 15-year relationship with this guy, and we had many ups and downs before we could break up. Just imagine, I was with this guy while in high school, we were not living together and things were not okay with us. He was disrespectful and I couldn’t be in such relationship, so I decided to be by myself. I walked away and started to take care to my children as a single mother. It wasn’t easy for me but I think getting out to have peace of mind was best for me.

Decontee: What is your advice to young people out there?
Fannie: I am taking this time to advice young people to be careful with life, especially to females. Be careful with the kind of relationship you are getting into; most men are not yet serious, they only come around when you are looking good and to take advantage of you and go their way. Education should be your main focus as you grow up into a woman in the society we have. When you are educated as girl child, you have more value and respect in society than when you are not educated. Even if you don’t have the kind of education that will give you a degree, you can attend a trade school or get involved with business that will make you come up good in life. So, my people, put time to your education because it is the key to a successful future; let me remind you that if you are not educated, the society and men will take advantage of you.
Thank you for the time.
Decontee: I am grateful that you accepted my invitation; thank you so much.

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