In Dimeh: A ‘Creek of Life’

first_imgDimeh, twenty minutes away from Duala, Monrovia, is small, but big in its own right. One can walk through the town in about fifteen minutes. However, a tour of the same town, through the lenses of history, cultural heritage and age-old tradition, could take the better part of two hours. No doubt, the town has fought hard to maintain its claim to fame over they years, in spite of not being officially recognized by any statutory power (i.e. Government of Liberia) as a ‘cultural destination’. Gradually, the town leadership, its people and friends of the town are working to ensure that Dimeh becomes a model of what a cultural destination should be. When you hear about Dimeh, usually in the same sentence one would hear the name, Bai T. Moore, Liberia’s late-great literary icon, who wrote many novels, the most famous of them, “Murder in the Cassava Patch. And then one might hear the name, Peter Ballah, another great practitioner ofLiberian culture, an actor, comedian and a protégé of the late Moore. Both are buried side by side, in majestically designed tombs atop a hill on the side of the town. But that is not all; there are certain amazing aspects of the town that render it somehow enchanted, which many do not know. One of them is a creek ‘that gives life,’ we are told. The creek and its secret go far back to when the town was founded more than a century ago (1898 or thereabout) and its ancestors built a strong tie with the creek. From the story narrated to LIB Life by Dimeh Town Chief Ansumana Varney and Jenneh Rogers, Chairlady of the Women of the town, the shallow, clear-water creek not only provides water for drinking and other domestic use, it posses a natural, aesthetic serenity. But what many do not know about the creek is the supernatural effect it is said to have in the town. It is believed that the creek answers prayers for people who want children, as well as many other heart-strung desires when the prayer is offered, without any ritual sacrifice. “Women from this town and other people from different areas visit the creek when they cannot give birth. It is our tradition and has been working for us from the days of our ancestors. You do not need to make any ritual sacrifice, but just offer a prayer,” Ma Jenneh Rogers said.Narrating her personal experience, Ma Jenneh, who is also a niece of the late Bai T. Moore, noted that when she got married it was difficult for her to give birth, but her parents took her to the creek and offered prayers she was able to conceive. “My first child I had was from the creek and she is now living abroad. My daughter now works as a doctor and I’m very grateful to the creek,” she said.LIB Life asked Ma Jenneh if there was another side to the creek apart from giving life and granting the heart’s desires. Her reply was a very encouraging, “Yes, there is!” “This one may be hard to believe but it happened for real. When the Charles Taylor war drove us from this town, we ran away into the bush and left our property. The spirit came from the creek and drove the rebels from the town. “After the town had been cleared, there was a medicine man who came from Buutuo, Nimba County and met a boy alone in the town and asked the boy to inform the townspeople to return.“I was the first to return. That day, I met the medicine man and he told me that it was our ancestors had chased the rebels away and wanted us to return. “Before I returned to the bush to inform the others, I visited the creek and offered some prayer asking that the spirit should stop coming to town because we are coming back. Before I could take my leave, I drank the water, washed my face and bathed my grandson, who is now in England,” she added emphatically.Another side to this account is that no one is allowed to fish in the creek and even when washing, if a soap slips and falls between a split rock, nobody should dare put their hands in there to retrieve it.Joining us, Ansumana Varney, Town Chief of Dimeh, said it is the elderly people’s responsibility to take any one who wishes to go there and offer a word of prayer to the creek and the prayer will be answered, although “not immediately.”Moreover there is a rule: No one is allowed to place a baby on his or her back to carry it to the creek; otherwise, when that individual returns to the town the child will not live.Interestingly, as LIB Life moved about the creek, Town Chief Varney said if a man wishes to offer a prayer he will have to wash his face four times; for women, it is three times. “But remember it during the washing of the face that the prayer is offered.”“From the day we were born, we have been going by this tradition and no one can challenge it. It is very true,” Chief Varney added.According to him, during festivals there are special times for people to go to the creek to offer prayers. “However, when the women go to offer prayers, the men are not allowed there,” and vice versa. “If you challenge it, it will be your end.“I have seen it,” elder Varney said. “There was time when the women were in session and a few men from the town went to see, but they did not live after they returned.”Dimeh is a tiny town probably with 250 inhabitants, no store, a two-room school building and a women’s social and business club.Despite the perennial dry season in Liberia, the creek remains clean and clear and never runs dry. And no matter how blazing the sun is in the surrounding area, the creek remains cool.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

F.C. Barcelona name ex-Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde as manager

first_imgBarcelona named former Athletic Bilbao coach Ernesto Valverde on Monday as the successor to Luis Enrique and he will take charge of the La Liga runners-up on a two-year contract with the option of a third.Valverde, who will be officially unveiled on Thursday, played for Barcelona as a forward between 1988 and 1990 under Johan Cruyff and is one of many of the Dutchman’s former pupils to have turned to coaching upon retiring from playing.”He’s very happy very excited, he has the ability, experience and knowledge for the job,” Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu told a news conference.”He loves youth football and he has the right style to coach this club and knows how the club works. He has a high work rate, he is passionate about football and interested in working with the latest technology.”Bartomeu thanked Luis Enrique, who rounded off his three-year tenure at Barcelona on Saturday by beating Alaves 3-1 to win the King’s Cup for a third year in a row, the ninth trophy he led the club to.”We want to thank Luis Enrique for the work he did in this time, he was excellent in these three years. A great coach and Barcelona man is leaving us but the doors of the Nou Camp will always be open to him,” he said.The president, however, said Luis Enrique’s last season in charge, which finished with only the King’s Cup in the trophy cabinet, was a disappointment.”We expected more from this season, we have diagnosed what went wrong and we are very demanding of ourselves,” he added.advertisement”We were not satisfied, neither were the players, nor the coaches and directors. But now we are beginning a new era.”Valverde, 53, began his coaching career with Athletic Bilbao’s youth set-up and is the Basque club’s longest serving coach, overseeing 308 games over six years in two different spells.As well as qualifying Athletic for Europe in five of his six years with the club, who only pick players from the Basque country, he ended a 31-year wait for a trophy by leading them to the 2015 Spanish Super Cup, beating Barcelona 5-1 on aggregate.He also coached and played for Barca’s city rivals Espanyol, reaching the 2007 UEFA Cup final while in charge although losing to Sevilla on penalties, and won three Greek league titles and two domestic Cups with Olympiakos Piraeus.Valverde brings two members of his coaching staff at Athletic to Barcelona, his assistant of 15 years Jon Aspiazu and fitness coach Jose Antonio Pozanco.Luis Enrique rounded off his three-year tenure at Barcelona on Saturday by beating Alaves 3-1 to win the King’s Cup for a third year in a row, the ninth trophy he led the club to.Valverde will be thrown in at the deep end with his first competitive game in charge being against Barca’s arch-rivals and La Liga champions Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at the Nou Camp in August.Before then the team will go on a pre-season tour of the United States with friendlies against Real, Manchester United and Juventus.last_img read more