TunesLiberia founder graduates cum laude from Stella Maris
Monrovia – Placing Liberian music on the map isn’t the only thing Elvis Juasemai, founder of TunesLiberia, wants to be known and remembered for.
On August 30, 2019, Juasemai, 24, bagged a degree (cum laude) in Biology from the Mother Pattern College of the Stella Maris Polytechnic University.
TunesLiberia is the largest online repository of Liberian music. Elvis was amongst over 300 students the university graduated over a month ago when Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, served as the commencement speaker.
“It’s been a difficult journey attending Mother Pattern College and managing TunesLiberia,” says Elvis. “There were so many struggles experienced to reach this milestone ,but I thank God, my parents (Mr. & Mrs. Sundiata S. Juasemai),my beautiful wife, Mrs. Natheline F. Juasemai, siblings, family members, friends, Tunesliberia team and everybody for the level of support you showing to me and the youth community of Liberia.”
He added that juggling between school and managing the musical platform was a herculean task which took a bit of toll on his education but he remained resolute throughout.
“A lot of sacrifices were made but it was for the sole purpose of empowering the young generations of talents (creatives) to opportunities for them to live off their art and be changemakers in Liberia.”
He said his goal now is to scale the company up. “TunesLiberia is going to make sure we reach every talent in every community and work towards making them achieve their dreams.”
For Elvis, high achievements have always marred his life. He graduated valedictorian of his class at the Soltiamon Christian School System in 2013. He was the only student who passed the first WASCCE trial exams at a time when former President Sirleaf classified the education system of the country as a mess.
He says the next step in his endeavors is to become a medical doctor and pursue a specialization in neurosurgery. “After graduating with BSc. in Biology (Cum Laude), the next thing for me is to pursue my Medical degree and work toward been a Neurosurgeon a few years from now.”
Despite these achievements, Elvis continues to be imbued by humility as he seeks opportunities to grow Tunes Liberia. He’s currently an entrepreneurship fellow at Smart Liberia, a creative hub for Liberian youth ensconced on the outskirt of Monrovia.
“I was not at all surprised when I saw that he graduated with honors. He is so humble—he didn’t even mention that he was an exceptional student,” said James Kiawon, chief strategist at Smart Liberia.
“From our meetings and just bumping into him at SMART Liberia, one thing is clear: Elvis works very hard. So no surprise that he combines all of these and deliver exceptional results.”
Kiawon said he bonded with Elvis immediately during their first meeting, following a Facebook friend request with a message that he (Kiawoin) was recommended as a person who could provide insights into growing TunesLiberia.
After much chitchat over about Paul Farmer, healthcare delivery in Liberia, their vested interest in medicine and improving the health systems in Liberia and a mutual love for fading Hipco legend, Lucky Buckay, James said he was “amazed by his passion, vision, energy, and superhuman optimism.”
“This is our core belief at SMART Liberia, that we can form a coalition of entrepreneurial and values-driven leaders to drive change in Liberia. I think Elvis is destined for big things across multiple sectors. I am not sure I am allowed to mention some of his big ideas, but when they materialize, we are in for a treat.”
For Elvis, this belief is driven and deeply rooted in his mantra that creativity abounds in the country but opportunities aren’t.
“Life itself is unpredictable and hard but I urge every Liberian youth to find purpose and work toward the rebuilding of Liberia. And the government of Liberia, foreign partners, companies and others, I plead with you to keep making opportunities for young Liberians in all sectors.”