This Child Will Be Great

this-child-will-be-great-book-coverThis Child Will Be Great – Memoir of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

If Liberia really is a country on the rise and not a mere cliché of this overused phrase, then the primary reason for this will be because of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

President Sirleaf famously became Africa’s first female president in 2006. In 2007, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civil award, for her personal courage  and unwavering commitment to expanding freedom and improving the lives of people in Liberia and across Africa.

And in 2010, as the only female and African Head of State, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was named by Newsweek Magazine as one of the World Top Ten Leaders. One year later, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.

Now quite a few people have an impressive pedigree and a cabinet full of notable awards. But the story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is unlike most other stories. Even though she enjoyed a relatively happy childhood, she came to know hardship at a young age, especially after her father suffered a stroke. This was one of several misfortunes that young Ellen would encounter. At age seventeen she was married to an abusive husband, yet through it all she refused to become only a victim.

As Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, encounters trial after trial you learn about her character, which is painstakingly formed into something beautiful. Yet, it is not only her story, which we learn about in this honest and inspirational memoir, but the story of Liberia itself. From its founding in 1822 by freed American slaves to the 1980 military coup that splintered the country to the horror and total anarchy of civil war which devastated and destroyed her beloved nation, President Sirleaf gives a compelling account of where Liberia has been and where hopefully it is headed.

ellen-johnsonFor anyone who ever hopes to begin to understand Liberia, this is the place to begin. President Johnson Sirleaf’s ability to see and clearly distill the big picture of Liberia past, present and future is a gift to us all. This venerable lady of Liberia is one which all of us could learn many life lessons from and at the same time learn a little more about the exceptional land of liberty known as Liberia.

Loving Liberia,

Dave Tippit

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