Rabbi Joe Gbaba’s Peace and Culture Festival kicks off April 15-17 in Harper County Maryland to celebrate DATI’s 45th anniversary

… on the occasion of DATI’s 45th anniversary

By Dehkontee Artists Theater, Inc.

Rabbi Joe Gbaba’s Peace and Culture Festival officially begins Friday, April 15, 2022 at 5 a.m. GMT with the slaughter of a bull to thank the Almighty Younsuah for the peace we enjoy today in Liberia under the administration of the Weah government and with the assistance of the international community. The cow is also slaughtered to appease the spirits of our ancestors so that our land is cleansed of the woes and blood that was shed during the Liberian civil crisis.

The bull to be slaughtered to kick off the three-day Rabbi Joe Gbaba Cultural and Peace Festival in Harper County, Maryland, Republic of Liberia, April 15-17, to celebrate DATI’s 45th anniversary and Rabbi Dr. Joe Gbaba as a Liberian Playwright and Guardian of Liberian Culture.

The traditional ritual will be overseen by Chief Zanzan Karwor, Chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia and co-administered by a Bodioh (Grebo/Kwa Traditional High Priest) and Grebo elders with DATI Peace Advocates as co- participants and witnesses. . DATI Peace Advocates will attend and participate in the ceremony as a teaching and learning experience for young Liberians who are unfamiliar with such an important traditional rite that takes place at a traditional festival.

The three-day festival is expected to bring together hundreds of students, traditional elders, Liberians, foreign nationals and tourists eager to visit and experience the rich and diverse cultures of Liberia. Below is the schedule of events for those wishing to attend Rabbi Joe Gbaba’s Festival of Peace and Culture in Harper City, Maryland County, southeastern Liberia.

Event calendar

Friday, April 15, 2022

The three-day festival begins at dawn early Friday morning, April 15and with the traditional ritual sacrifice of animals. A bull will be slaughtered at 5:00 GMT. The rite will be administered by traditional elders and the event will be recorded as part of DATI’s cultural research program.

The football tournament is named in honor of the Honorable Timothy Gardiner, Chairman of the Board of DATI-USA. First African-American to chair DATI’s Board of Directors in 45 years!

The ritual animal sacrifice will be followed by the Timothy Gardiner Peace Football Tournament at Martha Tubman Sports Stadium in Harper City, MD. The tournament starts from 7:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. Five local Harper high schools will compete for the Timothy Gardiner Football Trophy. The trophy and football event is named in honor of the Honorable Timothy Gardiner, Chairman of the Board of DATI-USA.

Five Harper City high schools will compete for the Timothy Gardiner Peace Soccer Trophy. Mr. Timothy Gardiner is an African American married to our own Liberian daughter named Munah Somah-Gardiner and he is the Chairman of the Board of DATI USA. Participating schools include Our Lady of Fatima, JS Pratt United Methodist High School, Cape Palmas High School, John Hillary Tubman High Schooland East Harper High School. Admission to the Olympics is 50 Liberian dollars.

The Timothy Gardiner Trophy

Rabbi Joe Gbaba’s Performing Arts Concert at Harper’s Town Hall: Friday April 15 6-10 p.m.

Guests of the Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Cultural Festival will be entertained at Harper’s Town Hall by some of Maryland County’s most talented local artists. They include but are not limited to Super Culture Dance Crew, H. Godbless Collins, John Marines, Christian Paul, MG Kyle Drag Group (Skinny Boi, Captain, CMChatta, Emmanuel Thompson) and “DATI’s Nightingale”, Statesman Oliver PK Griffiths, among others. They will feature original music and cultural performances that represent Maryland’s different ethnic groups and communities. The various artists will argue The Rabbi Joe Gbaba Performing Arts Trophy. The evening’s emcee will be Statesman Shadrach Davis, valedictorian of the graduating class of the DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter II Cohort of 2022. Stateswoman Philomena M. Arkue will present the occasion for this night. Entrance fees to the Rabbi Joe Gbaba Performing Arts Concert are: 200 LD regular and 500 LD for customers

Master of Ceremonies: Statesman Shadrach Davis

Saturday April 16, 2022: DATI Peace and Culture Parade and Ceremonial Party: 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Dehkontee Artists Theater, Inc. Gbenelue Chapter performing the Grebo War Dance at the official launch of the Dehkontee Artists Theater Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia.

The highlight of the Rabbi Joe Gbaba Peace and Culture Festival is the DATI Peace and Culture Parade and pageantry. It will blow your mind because the event itself is a tourist attraction! Participants include the region’s various cultural troupes, traditional elders, students from Liberia’s 15 counties, immigrants from neighboring African countries, and local community members from Harper, Pleebo, and adjacent villages and towns.

Master of Ceremonies: Statesman Oliver Garlo

All participants, including tourists, must be dressed in traditional African clothing. There will be Grebo and Kru Wardancers carrying traditional artifacts, relics and wearing makeup. Additionally, everyone who intends to attend the show is also required to wear traditional African attire to show great pride in our cultural heritage as Liberians and as Africans. Participants in the DATI Peace and Culture Parade and pageantry will gather at the merry-go-round in front of Mount Scott United Methodist Church in Harper and parade through the main streets of the city. The parade will conclude at Harper’s Town Hall with an indoor program. The master of ceremonies is the statesman Oliver Garlo. The occasion will be introduced by Stateswoman Jeanet G. Toe.

Stateswoman Janet G. Toe

The festival dinner and the delivery of cow’s head sauce to the traditional elders

During the festival dinner, there will be a traditional ceremony in which the head of the women who prepared the festival dinner and cooked the cow’s head will bring the pot carrying the sauce with the cow’s head into the hall. The women will perform a traditional dance and song before delivering the cow’s head sauce to the elders and attendees of the festival feast. Chef Zanzan Karwor, chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders of Liberia, is expected to receive cow’s head sauce from the caterers, bless and thank the ladies for their service, then honor the food before guests can eat the prepared meals for the banquet.

DATI 45th Anniversary Program

Statesman Jerry Mwagbe, MA, Co-Founder, DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter

The formal DATI 45and The birthday program begins immediately after dinner. The opportunity will be presented by Stateswoman Jeanet G. Toe of DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter Cohort I Graduating Class of 2019. Eight DATI Peace Advocate interns who successfully completed training in peace mediation, conflict resolution and in Cultural Awareness will be sworn and sworn. as DATI Peace Advocates. Seven are members of DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter: Statesmen Shadrach Davis (Valedictorian of Gbenelue Chapter Cohort II), Oliver PK Griffiths, David T. Hinneh, George Grear, Jr.., Ambrose Brilliant Weah, Jr.., and stateswomen Nelly Sieh-Dweh and Christina Quaye. There is only a graduate of the DATI Montserrado Dougbor ChapterStatesman Cyrus T. Gblinwon.

Statesman Henry Fayiah Tamba, Acting Director, DATI Montserrado Dougbor Chapter (Kissi, Lofa County)

State Professor Jerry Mwagbe will be sworn in to the new DATI Peace Advocates, then Statesman Shadrach Davis, the Class of 2022 valedictorian, will deliver his message of peace to the public. Stateswoman Nelly Sieh-Dweh from Gbenelue Chapter Cohort II Graduating Class of 2022 will present the 45 of DATIand Distinguished guest speaker for the anniversary, Stateswoman D. Sheba Brown, Chair of the DATI-Liberia Board of Directors. Ms. D. Sheba Brown will deliver her keynote address to the nation and people of Liberia on the urgent need to promote peace and reconciliation and preserve Liberia’s rich and diverse cultures. His speech will be followed by greetings from the DATI Montserrado Dougbor Chapter which will be delivered by Statesman Henry Fayiah Tamba, Acting Director of the DATI Dougbor Chapter. The Executive Director and Founder of Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc. will deliver a virtual message to audiences from his residence in the United States where he has lived for twenty-five years. Meshach Sieh Elliott, Director of the DATI Gbenelue Chapter, will deliver the vote of thanks.

Statesman Alfred Jluewehtee Klogee Nugba, B.Sc., Chairman of the Planning Committee for Rabbi Joe Gbaba’s Peace and Culture Festival and Apprentice Playwright under the tutelage of Rabbi Dr. Joe Gbaba (Kru, Grand County Kru)

The theatrical production “Bah Noh Deh Doh”

The final item on the calendar of events for Saturday, April 16and is the drama production titled “Bah Noh Deh Doh”. It was written and directed by Dr Joe Gbaba’s apprentice playwright, statesman Alfred JK Nugba. The play recounts a land dispute between two villages Grebo and DATI Peace Advocates intervened to resolve peacefully

Statesman Meshach Sieh Elliott, B.Sc., Director, DATI Maryland Gbenelue Chapter and Chief Host of the Rabbi Joe Gbaba Festival for Peace and Culture (Grebo, Maryland County)

Sunday, April 17, 2022: Service of Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving service is scheduled to be held on Sunday and a brunch will be followed at the residence of stateswoman Philomena M. Arkue. The exact location and address of the thanksgiving service will be provided later.

How to Donate to the DATI Kukatonon Peace Project in Liberia

1. By Mail: Make a check or money order payable to: Dehkontee Artists Theatre, Inc., PO Box 143, Clifton Heights, PA 19018:

2. Bank Transfer Information: You can also make payment via Dehkontee Artists Theater, Inc. Wells Fargo Checking Account #3931972677; Routing #055003201;

3. Cashapp: $JosephGbaba (267) 973-1709.

Darcy J. Skinner