Liberian Nationals Now Living in South Shore Launch Campaign to help Re-build their War Ravaged Homeland
“Our lives are not measured in years, but; are measured in the lives of people we touch around us.”
South Shore resident and Liberian national, Alex Gbayee embraces this often referenced anonymous quote. He also is moved by the West African Sankofa Bird charge to help the next generation. However, it is an African proverb that fuels his desire to help rebuild the lives of his kindred Liberian brothers and sisters following more than a decade of devastating conflict and the crippling impact of the 2014 Ebola epidemic.
“I will not be the hunter in the African proverb that does not share the bounty of his hunt with the village,” declares Alex Gbayee who found his way to Chicago at the benevolence of missionaries who provided a means for him to pursue his education in America. He and his wife Musu, recognized for training renowned hair stylists like Amazon in the African hair braiding tradition, now desire to create a pathway to success for others through the portal of education.
Chicagoans within the international community know Alex Gbayee as the gracious and hospitable Consul General from Liberia who hosts lavish festive parties with his wife Musu at their south shore home of twenty years in celebration of visiting African dignitaries and to strengthen bonds between Liberia and other nations. He is regaled for his steadfast faith as a devout faith leader and servant at the Freedom Temple Church of God in Christ on Chicago’s south side.
Others remember him from his youthful days as a handsome drummer igniting neighborhood festivals with his powerful performance style developed as a child in his native village on the southeast end of Liberia- an underdeveloped rural area about 250 miles from Liberia’s capital of Monrovia. Those impromptu drumming sessions with his African American brothers outside the historic South Shore Bath House captured the pulse of the sixties cultural identity movement that defined the rich connection among all descendants of the African Diaspora.
Those mesmerizing soul-stirring sessions that bridged continents and the histories of a disbanded people spawned the African Festival of the Arts that has become a 25-year end-of-summer destination event for thousands of tourists and a family styled gathering for Africa Diaspora peoples. Mr. Gbayee now serves on the Africa International House board, the not for profit entity that produces the annual festival held in Washington Park.