Report by Selma Lomax, firstname.lastname@example.org
And to her, what has been ascribed to be for men, women could also endeavor to do so and even better.
“I believe strongly that what men can do, women can do the same no matter the circumstances. I hope my peers in Liberia will take cue from this and rise above the challenges,” Linda said during an interview with FrontPageAfrica.
Coming from a very humble and religious home, many in Gbarnga described her as a courageous girl who never allowed impediments to claim superiority in her career ambition.
Being the first woman to earn a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Bong County, she had colossal passion for oil and gas.
Describing her as the light for females in Liberia and an unsung heroine, Bong County Superintendent Selena Polson-Mappy said she was elated by the performance of a girl who had defied the odds to make Bong County proud.
“I am so much happy that Linda fought the circumstances to reach this far. This is a monumental achievement for the people of Bong County. This feat is also indicative that what men can do women can do,” Superintendent Polson-Mappy said.
Linda was born October 27, 1990 to the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cammue in Gbarnga, Bong County and started her primary education at Datus Complex Limited, Kasoa Ghana and later completed her senior high at the St. Martin’s Catholic High School in Gbarnga, Bong County.
She was fortunate to have her secondary education at Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County where she was an honored graduate in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Chemistry.
Linda, who turns 26 in October, was given a government scholarship through the National Oil Company (NOCAL) to study Chemical Engineering at Swansea University, United Kingdom.
"There were not many girls studying Chemical Engineering in my class. I never thought of the world being a man's world and that gave me the urge that women could also do what men did and even do it much more better, if they worked towards it with determination,” Linda told FrontPageAfrica.
Continuing, she told FrontPage Africa. "As a young girl, I never allowed anything to be a stumbling block", she said with seriousness.
Being so proud to be a Liberian, Linda was always in her native cloth, which she said she was proud as a Liberian.
She recounted her experience in Swansea just before she graduated. “I felt I had to represent my country, particularly cognizant of the discovery of a potentially large accumulation of oil in our country. I studied my lesson to ensure I achieve what I have achieved today,” Linda said.
Linda thanks government, NOCAL
A graduate and a ranking member of the Gbarnga-based St. Martin’s School’s quizzing team, Linda told FrontPageAfrica she is grateful to the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and NOCAL for the opportunity afforded her.
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the government of Liberia, through the National Oil Company (NOCAL) for fully sponsoring my Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Swansea University, United Kingdom. I have completed my studies abroad and I am back home to pay back my quota,” she said.
“I would also like to thank our President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, my greatest source of inspiration for promoting female education and empowering women throughout the country.
Madam President, your leadership and passion for change in the educational sector has impacted many lives including me and has inspired many young Liberians most especially females around the globe.
If it were not for this government, I wouldn’t have made it this far today, I am grateful. NOCAL foreign scholarship has given me a great university experience and has broadened my perspective of a quality education to a much greater level.”
Linda added: “At the age of 25, I am very proud to have obtained a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering and the only individual in my entire family with this level of qualification. It does mean a great deal to me and I will forever be grateful.
My dreams of becoming a Chemical Engineer at a young age have been achieved. And it has changed my life in so many ways that I can’t express. But this is the beginning of my journey. Once again I say Thanks to NOCAL”.
Linda’s love for oil and gas is amply demonstrated without one being told as soon as one entered her fence in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
And she hopes to see a day when everybody in Liberia will realize the need to study Chemical Engineering “to save the country’s natural resources”.
Some prominent people in the county say the achievement of Linda may distinguish her as the first female in Bong County to achieve such education.
Former Bong County Education Officer, KGS Kapu, said Linda has not only gone down in history but earned for herself an accolade worthy of public trust.
“She is my former student. I am proud of her. Linda has brought proud to the people of Bong County. I think she is the first female to earn a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineer,” Mr. Kapu said.
Meanwhile, the former Principal of the Dolokelen Gboveh High School, Edwin Kwakpai, heaped praises on Linda and called on her peers to emulate her example.
Kwakpai, who served for Principal for Gboveh for over five years, said the feat is monumental and admonished her to serve as a motivation for her peers, especially those in the county.