“My Condition Can’t Hold Me Back” -Physically Challenged At PQSJ Graduation

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

Success M. Zayzay (with crutches) and fellow graduates

On April 13, 2017, the Peter Quaqua School of Journalism (PQSJ) run by the MediaAid Foundation graduated its second circle of 45 trainees on completing a nine-month course of training in journalism. The graduates include 24 females and 21 males.

Among the 21 males who walked out with diplomas was physically challenged, Success M. Zayzay, who did not allow his condition to stop him from acquiring quality diploma in journalism.

Graduate Zayzay believes that being physically challenged is no bar to education. “I am proud today walking out of the walls of Peter Quaqua School of Journalism. My condition can’t hold me back. I have to persevere and that is why I am honored as ‘Most Courageous Trainee of the year 2016/2017,” he said.

Speaking at the program, Assistant Minister for Technical Services at Ministry of Information, Cultural and Tourism, Jacob Jallah congratulated the graduates for the remarkable field they have chosen.

Min. Jallah indicated that there is no way Liberia can have a vibrant, productive, and healthy governance of the environment without the essential contribution of the media.

He said the Government of Liberia remains committed to the development of the Liberian media stating that the media is an important component to the democratic processes of the society. “The Government’s commitment to the development of free and independent media to decriminalize free speech offenses remains solid,” he emphasized.

For his part, Peter Quaqua, in whose honor the journalism training project is named, explained that this is the second circle of graduation that the school continues to impart knowledge to the next generation of journalism.

He cautioned the graduates to be careful that there will be challenges especially during these elections. “We are in an environment that most of the media are owed by politicians. They have interests and those play into elections. You have ethics and you have to exercise your ethics to the extent of education you acquired from the school,” he notified.

At the same time, the Executive Director of MediaAid Foundation, Titus Togba stated that “out of the 53 trainees shortlisted for graduation, 45 qualified for graduation. Of the total figure, 24 are females. This indicates the growing interest of young women in journalism and that 25 of the graduates are actively involved in media work, he narrated

The Vice president of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Octavin William, also graced the program.