Liberia: Rep. Munah Pelham Buried with Honor Near Father

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MULBAH MORLU: “Munah was a fighter, died a fighter and remains a fighter even in death as her thunderous voice of command continues to reverberate across Montserrado.”

Paynesville – Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood has been buried at a cemetery in Congo Town after more than a five-hour funeral ceremony at the Samuel Kanyon Does Sports Stadium in Paynesville.

A 21-gun salute was performed by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in honor of the deceased Representative of Montserrado County Electoral District #9.

On Saturday, her family and top government officials including President George Weah gathered at the national stadium in Paynesville to remember the fallen lawmaker and a stalwart of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Weah.

In his eulogy, President Weah said the party has lost one its best players.

“Hon. Munah Evangeline Pelham-Youngblood was an outspoken and frank person, courageous, determined, and fearless. She never backed down from anyone who would try to take advantage of her,” President Weah said.

He also said the deceased was a beautiful woman and her personality was characterized by intelligence, diligence, and eloquence. She was persistent, consistent, resilient, and resistant to defeat, he eulogized.

“But, over and above her beauty,” the President added, “Munah was an astute and articulate political trailblazer, and displayed an amazing talent as a generational leader at a very early age, becoming the youngest female from CDC to be elected to the Liberian Legislature when she was only twenty-seven years old.”

House Speaker Bhofal Chambers said she was an astute lawmaker who will be missed by her colleagues and family.

The Women Legislative Caucus led by its Chairperson, Rep. Rosana Shaack of Rivercess lamented that the death of their colleague has further reduced the number of female lawmakers at the Legislature, but has also inspired them to unite and work with their male counterparts to keep her legacy alive by ensuring more women are given the opportunity to serve at the Legislature.

Her party, the CDC, in its tribute delivered by Chairman Mulbah Morlu said “Munah was a fighter, died a fighter and remains a fighter even in death as her thunderous voice of command continues to reverberate across Montserrado.”

“Munah was an astute and articulate political trailblazer, and displayed an amazing talent as a generational leader at a very early age, becoming the youngest female from CDC to be elected to the Liberian Legislature when she was only twenty-seven years old.”

– President George Manneh Weah

One of the poignant moments of the ceremony came when her husband, Dr. Raymond Youngblood, Jr., sitting alongside their daughter, called via video to pay his tribute.

Dr. Youngblood, who said that he could not join the funeral because his flights were cancelled on several occasions owing to COVID-19, said the family was saddened over the deep loss of his wife.

Her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Pehlam said she was deeply heartbroken over the death of her daughter who though her to be a politician and called on President Weah to help her complete all of the daughter’s unfinished projects in her constituency.

Former players of the national team, the Lonestar who were coached by the deceased’s father, the late Walter Maxwell Pelham Sr., also paid tribute.

Washington Blay, known as Mr. Defense Minister and Liberia’s most celebrated soccer star, James Debah led the tribute on behalf of the former national team players.

Blay said although Pelham-Youngblood will be remembered for her great works she did while alive, to him and most of his colleagues, she will be fondly remembered as the ‘skinny and beautiful little girl who was always seen with her father when he was coaching them.” 

Debah, who is been touted by many to contest the vacant seat, said the fallen lawmaker will be missed by not only her party and family but by the many lives she touched.

The burial caps a week of memorials for Rep. Pelham-Youngblood, who died on July 8, 2020 at age 36 in Accra, Ghana following a protracted illness.

Crowds lined the route in Paynesville as the hearse carrying the coffin of the lawmaker travelled from the stadium to the cemetery in Congo Town where her late father, Walter Maxwell Pelham Sr., a senior Liberian National Police officer and head coach of the Liberia national football team was buried.

The late Representative Munah Evangeline Pelham-Youngblood was born September 22, 1983. She was elected twice to the House of Representatives. Her first election in 2011 at age 28 made her the youngest person ever at that time to be elected to the Liberian parliament.

Her parents were Col. Walter Maxwell Pelham Sr., a senior Liberian National Police officer and head coach of the Liberia national football team, and Elizabeth Pelham (alive), Comptroller of the House of Representatives. She was married to international gold miner Dr. Raymond Youngblood, Jr. in 2013.

The late Hon. Pelham-Youngblood and her husband have one daughter Sarafina Munah Youngblood. Munah Pelham-Youngblood earned a B.Sc. degree in mass communications and a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Liberia.

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