Robtel Neajai Pailey is a Liberian academic, activist and author. In the course of her work at universities, in the public sector, with international organisations and the media, she came to realise that in order to weed out corruption in a society, you have to start with educating its youngest members about it.
Joseph Ackah-Blay, Joy FM/Joy News TV court and political correspondent, interviews Robtel Neajai Pailey about her anti-corruption children’s books, Gbagba and Jaadeh!, on the sidelines of the 2018 High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance in Africa held in Gaborone, Botswana, on 29 November 2018.
A Nordic Africa Days 2018 Roundtable discussion entitled ‘Decolonisation and Social Media’ was held 21 September 2018 and featured a panel comprising Patience Mususa, Francis Nyamnjoh, Henning Melber, and Robtel Neajai Pailey.
Global academia and African Studies in particular are in the midst of a new wave of debates and interventions calling for the decolonisation of academic disciplines, school curricula and university structures. South Africa's #RhodesMustFall movement was not only one of the trailblazers in this most recent mobilisation against persistent inequalities and prejudices in African and Africanist higher education, but it also demonstrated the power and potential of social media as a platform for social and political mobilisation.
Monrovia, Liberia—Aid is strategic, not altruistic: Robtel Neajai Pailey’s hardline stance during an interview with Turkish television on 31 August 2018.
For the full special feature on 20 August 2018, visit https://audiomack.com/song/wadr/gbagba-program
"Jaadeh Is Integrity" was written and produced by Liberia's premier Hip-Co musician Takun J and features vocalist Ella Mankon Pailey. It is based on the forthcoming anti-corruption children's sequel, Jaadeh!, written by Robtel Neajai Pailey, illustrated by Chase Walker and published by One Moore Book. The song and music video were made possible through a grant from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
"Jaadeh Is Integrity" has aired on Power TV and HOTT TV.
"Jaadeh Is Integrity" was written and produced by Liberia's premier Hip-Co musician Takun J and features vocalist Ella Mankon Pailey. It is based on the forthcoming anti-corruption children's sequel, Jaadeh!, written by Robtel Neajai Pailey, illustrated by Chase Walker and published by One Moore Book. The song was made possible through a grant from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).
"Jaadeh Is Integrity" is currently airing on 61 commercial and community radio stations across Liberia (including Farbric Radio, HOTT FM, Power FM, Truth FM) as well as on West Africa Democracy Radio. Stay tuned for the music video!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Jaadeh Is Integrity” Song by Takun J Released
Ahead of Anti-Corruption Children’s Sequel
(Monrovia, Liberia—July 30, 2018) Today marks the official release of “Jaadeh Is Integrity”, a song written and produced by Liberia’s premier Hip-Co musician Takun J and featuring vocalist Ella Mankon Pailey. It is currently airing on 61 commercial and community radio stations across Liberia, as well as on West Africa Democracy Radio. Visit https://bit.ly/2NKX1ZF to listen.
Based on the forthcoming children’s book Jaadeh! written by Robtel Neajai Pailey, illustrated by Chase Walker, and published by One Moore Book, “Jaadeh Is Integrity” was made possible through a grant from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), which focuses on governance and transparency issues in West Africa. Jaadeh! is a sequel to the critically acclaimed anti-corruption children’s book Gbagba published in 2013.
In both books, eight-year-old twin protagonists Sundaymah and Sundaygar navigate the confusing ethical codes of the adults in their lives, in places as diverse as traffic jams, schools, churches and markets. In Gbagba, the children express clearly the concrete ways in which corruption hurts rather than heals society. In Jaadeh! they embrace integrity as a way of life.
Gbagba and Jaadeh! author Pailey says that “children are the moral compass of Liberia; they are the moral compass of the world. When they start publicly exposing corruption for what it truly is, my hope is that adults will be shamed into living more honestly and authentically, with integrity.”
“Jaadeh Is Integrity” joins its companion song “Gbagba Is Corruption”, which was released in 2014 and is based on the first book. Both singles are part of a canon of anti-corruption songs popularised by politically conscious musicians such as Takun J, who blends Liberian colloquialisms with Hip-hop beats.
With two previous grants secured from OSIWA, Pailey has commissioned Liberian artists to adapt Gbagba into a music video, radio drama, and stage play with an all-child cast. Jaadeh! will be similarly adapted, with a music video of “Jaadeh Is Integrity” released shortly.
According to OSIWA Country Officer Massa Crayton, the grant making body has supported Gbagba and Jaadeh! adaptations because it “believes the fight against corruption needs to start with children being taught about the values of accountability and integrity, which opens the space for an honest discussion of how corruption adversely affects them in their homes, schools, local communities, and within the national landscape on a broader scale.”
Visit http://www.robtelneajaipailey.com/author/ for more information about Gbagba and Jaadeh! Contact Robtel Neajai Pailey about “Jaadeh Is Integrity”.
Robtel Neajai Pailey
Gbagba and Jaadeh! Author