Is a brutal former warlord in Liberia a 'king-maker'?

By Susan Owensby - RFI
Liberia Is a brutal former warlord in Liberia a 'king-maker'?

This week on The Sound Kitchen you'll hear the answer to the question about Liberia's presidential elections. There's “The Listener's Corner”, Erwan Rome's “Music from Erwan”, and of course, the new quiz question, so click on the “Play” button above and enjoy! 

Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday – here on our website, or wherever you get your podcasts. You'll hear the winner's names announced and the week's quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you've grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and listen every week.

Erwan and I are busy cooking up special shows with your music requests, so get them in! Send your music requests to [email protected]  Tell us why you like the piece of music, too – it makes it more interesting for us all!

Be sure you check out our wonderful podcasts!

In addition to the breaking news articles on our site, with in-depth analysis of current affairs in France and across the globe, we have several podcasts that will leave you hungry for more.

There's Paris Perspective, Spotlight on France, and of course, The Sound Kitchen. We have an award-winning bilingual series – an old-time radio show, with actors (!) to help you learn French, called Les voisins du 12 bis. And there is the excellent International Report, too.

As you see, sound is still quite present in the RFI English service. Keep checking our website for updates on the latest from our team of journalists. You never know what we'll surprise you with!

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Teachers, take note! I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write and let me know. The address is [email protected]  If you would like to donate stamps and postcards, feel free! Our address is listed below. 

Another idea for your students: Br. Gerald Muller, my beloved music teacher from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, has been writing books for young adults in his retirement – and they are free! There is a volume of biographies of painters and musicians called Gentle Giants, and an excellent biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., too. They are also a good way to help you improve your English – that's how I worked on my French, reading books which were meant for young readers – and I guarantee you, it's a good method for improving your language skills. To get Br. Gerald's free books, click here. 

Independent RFI English Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni ([email protected]) from our Listener Relations department in all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me ([email protected]) when you write to her so that I know what is going on, too. NB: You do not need to send her your quiz answers! Email overload!

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There's a Facebook page for members of the general RFI Listeners Club, too. Just click on the link and fill out the questionnaire, and you can connect with your fellow Club members around the world. Be sure you include your RFI Listeners Club membership number (most of them begin with an A, followed by a number) in the questionnaire, or I will have to click “Decline”, which I don't like to do!

This week's quiz: On 28 October, I asked you a question about the first round of polls in Liberia's presidential elections. The incumbent, George Weah, won 43.8 percent of the vote; his challenger, Joseph Boakai, pulled in 43.4 percent. To win the presidency in Liberia, a candidate must win more than 50 percent of the votes.

You were to consult RFI English journalist Melissa Chemam's article “Liberia's election set for run-off in tightest race since end of civil war” in which she wrote about candidate Joseph Boakai's alliance with an influential figure in the key county of Nimba, and send me the name of that "influential figure".

The answer is: The former warlord and senator Prince Johnson. Johnson had supported Weah in the last election but flipped to Boakai this time around.

The second round of the polls was held on 14 November. Joseph Boakai, with 50.64 percent of the vote, is the new president of Liberia. He will be sworn into office on 22 January 2024.

In addition to the quiz question, there was the bonus question, suggested by Alan Holder from Britain's Isle of Wight: “What frightens you the most? What steps have you taken (if any) to conquer this fear?”

Do you have a bonus question idea? Send it to us!
The winners are: RFI Listeners Club member Omoefe Onoriobe from Houston, Texas in the USA. Omoefe is also the winner of this week's bonus question.  Congratulations Omoefe!

Also on the list of lucky winners this week is Saleem Akhtar Chadhar, the president of the RFI Seven Stars Radio Listeners Club in District Chiniot, Pakistan, and Ras Franz Manko Ngogo, the president of the Kemogemba RFI Club in Tarime, Mare, Tanzania.

Rounding out the list of winners this week are RFI Listeners Club member Karuna Kanta Pal from West Bengal, India, and RFI English listener Ripa bin Mokles from Bogura, Bangladesh.

Congratulations winners!
Here's the music you heard on this week's programme: The Harpsichord Sonata in A Major by Domenico Scarlatti, performed by Igor Kipnis; “The Flight of the Bumblebee” by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov; “The Cakewalk” from Children's Corner by Claude Debussy, performed by the composer, and “Un Douceur violente” by Jacques de Gallot, performed by lutenist Anthony Bailes. 

This week's question ... you must listen to the show to participate.  After you've listened to the show, listen to Jessica Phelan's report on the Spotlight on France podcast No 103, or refer to her article Albert Londres, unflinching reporter who inspired France's top journalism prize” to help you with the answer. 

You have until 25 December to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 30 December podcast. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answers to:
[email protected]
Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux
By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile phone. Dial your country's international access code, or “ + ”, then  33 6 31 12 96 82. Don't forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize, click here.

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or form your own official RFI Club, click here