This is the first in our series of interviews with bloggers from Ceasefire Liberia, previously featured here on Blogs of the World.
First, a quick introduction – where do you live and what do you do when you aren’t blogging?
I’m Nat Bayjay, a proud Liberian by nationality. I live in Monrovia, Liberia. I’m a journalist by profession and I work for the most Liberian-read online news source called FrontPageAfrica. I’m also the blog manager of CeaseFireLiberia.
The second part of the question is difficult to say becuz I spend most of my time on the internet. But when I’m not blogging, I’m making researches on stories to make follow-up and during very less busy time, I watch European soccer matches on TV.
How long have you been managing Ceasefire Liberia? What are your greatest achievements with the site?
I’ve been managing CeaseFire Liberia for one year now. My greatest achievements are helping CeaseFire Liberia to let its many readers know about happenings in Liberia via stories I’ve been writing ranging from politics to social and even human-interest and cultural stories, as well as helping to recruit some bloggers for the site who write voluntarily, tirelessly and committedly for the site.
Is it hard to recruit bloggers for Ceasefire Liberia?
Yes, to some extend it is difficult to recruit bloggers for the site because everyone nowadays wants to be paid or compensated for whatever contribution he/she makes to whatever projects/initiatives. A lot of my colleagues who I try to recruit soon give up as soon as they realize that they won’t get pay or compensation for their works; however, it’s amazing how some of them continue to sacrifice just as I have.
At Ceasefire Liberia you are twelve bloggers in total, but no women. What do you see as the main reasons for that?
[please don’t think I am criticising with this question! I know it is something you have worked on]
No, I in no way feel criticized for this question. As a matter of fact, it is very important that you included it.
It is not that no Liberian female is willing to blog. On the contrary, some of them really want to be a part of the exciting blogging world but are experiencing some hindrances like the lack of gadgets (camera, computer, among others) and have little or no access to internet facilities. Domestic internet is not affordable for the average Liberian and commerical internet is not affordable for most except a few who usually take advantage of such at their respective places of work, affiliation, and so on. A few Liberian women continue to express interest.
What do you love about Liberia?
What I really do love about Liberia is its people who are so quick to put the past behind them and move ahead despite a few of them whose actions depict the contrary.
What’s a typical day for you?
A typical day for me is to awake as early as 4:30am to do some reading or work, leave home by 6:30am. In most instances, I drink tea or eat oats or corn-maize meal for breakfast, but there’s nothing specific about the kind of breakfast eaten becuase I sometimes eat twice a day or sometimes thrice.
The rest of the day is spent either blogging, searching for news among others and returning home between 9:30pm to 10:30pm.
What one thing do you want the world to know about Liberia?
One thing the world needs to know about Liberia is about the scars left behind by the 14-years civil war.
Such scars include the tramautic conditions as well as the physical ones. Others which are very important too include the ever-slowing education system of the post-conflict nation and the lack of opportunities for many to pursue higher education due to financial constraints.
Update: Rising Voices also interviewed Nat about his work with Ceasefire Liberia. Read it here.
About the authorLucy