When as many as 700,000 Liberians fled abroad to escape the country’s 14 years of brutal civil war. MacDella Cooper, the first woman to declare her ambition for Liberia’s 2017 presidential elections, was one of them.
Last month, the former refugee announced her ambitions for the upcoming presidential elections on a Union of Liberian Democrats (ULD) ticket. IBTimes UK met the woman hoping to become Liberia’s second ever female president, after current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Born in the 1970s, Cooper had a cosseted childhood, spent between her great-grandparents’ house in the countryside and her mother’s home in the capital, Monrovia.
Her mother remarried in the early 1980s and Cooper’s family expanded. The couple both raised each other’s three children – Cooper had two older brothers – before later on having three more.