Behold the clouds that eyes cannot penetrate. Truly, the day is dark; the winds are blowing in opposite directions, Chinua Achebe is right in his declaration: “when things fall apart, the center cannot hold”. My God, what a morning when the sun refuses to shine? As I glance at Snohklee (Greenville), throwing my eyes across the Atlantic Ocean, taking a lonely walk through the Sarpo National Park and trekking through the rich forest of the Jaedaepo Kingdom, at every level of my journey, I realize that something is missing.
Though my hope hangs on the dawn of a new day that should bring relief and renewal of spirit, as the hours come nearer to the set of the sun, my body trembles, for I see no light at the end of the tunnel. My heart bleeds within me and my ears refuse to listen to the sweet melodies of the birds. My thoughts are disjointed and my steps disorganized, then I take a back seat to reflect a moment. The unexpected happened, the death news of my Senator, my Attorney-at-Law, my engineer and my younger brother, Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan, was released during the morning hours of October 30, 2020. I return to the recess of my heart and found thereon what I always believe to be the truth is that, the ultimate end of life is death. As this reality is done on me I hear the sweet voice of Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan
singing a melody like a nightingale: “help of the helpless, abide with me. 0 thou who changest not, abide with me. Through clouds and sunshine, Lord abide with me. I triumph still if thou abide with me. In life, in death, 0 Lord, abide with me”.
Senator Nyenpan and I pride ourselves as the Grigsby and Mitchell in the post-war political establishment of Sinoe County when the compelling need to restore the lost spirit of the people of Sinoe was thrust upon us, thus becoming the first two senators in post-conflict Sinoe County. With the passing of Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan from mortality to immortality, Sinoe County has lost an astute public servant, a great son of our age who took up his space in real time and served our people diligently. While the task is still on hand incomplete, death has snatched Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan away. “0 death, be not proud for the strength you have is not your own”. Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan goes forth to live in a (and of milk and honey where peace reigns forever; his life and service will survive many generations to come.
I see Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan coming with that broad smite of brotherliness; revealing a true heart of love for fellowman and country; but that smile of love and self-esteem I will no longer see, for death has done its worst. 0 how I wish his voice could still be heard.
Today I exclaim as the Messianic prophet Isaiah, dated some thousand years ago: “For, behold, the Lord of host, doth take away from Jerusalem (Liberia) and from Judah (Sinoe) the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water, the mighty man…, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent,…, the captain of fifty, and the honorable man.., and the eloquent orator”.
Mobutu, your untimely passing into eternity, though from labor to rest, has created a vacuum in our local body-politic and dashed away our hope. You and I worked together for the people of Sinoe in different ways, yet remained focused on our mission to reconcile and reunite our citizens. Our differences were never huge to divide us. As the bell tolls to announce your death, this is yet another reminder that this place we call home is not our final destination.
My Sinoe citizens, while our hearts bleed within us and cover with pain and sorrow, I entreat you that we should not bury ourselves in the ashes of mourning, for Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan lived a fulfilled life and has left a legacy on the shores of time. He grew up and lived a people-centered life. Remembering his root from whence he came, he was never caught in the trappings of power, nor his steady rise to influence and affluence did build in him a pompous spirit. As I struggle to fathom the loss of Mobutu Vlah Nyenpan and reflect on our unique relationship, I can only say to his soul:
“how tedious and tasteless the hour when Jesus no longer I see! Sweet prospects, sweet birds and sweet flowers have lost their sweetness to me”.
Rest in peace my younger brother; rest in peace my honorable man; live on under the blissful arm of Father Abraham. May the peace of God abide with you; sleep well, you have done your best and may light perpetual lead you home to receive the crown that awaits you. AMEN