Former Liberian presidential candidate and football legend George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change Party (CDC) says it is never too late for anyone to pursue and achieve a dream.
During the 2005 presidential election, some of Weah’s critics said he was not fit to be president because he did not have a college degree.
Last week, Weah graduated from DeVry University in Florida with a degree in Business Management.
He said he has always wanted to get a college degree, but never had the chance to do so because of his professional football career.
“We all often strive to have college degrees. Some did, some never had the opportunity and some waited until the appropriate time was afforded. So, in my case, it is something I have always strived for, but I never had the opportunity because of my [football] career. And so, what I did, I did online courses. But, after my career, I decided to go back to class because it is the right thing to do, and I am very glad, and I made my parents and even my critics proud,” he said.
Weah said his degree should serve as a lesson for the young and old that it is never too late to learn.
"I just want them to know that [you are] never too old to learn and everyone should keep their hopes alive. I know lots of kids that want to be educated, they want to have college degrees, but they don’t have that opportunity, but I think they need to keep believing in themselves that one day it will happen,” Weah said.
Weah says leadership is not about how many college degrees one has, but rather the extent to which political leaders can understand and fulfill the needs of their citizens.
“There are lots people that went into leadership and they don’t even have a college degree, but because people believe in them, they show good leadership skills. So, it’s left with the Liberian people [to determine] whether, because I have a college degree, I can be leader of that country. But, I know that I am a good leader, and I am waiting for the opportunity to one day lead that country,” Weah said.
In the 2005 presidential election, Weah came second to then candidate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But, in this year’s election, scheduled for October, Weah will stand as the vice presidential candidate for his CDC party, with Ambassador Winston Tubman as the presidential candidate.
Weah says Tubman has the leadership experience to unite all Liberians.
“You know one thing I learned in school, in my business 303 [class], sometime you can be a kingmaker. So, what I tried to do is come up with [a] strategy. Yes, I’m the father of CDC but, at the end of the day, what is the best strategy for the CDC to take leadership. We were looking for somebody that we can work with, somebody that believes not only in the young people, but somebody that believes in the entire country, somebody that can unite the country. And, the only person that I think people would believe in was Winston Tubman,” Weah says.
He said he will soon start his Master’s Degree program. He also thanked the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia for giving visas to all those he invited from Liberia to attend his graduation.