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The Warlord, the Super Model and Some Dirty looking Pebbles

When news broke that ex President Taylor had given diamonds to super model Naomi Campbell at a Nelson Mandela charity dinner for children back in 1997, the first thought that came to me was “what was Mr. Taylor doing there in the first place?” I could not just put the two names (Taylor and Mandela) together and their associated symbolism. This was not a Bokassa or Aidid charity dinner or a Khaddafi commando training luncheon but a Nelson Mandela charity dinner especially for CHILDREN. I thought about our Liberian children that Mr. Taylor had drugged and programed to kill, rape, maim and plunder.

Right away the picture of a red-eye “small soldier” weighed down by a Russian made AK-47 and spewing profanity came to my mind. I pictured the rebel kid with the neck tie whose photo went viral on the internet, then many other gun tooting kids whose innocence were exploited. Here was Mr. Taylor who has murdered so many children and their parents or caused them to be orphans, drug addicts, and handicaps attending a dinner for Children. Mr. Taylor had turned his own Junior boy Chuckie Taylor into a devil inflicting pains on so many for fun – like father, like son. I could not stop wondering about Charles Taylor, Nelson Mandela, Charity and Children for the rest of the weeks the story was carried.

Whatever criteria were used to determine who should attend such dinner, Mr. Taylor was there. When all the guests arrived from across the globe, there were among the attendees Mr. Mandela himself, a super model named Naomi Campbell and Mr. Charles Taylor, not surprisingly, with some dirty looking pebbles. The thing with the devil as one pastor advised, is that he may put on clean clothes and sit in the midst of presidents, queens, kings and super models. He may succeed in feining prestigious but he always got some dirt and on the lookout for someone to whom he may pass on his filth. As it would turn, Mr. Taylor would give his dirty pebbles to the super model as gift, for what, not even the judge at the war crime court could find out.

The story of diamonds and South Africa is not new. Long ago, European sailors going around the World stopped at the Cape of Good Hope in what became South Africa to refuel their ships and refresh themselves. Later they would discover diamonds and remain there up till today. For the years that followed, the Europeans ruled by imposing a rigid apartheid system so as to keep the diamonds for themselves and starve the owners. That system worked for decades until the land owners rose up to oppose the criminal system the strangers had erected. In the process of overthrowing such diabolical system, many lives were lost, properties burned, thousands driven out, their leader would go to jail and suffer for 25 years. But the people kept the heat on and got the attention of the whole World. God first and the power of the people second, the leader was freed and became the first Black president of South Africa from 1994-1999. Instead of responding with vengeance for those who had treated him wrongly, he gave back peace, tolerance, love and forgiveness. It was this man Nelson Mandela in whose honor a charity dinner for children was held and amongst the guest was a man whose cruelty surpassed that of the apartheid leaders. Could it be similar to an unusual occurrence as recorded in Job 1:6 where an uninvited guest appeared? The story speaks of one of those awkward moments that even today confound many Bible scholars when “one day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them.” Satan with the angels and in the presence of God? You better believe it; the unexpected still happen.

It was also in this same place, South Africa, almost 20 years back, a British musician named Paul Salmons would collaborate with the local artists to sing of “diamonds on the soles of her shoes.” Years later, South Africa will make it illegal to possess uncut diamonds like the ones given to the super model.

Paul sang these lines about the poor boy and the rich girl:

She's a rich girl
She don't try to hide it
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

He's a poor boy
Empty as a pocket
Empty as a pocket with nothing to lose
Sing Ta na na
Ta na na na
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes

People say she's crazy
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Well that's one way to lose these
Walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

The warlord had certainly robbed, drugged, hacked... a poor boy to give diamond to a rich girl with diamond on the sole of her shoes but she is not crazy. She only found them as dirty looking pebbles over a decade later. Yeah right!

Giving gifts to someone you like as a means of wooing that person especially after a “flirtatious” encounter is nothing new or out of the ordinary. Even animals do that. There is nothing wrong with it either but for this gift, it was dirty and stained with the blood of so many Liberians, Sierra Leonians and other nationals. It was for these precious stones that many have been maimed -short sleeves and long sleeves and a lot more sent to their early graves. These were the uncut diamonds, outlawed in South Africa aka blood diamonds that the whole World says no one should buy, sell or possess. No wonder, the super model calls them dirty looking pebbles. TO BE CONTIINUED.
See video of Campbell's testimony here.

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