Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh is a respected and renowned Liberian journalist and media consultant with over 13 unbroken years of professional experience. Currently a freelance and blogger, He’s Secretary General of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) since December 2013. He initially served a two-year term as Assistant Secretary General.
Danicius is former Editor-In-Chief of The Informer Newspaper (April 2006-April 2014), a United Nations Fellow, and Liberia’s first United Nantions Medal Award-winning journalist. A Christian by faith, Danicius is a Baptist and coordinates the Affairs of the Youth Department of the New Georgia Baptist Church in New Georgia Housing Estate Community. He volunteers also as Communication and Information Chairperson of the Gaye Dukpaye Community—Bardnersville Township.
A graduate of the Jimmy Jolocon High School (2000), Danicius holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Liberia and a Diploma in Journalism (International School of Journalism), while he carries dozens of certificates in journalism and communication from studies in Ghana, China, United States and Switzerland, among others. He’s aspires to earn a Master’s in Media, Peace and Conflict Resolution as well as Development Communication.
D K Sengbeh is married to beautiful Jacqueline Phocole-Sengbeh and blessed with two handsome boys: Emmanuel Nunch Sengbeh and Prosper “Messi” Sengbeh. He can be quickly reached via (+231) 886586531/777586531/777464018; firstname.lastname@example.org
On the evening of Thursday, January 5, 1978 a bouncing baby boy was born unto the union of two illiterate parents in the Liberian Capital of Monrovia. He would grow up under very difficult circumstances, survive malnourishment and prolonged illnesses. He would face the daunting challenge of struggling for survival and education at an early age in the midst of poverty. Just over three decades later, Danicius Kaihenneh Sengbeh, through the grace of God, is today a respected Liberian journalist with a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communications and Sociology. He’s now scouting for an opportunity to earn a Master’s degree in Development Communication or Media, Peace & Conflict Resolution.
Starting the Hard Way:
At the age of 8 months, my father (Blamah Kortu Kaihenneh, a mason by profession) and mother (Annie Moisema Kaihenneh, unskilled house wife) separated. This marked the beginning of my real struggle in life. My mom left me with my father and went her way in anger, and we never saw or knew each other until I was 18. Both of my parents (still alive and very old) have never told me the actual reason (s) for their parting—they have always pointed accusing fingers at each other for causing the “misunderstanding” whenever I ask them. What remains clear, however, is that their decision significantly contributed to my struggle as a child and as a young man. However, thank God they brought me forth on Earth.
After their separation, my father took me to my aunt (his elder sister). My aunt and her husband ( Gbongoma Sengbeh whose last name I bear) took me as their biological child and I never knew I had my genetic parents until I was nine in 1987, when I was taken to Monrovia and saw my father for the first time. I was initially named as his junior. I am the forth, but first of four males of my father’s seven children (the oldest is deceased). He argued that my name should be changed to that of my foster father’s (his brother-In-Law), Gbongoma Sengbeh. My name was subsequently changed from Blama Kortu Kaihenneh to Kaihenneh Sengbeh—linking me with the two families. Danicius was added later by me as my “western name”.
Early Childhood Education
The first time I ever entered a classroom was in 1985 (7 years old), but I was soon booted out of school after just a semester, when my parent could not pay the fees. I had to wait until I was 10 in 1988. I was enrolled at the Malema Public School, where I attended until the outbreak of the Liberian civil War on December 24th 1989. We walked at least 12 kilometers from where we lived (Mambo Camp #2) to school every day. School was sweet and fun, I must admit. We took our bowls and cups to school daily were we could be served cared food. We ran after each other’s while on our way back home to the extent that we never felt the length of the distance. During my first year in school I got doubled promotion: from Premier II to 2nd Grade. At 11 in 1989, I was a second grader, when the civil war began.
Beginning of Tough Times
The second phase of my real struggle came when my aunt who loved me so much traveled in 1989 to northern Liberia, Lofa County, (our original county) to visit with the old folks. Sadly, I would never see her again, but hear her shocking death news eight years later, when I am a 10th grade student. While in Lofa, rebel forces of former Liberian President Charles Taylor of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) invaded the country and cut the road from Lofa to Monrovia and the rest of the country. There was no way she could come back to us. No, never again!
Most Turbulent Journey
I continued school in 1991 as a third grader at the Guthrie Plantation School (now Sime Darby Plantation School) in Bomi. I was 14. My parents had no money to underwrite the tuition fees because the company had ceased operations. I dropped from school after I got very seriously ill for four months.
Back to School
When the 1992/93 school year started (the war era), I went back to the 3rd Grade. My new class mates as well as old ones (my seniors) welcomed me and empathized with me. By the close of the first Semester, I was promoted to the 4th Grade. I have caught my former classmates and we would end the year together. During the following academic year 1993/94, we were just about to take our 5th period test when another fighting erupted. And that was our last time in that school. It was looted and destroyed by fighting forces.
The Struggle Continues: New Era
In December 1994 I managed to travel to Monrovia along with people fleeing the new rebel incursion. I went to my late cousin, William Sengbeh, then a teacher, who registered me in school. I sat and passed the 6th Grade Exam at the E. Jonathan Goodridge Memorial High School in Bardndersville. At the end of the year I was double-promoted to 8th Grade. For the 1996/97 academic year, I enrolled at the Konuwa Elementary and Junior High School and also got double-promoted to the 10th grade as dux of the school.
I enrolled at the Jimmy Jolocon High School for my senior high education (1997-2000), from where I graduated with honor on July 16, 2000. Many days I walked to and fro school and faced daunting challenges, but actively participated in most extra curricula activities including the Quizzing Team and the Drama and Press Clubs.
Upon graduation from High School, not wanting to stop there, I enrolled at the International School of Journalism (ISJ) while waiting for the University of Liberia (UL) entrance exam results, where I had initially decided studying Agriculture and Forestry. A neighbor of ours who I had written to allow me wash and press his family’s clothes in order to pay my entrance exam fees voluntarily paid the fees and did not allow me do the work I had requested.
While I was graduating from the ISJ, the UL entrance results came out and I was successful, but I could not go to school that semester because I needed to raise money from my garden to pay my fees. When I entered the following semester, I changed my college to Mass Communication because I already had a Diploma in Journalism. However, my journey through the University would take about seven years (instead of at most four) due to instabilities (war). I would also drop from college twice due to lack of funds to pay my fees. Most scholarships were only offered on the “Who Knows You” basis, and not on academic excellence. Working as a journalist could not also rescue me because of very low salary media practitioners are paid here. However, after all these struggles, I made it on May 9, 2012, when I walked out of the University of Liberia with a Bachelor Degree in Mass Communication (Minor in Sociology).