Liberia: All-Child Cast Performs Gbagba and Jaadeh: The Stage Play based on Robtel NeajaiPailey’s anti-corruption books


Paynesville – Flomo Theater Inc and the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption Center jointly produced a stage play adaptation of two anti-corruption children’s books written by Robtel NeajaiPailey. 

Gbagba and Jaadeh: The Stage Play was performed at the Paynesville City Hall on 5 August by Liberian children trained by Flomo Theater for over a year. The all-child cast acted out how corruption and integrity coexist in Liberia and how children can grow into good citizens free of corruption.

According to Pailey, she embarked on this journey in 2013 when she wrote the first book Gbagba, which means corruption in Bassa, followed in 2019 by its sequel Jaadeh!, which means integrity in Bassa. Both books were illustrated by Chase Walker and published by One Moore Book. The sequel was translated into Bassa by Amos Gbaa. Pailey said that she wrote the books to “start a national conversation with Liberian children about what it means to be accountable to oneself, one’s community, one’s nation.” 

In addition to her children’s books, Pailey has also authored the academic monograph Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia. She is Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.