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Liberia's "Iron Lady"

55 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 29 August 2013

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia is known as "Africa's Iron Lady". Throughout the years, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf never held back from publicly criticising those in power: for her outspokenness, she had to flee Liberia several times, and was jailed for sedition. In 2005, in the first election after the country's civil war, she was elected president, and was re-elected last year. She has just published her autobiography: "This Child Will Be Great".

In places, the Great Wall of China is so dilapidated that estimates of its total length vary from 9,000 to 21,000 kilometres. One Chinese farmer, Yang Yongfu, decided to do something about it: where the Great Wall bordered his own farmland, he began restoring it. But, as he told Pooneh Ghoddoosi, that has put him on a collision course with the Chinese authorities.

Reza Aslan became an internet sensation when he was interviewed on American television about his biography of Jesus: "Zealot, the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth". He found himself having to defend why, as a Muslim, he has written a book about the central figure of Christianity. Reza Aslan was born Muslim in Iran, moved to the US as a boy, where he converted to Christianity, but started practising Islam again a few years later.

Saintrick was a very successful and politically engaged musician in his homeland, the Republic of Congo. But when the civil war broke out in 1997, he had to escape by canoe to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. After some years in exile, he arrived in Senegal, where he launched a new career on the local music scene, playing traditional Senegalese music, Mbalax, and singing in Wolof and Lari, his mother tongue.

Picture: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Credit: Getty Images


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