Around the world, fans of pop star Michael Jackson are mourning his
unexpected death on Thursday. It is a shocking day for everyone in Liberia where Jackson's
music and style were much loved.
Opening with a Kiswahili chant,
Michael Jackson's song "Liberian Girl" was the ninth and final single
released from his 1987 album Bad. Though dedicated to actress
Elizabeth Taylor, it naturally found a big audience in Liberia.
sang music dedicated to our Liberian women for their commitment, their
beauty," said University of Liberia student Doko Kollie. Kollie says
news of Jackson's death spread like a dry brush fire.
Jackson has left a legacy, especially his dance style and his way of
singing, said Kollie. "There are a lot people who admire him for the
way he sang, the way he danced even up to today. People are kind of
thinking on what really caused his death. There are a lot of people who
are very shocked about what happened. If you go into the villages, the
name Michael Jackson has been spread all around there."
Liberian student Roland Doh says he first admired Jackson when he saw him dancing on television.
we go to parties or shows, when somebody is dancing like Michael
Jackson, the whole place is really pumped," he said. "Because his way
of dancing, when it comes to Africa, people admire it the same way he
danced in America."
Francis Kollie says it is a sad day for everyone in Liberian who loved Michael Jackson.
back in the early '70s, when I was a young boy I used to watch him on
the Jackson Five, that was a television series," said Kollie. "He used
to be one of the youngest and more-hip brothers. And I used to be
carried away by his songs, especially by one title called 'ABC.' I used
to listen to that a whole lot and a love that song."
Kollie says people who loved his music were shocked by his death.
you know, the social climate in this country is so hard. And everybody
is being kind of downhearted to hear such shocking news because people
didn't expect that Michael would have died so soon," said Kollie.
"Because especially when it was being said that Michael was trying to
make a comeback, and people had hoped that he would live and come back
once again and hit the musical scene."
The video for "Liberian
Girl" assembles some of what were then Hollywood's biggest names on the
set of a colonial-era movie about Africa. A cast that includes Danny
Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Quincy Jones, Steven Spielberg, John Travolta,
Billy Dee Williams, and Jackson's chimpanzee Bubbles, all wonder where
the pop star is until he reveals in the final scene that he has been
above them filming the video all along.