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

In The Beginning: An Eulogy To Patrick Manjoe

We all have had some kind of beginnings: most people like to be known for having a humble beginning, some of course, started in opulence, while many others must have just had a good, bad or difficult beginning. It was both a blessing and an inspiration for me to have met Patrick Manjoe in my beginning.
I started a career in journalism in 1996, motivated in the beginning by sports (football) commentary. Yes, Patrick and Herbert Grasby were the dominant voices in the country then. I did not get to meet Herbert, who is thought to have been killed during the Liberian conflict.
I encountered Patrick at the Liberia Broadcasting System, and soon became a contributor to the morning magazine program, INFOMIX, not on the sports program. For those who know the history of the Liberian conflict, the April 6th Street war in Monrovia would quickly resonate with you. It was an extremely risky and difficult beginning. Imagine an intern serving as a war reporter. Thank God for Patrick and Blamo Robison, also deceased. They were the influencers.
Through it all, there would be one real moment, not a moment in the crisis, but a moment that would define my career path in journalism. A moment that simply deconstructed my initial vision and outlook. And the narrative that describes that moment cannot be told without the mention of Partick. Peace be to his soul.
The April 6 circle of the Liberian war had ended. I was given a three-month probationary employment contract as a production assistant at LBS. Then I became a roving reporter. It wasn’t very long before I ran into very big trouble. I picked up an accident story involving the then Assistant State Minister, Soko V. Sackor, whose vehicle is reported to have hit a taxi. A victim of the accident, an already physically challenge medical student was hospitalized at St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital with little care. I thought I did enough by talking to the student and the police. But my effort was not good enough. I went to the studio and did a report without talking to the assistant minister. But that wasn’t my trouble. I used Karmo Soko Sackor in my report (who was an associate justice then) instead.
You see, Patrick was the presenter of the magazine program that morning. Oh my God! Just as the report ended on the air, I was on my way to the Supreme Court with the intent to apologize to Associate Justice Sackor. Little did I know that I was talking in a lion’s den. Within about 30 minutes of reporting myself, I was at the Monrovia Central Prison. I slept in jail and was released 5:pm the next day only after the intervention of Cllr. Frederick Jayweh, a popular civil rights lawyer at the time. “This was a mistaken identity, Peter. You should never be sent to jail in this manner,” Cllr. Jayweh encouraged me.
Mistaken identity? Justice Sackor cared less. For him, I did it on purpose and he had even refused to sign my release from prison. Thank God for one of his colleagues on the Bench, who was perhaps mindful of the statutory time to hold me in jail. For the record, Justice Hall Badio was the Interim Chief Justice at the time.
But the case was not over yet. The LBS Management was to appear before the full Bench of the Supreme Court the next day of my release to show cause why it should not be held in contempt.
Interestingly, Patrick declined to go, fearing he would also be sent to jail too. The Station was subsequently fined after the hearings and made to issue an apology. Coincidentally, Patrick was on his way out of LBS to the States, and that episode marked a turning point in my own career. The rest is history.
As colleagues and family members are gathered in the United States to reflect on the life of Patrick and to pay their respect, I should join them from the homeland in celebrating the homegoing of an extremely diligent professional. May his memory continue to be a blessing to all of us and may the Lord console and provide for his widow and children.
Thanks for the role you played in my beginning, Patrick.
God bless your soul.

Wow! Where and how do I start. Do you know what it means to eulogise someone who made you the professional broadcaster you are? It was tough or difficult to say least.
Standing at the podium (left) to pay my final respect, I had to handle it like a man unlike the wake keeping the night before, I could not contain my emotions but to cry aloud. Patrick Kolubah Manjoe was finally laid to rest after funeral rites in Euless, Texas, USA over the weekend.
Patrick, as he was called by us, was a consummate radio personality. He produced every radio program with perfection. He produced the Jazz and other music programs, the inventor of Informix, the thought for today, the Executive producer of the World of sports, Continuity announcer, newscaster and writer (in fact I called him old stories made new) and was also very colorful and descriptive during football commentaries. In short he was an all-rounder
He kick-stated my broadcating career in 1990 during the Interim government of President Amos Sawyer. He thought me how to script my words and taught to prevent ad-libbing and unnecessary mistakes, pitch and speed and above all pronunciation and good presentation.
Together with Cyrus Badio and with all the support in the world and training from Dr. Weade Kobbah-Boley, I became the person I am today. He was the reason for all that I have achieved in broadcast journalism which led me to working for the BBC as the North America correspondent based in Atlanta for nearly two decades.
I wish to thank all former LBS employees and other journalists for their support. Patrick had good co-workers and friends, but more importantly a fantastic wife in Mrs. Gwendolyn Peabody-Manjoe. Despite being a young woman, she cared for Patrick for all the years he was sick and never dreamed of taking him to a nursing home as most women would do. She cared for him at home.
May God richly bless you Gwen. May Patrick’s soul rest in peace, may God forgive his shortcomings and may his memory be a blessing to us all.
Hassan Kiawu

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