A member of the Liberian media and the CEO of Dakpannah24 News & Television, Mr. U-Thant Nicholas Smith, has expressed disappointment in the form and manner Mr. Titus William Tokpah, Executive Director of Media Aid Foundation, for allegedly giving misinformation about him to individuals surrounding Mr. Tokpah and attacking his character .
Expressing his disappointment on his official Facebook page, Mr. Smith said he received text messages via WhatsApp from what he called a nincompoop and a high code extortionist, whom he didn’t mention by name, was attacking his person. This individual, according to him, currently works for Titus at Peter Quaqua School of Journalism, and is accusing him of impersonating that he attended and graduated from PQSJ and threatened to expose him to the public.
Mr. Smith is quoted as saying, “I was amazed to find that some of the personal things I had said to Titus were said to me by this individual.”
He stated that after receiving the WhatsApp threats from this individual, he phoned Titus directly on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, to bring to his attention the attitude of this individual.
“Titus picked up the phone and wanted to know who was speaking and he hurriedly introduced myself. When he knew it was me, he said it was very early in Liberia and that he was still in bed. He didn’t want to continue talking with me, but I appealed with him to stay on and that I needed to talk with him urgently, because I was getting ready for work. He reluctantly told me to go ahead. As soon as I got done with my explanation about this individual’s text messages to me, Titus went on to ask me irrelevant questions. He and I went back and forth in a heated exchange. Titus, as always, was irritated when I reminded him of our interactions around the issue that we were discussing. He talked to me with extremely disrespectful arrogance, Mr. Smith explained.
He went on to say, from their exchanges, he came to the realization that Titus was the one giving misinformation about him to this individual.
At the same time, Mr. Smith has called on the PQSJ Executive Director to stop what he called pussyfooting with his name for no good reason. He stated that he will not allow Titus to define him, because heis way above Titus’s pettiness.
Mr. Smith further warned that if Titus doesn’t behave himself and stop attacking, him, Titus should not blame him for his reaction.
According to Mr. Smith, he knows and learned a lot about Mr. Titus William Tokpah when he was attending PQSJ, and is fully in the know of his shady deeds. He continued,stating that failure on Mr. Tokpah’s part to adhere to his warning will be regrettable.
“I’m quite prepared to go up against you because I’ve had enough of your nonsense. The battle line has been drawn between you and me and one more bullet from you at me will leave me with no alternative but to open up till I get you down,” Smith stressed.
Meanwhile, Mr. U-Thant Nicholas Smith, in his Facebook post, narrated what transpired between he and Mr. Titus William Tokpah. He is quoted as saying “A few years back , in a pursuit to build my journalism skills, having had the passion from my high school days, I enrolled at the Peter Quaqua School of Journalism, owned and operated by the Media Aid Foundation.
Before I enrolled in PQSJ, I had a meeting with Titus William Tokpah, Executive Director of Media Aid Foundation. During that meeting, I expressed my interest in enrolling at PQSJ to advance my journalism career, but I was also quick to inform him about the challenging health issues I have with my eye sight.
At that meeting I told Titus that despite the struggle I have with my vision, it was not an impediment for my advancement, so I needed him to allow me to make use of the opportunity provided at his institution. To admit, after a keen discussion, Titus agreed to allow me to attend and that’s how I started.
Titus and I came to the conclusion that Media Aid Foundation was going to provide me with the educational and instructional material to enhance my learning ability.
My entire fees at PQSJ were paid for by the Liberia Albino Society (LAS). During that period, I was the Director of Press and Public Affairs at LAS.
In spite of my low vision problem, I made it my business to attend all my classes three days a week for nine months. The learning atmosphere at PQSJ was very challenging, but I managed to do the best I could. Don’t get me wrong, PQSJ had better and experience lecturers, but it is just that I found it somehow difficult because not much attention was paid to a student with special needs.
When I was at PQSJ, I took part in every activity. The largest one at that time was the field trip in rural Montserrado and Kakata, Margibi County.
Having gone a few weeks into the first quarter of the training program, I started to experience difficulties in getting my materials as agreed upon. I confronted Titus on this matter on several occasions and he always assured me that he would do something to resolve my problem.
Titus kept promising me and he did little or nothing, which got me frustrated, but I kept on engaging him. To my great surprise during one of my interactions with Titus on the same issue, he became extremely mad at me and threatened to throw me out of the program. He also accused me of being a pay agent sent by his detractors to damage his school’s image. I was shocked when he said that, because I never expected that from him.
When the second quarter was above to resume, I was still eagerly interested in advancing myself. I called Titus and his phone rang endlessly. On several occasions, he refused to pick up my calls.
I saw that Titus was taking things very personal with me and so I appealed with my boss lady, Mrs. Patricia N. C. Logan and her husband Mr. James D. Logan, to get involved with the matter. Mr. and Mrs. Logan agreed to intervene on my behalf and we visited Titus at his YWCA compound offices in Congo Town on a working day.
When we got there, at first Titus didn’t want to give us audience, saying that he was in a staff meeting and I didn’t inform him about the visit. Madam Logan insisted, because I was on LAS scholarship at PQSJ and needed to discuss the misunderstanding involving my being in the program.
Titus gave in, and we had a fruitful conversation on the matter. At the end of the discussion, Titus reconsidered my return to the program and reassured his willingness to work with me to achieve my objective at PQSJ.
I started the second quarter with a rejuvenated spirit of developing myself. Titus and I became cool once more, and started working together. I can recall vividly Titus visited me at my residence in Paynesville during the late evening hours, to pick up an LAS check to cover my remaining enrollment fees.
Fast forward; I began to run into the same problem obtaining my materials. I again brought it to Titus’s attention restlessly. I couldn’t do my work properly, because of Titus’s inadequate cooperation in providing my material.
Even with all of what was going on, I didn’t quit. I kept attending classes. I had a smartphone, which allowed me to record every lecture by voice.
Unfortunately, during my visit to Tanzania for the first ever Pan African Albinism Conference, I was diagnosed by professionally trained ophthalmologists who discussed that the situation with my eyes was very concerning and needed urgent attention. I was advised to seek attention outside of Liberia, because we didn’t have the sophistication to diagnose the problem.
Upon my return from Tanzania, I began negotiations with my family and friends for advanced medical care abroad.
With all of the run around on my travel I still attended classes at PQSJ regularly.
During one of my discussions with Titus before class, he encouraged me to apply for the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, since I was a “brilliant student,” in his words. Titus wrote a letter of attestation on my behalf to the MWF program, and I did apply for the program, due to his constant encouragement and advice. Unfortunately, they didn’t choose me.
All of a sudden, Titus got more interested in me leaving the country for advance medical attention, which was good on his part, but I felt that he should have done more in helping me to achieve my goal at PQSJ, which was not the case.
As God could have it, I successfully finished all my lectures in the program at PQSJ before it came to an end. Now it was left to Titus to provide me with the exam material for me to write the exam for graduation. He kept assuring me that he was going to get everything ready for me to sit for the exam in his office. Due to Titus’ delays, I was unable to take the exam before I left the country and came to the United States.
While I was here in the United States in treatment, I heard that the graduation took place and that my friends whom I sat with in class graduated. Titus subsequently confirmed to me that the graduating ceremony had taken place.
After a few months in America, I confronted Titus about my PQSJ diploma. I told him that it was very significant that he give me my diploma, because it was most necessary since I was starting a brand new life here in the USA. Titus told me that my request was valid and that he would consult his board of directors and send me a response in a week’s time.
I waited patiently and after weeks, I was unable to hear anything from him. This time around when I engaged Titus as a follow up, he became very uneasy with me and went on speaking to me recklessly. Among other things, he said that he did not know me and that in fact he did not owe me anything. Titus kept ranting that he had absolutely nothing to do with me and told me never to bother him.
I was very mad at his response to me, but I decided not to turn the fire over and so I kept my cool. All I did was inform him that we will have one day in court. And from then on, I never bothered him.
This is to set the records straight. Everything narrated here is the truth and nothing but the truth.
The friends that sat with me in class at PQSJ are fully aware of this narration and I will tag them in this post. I will also tag some of those who taught me at PQSJ.
I am not an impersonator and I will do no such thing.
I don’t really need a PQSJ diploma before I practice journalism, so I don’t understand why Titus is so upset about my involvement in the media. Where I currently live is by far developed and I can reach what I choose to be without any the struggles I endured in Liberia.
Titus doesn’t want me to align myself with PQSJ, but he received every bit of my fees and allowed me to put in all of my time and effort, as well as energy, for nine round months.
This is absolute nonsense, disingenuous and quite unfortunate on the part of Titus to drive such a path.
Let me tell you this, Titus, you are no match for me in any form, way, shape or size. You and I are two different personalities and you’re not any better than me. I’ve never known you before, except by hearing you on state radio and also at PQSJ. You need to desist from maligning my character with a cluster of lies now and immediately. You are indebted to me and you have two things in your favor right now. Either you give me my diploma, or you pay me back all the money you took from me for the training program.
With everything I had to deal with, you kept doing to me what you did to me shamelessly. What an unforgiving person you are!
I developed my passion for journalism in high school, and have always been involved with my school press club. I was a ranking member of the Liberia Secondary Schools Press Association (LISSPA), which was coordinated by now Police Spokesman H. Moses Carter and now Prime FM and TV Manager Kelvin Demey.
At LISSPA I underwent several media trainings and was trained by the likes of Philips N. Wesseh, Michael Toe, Moses Dorbor, Adolphus Taylor, Frank Sainworla, H. Moses Carter, Kelvin Demey and the list goes on.
I wasn’t a novice at journalism when I enrolled in PQSJ.
Due to my excellent performance and having fallen in love with my style of writing, the coordinator of the Voice of the Monkeys, which I was a member of, P. Thomas Harris recruited me to be a writer for his newsmagazine called Fiesta Magazine.
I was also fortunate to have participated in the ICDB program at Royal Communications Inc. for a week. Because of my good performance in that week long program, I was encouraged by some of the staff to work as a news contributor, which I did after my graduation from secondary school.
My passion for journalism comes from the inside and it is impossible to discourage or kill it.”