On an ailing bed at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, a vocal legislative floor fighter and much-admired feminist laid helpless, but hopeful of bouncing back. Battling with a prolonged ailment, then came her final moment on earth when life’s light finally dwindled by 5:15pm on Saturday, February 9, 2019.
Of course, life’s end could not give her any further chance or choice to reassure Liberians especially her Constituents in Montserrado of bouncing back in full gear. Reminiscing in solitude and discomfort while remaining optimistic of full recovery, this national heroine wrestled with death during her final hours.
It was indeed an aching and edgy moment to endure. But such an unbearable time shall come for every being to end his/her mission on earth. So it was with this firebrand, self-sacrificing, courageous and nationalistic Senator – a mentor and mother whose enviable legacy shall forever illuminate as an immaculate embodiment of women advocacy and leadership across Liberia.
Approaching twilight on Saturday, Montserrado and Liberia stood still upon hearing this distraught news. The atmosphere became shattered and frenzied as another patriotic stateswoman finally surrendered her baton to death. This time around, it was Field Marshal Geraldine Doe-Sheriff who had to answer this call from martyrdom.
Of course, Lady Zico has been gladly received by our forebears and she will forever be remembered as a martyr on whose back Liberia’s democracy strived in pursuit of social justice, equality, freedom and prosperity. In her memory, young Liberian women and girls shall aspire to compete for excellence in leadership, politics and business.
And in her indelible bequest, all Liberians shall rekindle a stimulating desire to live a life of patriotism and begin to demonstrate virtues of hard work, humility, honesty and resilience – for Geraldine Doe-Sheriff was a revered stateswoman – a bold, vocal, conscientious and fearless female general who lived a life of dignity and honor.
Pondering over such a gigantic loss has left behind a vacuum of despair and gloom. Surely, this blow is hard-hitting and heart-rending especially when a post-conflict nation like Liberia still bleeds from massive brain-drain and leadership-deficit. The cemetery is fast hauling some of our brightest and enterprising feminists. The Republic is troubled by this national tragedy!
Hence, we plead for mercy from THE DEITY for life’s twilight to spare our nation for a moment. Prostrating in obedience and beseeching divinity upon this failed State, may longevity, solidarity, unity and prosperity reign as we mourn another fallen heroine. Though unbelievable, but who are we to say NO when THE CREATOR calls?
Just yesterday, it was Mot. Mary N. Brownell, Madam Ruth Caesar, and Rev. Mot. Mai Roberts. The nation has again lost another precious diamond – an illustrious compatriot whose altruistic impact revived HOPE, stirred CHANGE and inspired HUMANITY. For Lady Zico was a revered patriot who made an ultimate sacrifice to guarantee a free and fair space for women participation in politics and governance.
The field marshal and floor fighter has finally gone to join ranks with a host of other martyr generals. Just 4 days to her 52nd birth anniversary (February 14), this field marshal surprisingly said to us in French “au revoir” which means “Goodbye”. Too sad to imagine and witness a conscious and powerful voice descending in everlasting silence. For Lady Zico was a revered patriot – meek in spirit, enlightened in thoughts, and gallant in deeds.
Grieved and saddened by this giant-sized loss, let not her betrayers parade as mourners because history has no space to accommodate traitors and apostles of subterfuge. Spare Lady Zico this pretense. Spare us this gimmick for such posturing or bravado only unstitches your fake identity which is engrained in betrayal and bootlicking. But this is what happens when one’s conscience sinks in guilt and perfidy.
You betrayed and backstabbed Lady Zico when she needed you most. How then can you mourn her demise? You ruined her hard-earned reputation and viciously chased her out of your party headquarters in Congo Town, yet you have THE GUTS to celebrate her homegoing. Such posey display has its root in hypocrisy and hysteria. You are unfit to mourn Senator Doe-Sheriff because even while she was on her dying bed, you were conspiring to unseat her in 2020 Senatorial Elections.
You scourged and slandered this brilliant stateswoman even though she infused life, invaluable virtues, and energy in your party while serving as chairperson. Through her visionary and transformational style of leadership, your party became even stronger and dynamic as a leading opposition. With all of what she did, you paid her back with betrayal and dishonor.
Lady Zico’s gratitude was repaid with ingratitude. Her generosity was paid back with indignity. Her loyalty was rewarded with disloyalty. Yes, history knows this for a fact. Then, what moral ground do you (betrayers) have now to honor this field marshal? Like Joshua Sackie, Horatio Gould, and George Solo, so it was with Geraldine Doe-Sheriff alias Lady Zico.
The late Senator was not only ridiculed, but axed and politically plagued by high-ranking members and fanatics of this new ruling clique under ex-Soccer Star George M. Weah. Of course, this was what she got as a payback or dividend for honestly committing her service to Mr. Weah’s CDC – a party she risked her life, family, time and resources for.
The grand conspiracy to eject or oust Lady Zico from CDC was only intended to stain her legacy. William Shakespeare was right when he said “Ingratitude is monstrous”. Indeed, it is a monster. This monster in my opinion is even more piercing than a sword, and those who often use it against humanity are only good enough to be rendered as nonentities and notorieties.
When Lady Zico was alive, CDCians disdainfully branded her as a devil and an element of reaction. All of a sudden, she has become an angel while in her grave. Sheer hypocrisy in an unquantified magnitude. Today, these betrayers have become ‘mourners’ without any form of jittery and penitence. Out of shame, they are referring to Lady Zico as a “fallen patriot” on social and electronic media. When did she become a patriot?
Let those betrayers give us a break because such penniless eulogium or counterfeit tribute only deserves public rebuke or reproof. Geraldine was never a coward neither was she a traitor. This field marshal was a bold woman who spoke her mind void of censorship, intimidation and prejudice. She was an informed, intelligent, articulate and a resourceful Legislator whose representation was ‘eximios praestanti’ meaning exceptionally outstanding.
Weep no more Lady Zico – Weep no more! Your pains are over – your troubles are gone. Those dark and distressing moments are all over. Never will you be bed-ridden from one hospital to another in search of cure. No more will your betrayers conspire to pull you down or tear you apart. Death has placed your traitors on pause. Instead of pretentiously celebrating you, let them find a new prey to castigate and feast on – for those predators shall one day be judged by history.
You had enough from this evil world. Even while on your sick bed during your final hours, you led a life of love and tender care – always smiling and sharing. Unquestionably, you were a revered stateswoman and a venerated patriot who lived for others, and not self. It is all over now. We shall no longer be opportune to hear your powerful voice. It is all over – yes, it is over for good.
We wonder why we have been struck so hard. We have no answer to this painful mystery. If we had, Lady Zico would be alive by now. This fearless floor fighter will forever be loved, remembered, and revered. Montserrado and Liberians in general will miss this noble Senator because her journey on earth was indeed worthwhile and beneficial to mankind. It was full of light and impact.
We will certainly miss this cadre, veteran and ideologue who diligently served as women presidium chair of The Vanguard Student Unification Party (SUP) and chaired a number of strategic senate committees as a Senator. We will miss a mother and a servant-leader who gave hope to THE HOPELESS and assurance to THE DISPOSSESSED. We will miss this national heroine who has a replete record of service to nation-building and peace. Sleep on, Lady Zico – sleep on! Rest forever in peace, martyr Doe-Sheriff – for your enviable legacy has already been engraved on THE MARBLE STONE of history.
100 salute Field Marshal Geraldine Doe-Sheriff as God leads your path to glory in martyrdom. As genuine mourners bid you farewell, and not betrayers, let’s now find solace in this famous quote by Robert Green “The only real ending is death. Everything else is a transition.”
In Swahili, I conclude “Wakati wasaliti wanawaomboleza” which means in English “When betrayers become mourners”. Long Live Lady Zico – Long Live SUP.
Martin K. N. Kollie is a youth and student leader, a columnist and an emerging economist who hails from Bong County. Martin is the standard bearer of the Student Unification Party (SUP).