A legacy worth following

29 December 2017 | Opinion

It is not often that a famous personality is able to transcend from one sphere of society to become influential in another.

And yet this is exactly what Liberia's George Weah has accomplished.

From being a world famous footballer –and only African to win the World Player of the Year back in 1995- to winning the elections to become Liberia's 25th president, Weah has done the seemingly impossible.

What is more, it did not come on a silver platter for the native Liberian.

In fact, his story is one worth talking about even as he is yet to fully occupy the highest office in that West African country.

For starters, Weah is not being whisked into office of the back of solely his popularity among his people.

He has had to work for the right to be recognised as a respectable politician and leader.

During his first endeavour to become president, he lost out to Eileen Johnson-Sirleaf, who became Africa's first female president in 2005.

One of the reasons given for his loss, at the time, was that Weah lacked education, more particularly a degree from an American university; something all previous Liberian presidents apparently possessed.

As such, Weah instead of accepting the status quo, went on to finish his high school, before heading out to college where he eventually graduated with a degree in Business Management.

Although he admits that leadership is not about how many degrees one has, Weah took steps to show that he is not a fly-by night politician.

In the process, he also became an example that it is never too late for any person to pursue their studies.

His loss in 2005, also showed how humble the man is.

Instead of refusing to accept the result, Weah begged his followers not to boycott subsequent elections and instead work with the incumbent government for the betterment of all Liberians.

Such was his influence then, that the country, which in previous years had been ravaged by civil wars, maintained peace.

At just 51 years, Weah is one of the youngest presidents to take office in Africa and the world will be watching his every move.

We believe that the man will do justice to his legacy thus far.

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