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Meet Weesay, the Blind and Homeless Oil Can Guitar Master

Wesseh Freeman, a.k.a Weesay, became an internet sensation last December for his badass strumming skills. His unique handmade guitar – cobbled together from an old stick, a paint can, and three used strings – caught the attention of brothers Nikhil and Sachin Ramchandani, the owners of O! Chips, a potato chips company in Liberia. So they asked him to write a jingle for their brand, and posted a video on the company’s YouTube channel. The two-and-a-half minute clip instantly went viral.

Weesay, 37, is blind and homeless. But that hasn’t affected his musical abilities in the least. The man is truly gifted, and that’s evident just from the guitar he managed to fashion for himself. According to Guitar World, “His frets are made from bike spokes or coat hangers and are apparently movable; yet he has a mastery of intonation. This instrument should be completely out of tune…but it’s not! Weesay plays it like a boss.”

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The Real Planet of the Apes – The Liberian Island Inhabited by Chimpanzees Formerly Used in Animal Testing

Believe it or not, a real-life Planet of the Apes does exist in an isolated area located deep in the jungles of West Africa. It’s home to dozens of retired laboratory chimpanzees who were at one point used for medical research. These chimps are practically heroes – they’ve managed to survive disease, two civil wars and numerous medical tests and experiments.

The apes are former residents of The Liberian Institute of Biomedical Research (Vilab II) which played a pivotal role in developing treatments for ailments such as Hepatitis during the 1970s. It was shut down in the mid-2000s due to growing pressure from animal rights activists, and the apes were transferred to a remote Liberian island in the middle of Farmington River, to live a life of quiet retirement.

The island – known to locals as ‘Monkey Island’ – is home to over 60 chimps who only allow familiar caretakers to approach its shores. Their story was covered in a short documentary film called Island of the Apes made to promote the 2014 film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

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The Daily Talk – Liberia’s Blackboard Newspaper

The Daily Talk is a unique news medium published on a blackboard in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital city. As most Liberians lack the money and means to access conventional mass media, this chalk-written daily “newspaper” is the most widely read report in Monrovia.

In the Western world, many are already talking about the death of written media, and the coming age of online information, but in some countries, access to old-fashion newspapers is still a thing of the future. Many Monrovians can’t afford to buy real newspapers or electricity to access the internet, so Alfred J. Sirleaf, the founder of this blackboard newspaper had to come up with a way to bring information to the people in an inexpensive way. He believes a well-informed people is the key to Liberia’s rebirth so ever since he started his unique venture  on Tubman Boulevard, in 2000, in central Monrovia, he’s been providing valuable news every single day. For local news, he relies on a team of volunteer reporters who come to him with stories, while for international events he goes to an internet cafe to access sites like the BBC, because he doesn’t own a computer. Then, in the newsroom, a small wooden shed attached to the back of his blackboard, he updates The Daily Talk with chalk. He’s the editor, the designer and sole employee of the unique newspaper, yet he manages to get his message across.

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