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Headline News from Liberia

Bank Tellers or Porn Stars - Circulation of Sexually Explicit Images Alarming In Liberia | Print |  E-mail
Written by Thomas Kai Toteh   
Sunday, 20 June 2010 12:34

Once again, sexually explicit photos of a group of Liberian women believed to be in the employ of ECO Bank as tellers are circulating in Monrovia and on the Internet. They were employed as bank tellers. They were expected to serve as role models in the society. On their break time, they began to view porno because they had free access to the Internet at the bank. After viewing porno on the Internet, they called a party to imitate what they saw on the Internet. They failed to realize that those they saw on the Internet live in bigger, advanced world-where pornographic activities are closely monitored, and porn stars are not easily recognized in public appearances.

 

Porn stars in a bigger world live in neighborhoods where no one cares who their next neighbors are. In Liberia, you live in a neighborhood where everybody knows one another. If you disguised to go on Broad Street, you may slightly avoid detection. In your neighborhood, you will be recognized no matter how long you avoid detection-even if you moved to another neighborhood as finger pointing is a Liberian way of life. As beautiful as the so-called bank tellers/porn stars are, decent men could make them wives in decent homes. However, which Liberian man would want to keep a porn star as a wife? These are the realities Liberian porn stars and wannabes must take into consideration.

 

Yet they gave their porno photos to their friends who gave them to their friends and widely circulated them throughout the city, including market places where kids under 18 usually go to sell cool aid, cold water, and other produce.

 

The wave of pornographic activities in a tiny country of only 3.5 million people struggling to revive its social and cultural orientation from the ruin of 14-year-old war is alarming.

The circulation of pornographic photos of a former top government official in the early days of the ruling Unity Party Government around various communities in Liberia and on the Internet received mixed reactions from Liberians in all walks of life.

Almost all Liberians frowned on the official for his reckless, unprofessional, and irresponsible behavior while others frowned on the media and individual Liberians for circulating images harmful to children and expose them to deviant sexual practice.

 

Earlier this year, a man photographed him and his fiancée sexual act and circulated the images to the public. Again, children under age were exposed to those images. There were other porno incidents not reported but circulated via cell phones. Some argued that because at least 75% of Liberian children are vulnerable due to extreme poverty, these images are likely to fall in their hands in the market places and as such, they get an extremely dangerous message from pornographers.

 

Like the first incident involving an ex-government official, those pornographic images circulating in Monrovia belong to people in their mid and late 20s and 30s-who could be mothers of school-age children.

 

Let the appropriate authority of government be aware that children often imitate what they see, read, or hear. Our children are yet to recover from incidents of rape and other violent images of the war.  Exposing our children to pornography does not only prompt them to act out sexually violent against younger, smaller, and more vulnerable children, it would destroy the future of Liberia that everyone is struggling to build.

 

In Nigeria where a moving industry is growing, movies are carefully censored by government to avoid release of sexually explicit images on screen. The movie industry in Ghana and the Ghanaian government follow suit. Harsher measures must be taken in Liberia to avoid the reckless circulation of x-rated materials such as DVDs, magazines, and etc in and around the country.

 

Whether Liberia is ready for pornography or not, let government, churches, social and community organizations, and individuals join forces to fight against the growing pornographic activities in the country. Not only are these materials getting into the wrong hands, they are alien to the social fabric and orientation of our African society.