Wolmer’s Boys will go in search of their first Manning Cup title in more than 20 years when they square off against three-time defending champions Jamaica College at the National Stadium this evening at 6 o’clock. Both teams scored easy wins in the semi-finals last weekend and today’s battle, between two of the island’s top traditional schools, should be close. JC welcomed back talented Tyreek Magee from injury last weekend and he will be a key man for them today. Magee who recently attended a Digicel Kickstart camp at Manchester City in England, was very impressive in last week’s match. He dictated play in midfield and he must be kept quiet today if Wolmer’s hope to dethrone JC. Also expected to shine for JC are Ronaldo Brown, captain Oquin Robinson and leading forward Duhaney Williams. Wolmer’s have come on by leaps and bounds in the latter part of the season and look the team to beat after they lifted the FLOW Super Cup on November 12. Big striker Alphonson Gooden has been leading the way up front while captain Jahwani Hinds has been a tower of strength in defence. Rivaldo English and Andrew Daley are two other key players for Wolmer’s. Wolmer’s coach Vassell Reynolds says his team is bursting with confidence from the FLOW Super Cup victory and their sights are firmly set on the Manning Cup. “I think we will win but it’s two good teams and we will have to go with our A game,” he said. “I told people even before the Super Cup that since I have been coaching I have never seen this level of confidence amongst my players. And since we won the Super Cup and the (Manning Cup) semi-final the confidence has risen,” he told The Gleaner. Reynolds admitted that their defence has been their strength but said they are just as good in attack as they have scored 45 goals in 14 Manning Cup matches. ” … But this is a final and both teams will be motivated to give their best, as it is the Manning Cup at stake. But we need it more than them … I think we will give our all and I am certain that with a little luck the Manning Cup will be at Heroes Circle,” he stated. Many have argued that Miguel Coley’s JC have not faced any of the tournament’s big guns to date this season, and that Wolmer’s are more battle ready but Coley is not perturbed and is just happy to be in the final. “Winning the Manning Cup is always on our agenda and being in the final gives us the best chance to go out and achieve our objective. Before the semi-finals people were saying Holy Trinity are a big team, a tricky team and how they were going to defeat us but we crossed that hurdle . “We realise that this (JC) team is under-appreciated but we respect every team. We have a final in front of us and in terms of a big team, we have Wolmer’s in front of us and that’s the most important thing,” he commented. He noted that Wolmer’s will be on a high after their Super Cup triumph and says full respect must be shown to them. “They are good competitors, they are in the final, we respect them. They have won a competition so far, so we have to give respect to that as well. But we know our strength, we know our determination and what we are all about… So it’s about character, determination and the whole Jamaica College product,” he concluded.
Liberians are again adding “insult to injury” by showing ingratitude to 36 men, who were hired to cremate corpses during the Ebola crisis in 2014. These young men, all of whom reside in communities along the Marshall road in Margibi County, are complaining of being stigmatized in their communities, thereby making life unbearable for them.The Liberian government, through the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS), hired them to perform one of the riskiest tasks during the deadly Ebola virus outbreak in 2014. The men were posted at the Indian Community-owned crematorium in Boys Town, where thousands of Liberians and a small number of foreign nationals, who died during the heat of the outbreak, were cremated (burnt). Of the nearly 5,000 who died during the Ebola crisis in Liberia, more than 3,000 were cremated by these men. The cremation was necessary in order to break the chain of transmission as more and more Liberians were being infected, and most subsequently died. According to experts, the body of an Ebola victim is very infectious and anyone touching it without sealed personal protection equipment (PPE) could contract the virus, whose symptoms take two to 21 days to manifest. Now these 36 men who risked their lives and were deployed in the direct line of fire in order to help save their Motherland and their people are now being stigmatized by some of the same people they worked day and night to save. Joaquin Sendolo, one of our reporters, recently met with these men in their communities and they all complained that because they were associated with the crematorium, they are now branded as “Ebola dead body burners.” Because of this, they are being stigmatized by their communities. Sadly, according to them, the stigma has also extended to their immediate families, including children.“When we walk in the community, people point at us and remark that we are Ebola body burners. As a result, people won’t give us contracts to help us make a living. I have decided to tutor my two daughters at home because when they go to school, friends often tell them that their father burned Ebola bodies and this can play on them. Moreover, they are not allowed to play with other children,” Franklin McCathy, one of the affected young men, lamented.As a result of the stigma, McCarthy further said, his wife has left him and he now feels miserable.Another of McCarthy’s friends, Otis Torbor, who is a builder, told our reporter that he has four children but at the moment he cannot find work as a builder in their community, which is now a developing community with many ongoing construction jobs. All of this is due to the new label that is now tagged on him and others as “Ebola body burners.”Like the other two, J.T. Josiah said he was hired by the Liberian government to cremate corpses of Ebola victims in order to prevent the disease from spreading, but afterward he was stigmatized. Josiah said wherever he goes in the community people call him ‘Ebola dead body burner,’ making it difficult for him to associate with neighbors and other friends.“It is difficult for us to find contracts here to earn a living,” he complained.This stigmatization is not good for us as a people, who needed help so badly that our international friends also had to risk their own lives to come and help us combat the deadly virus. When they came, they didn’t stigmatize us. They helped us get rid of the virus. The scourge is over and all other prohibited activities including handshaking and large gatherings, some of which were not allowed during the height of the outbreak, have resumed. The international community spent millions of their taxpayers’ monies to help us fight the virus. They also spent their peoples’ monies to educate us that when a person survives Ebola, he or she no longer poses any risk of infecting us, least to say those who didn’t contract the virus at all, even though they worked with Ebola victims. So, every Liberian needs to know and understand that stigmatizing our brothers only further drives a wedge and alienates a segment of our population who, instead, should be embraced and thanked for their care, compassion and heroism. Let us stop the stigma.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)