‘Dad Didn’t Hack People Up, He Didn’t Rape’ – Son of Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor Speaks Out

Philip Taylor, son of former African warlord Charles Taylor: considers himself to be clan chief, charged with clearing the family name. Photograph: Lorraine Mallinder

Philip Taylor is losing patience with the chickens. They peck at his feet, flapping their wings and clucking furiously. “I’m gonna freakin’ . . .” he says, lifting a foot, as if to kick them off the patio. But he thinks again, takes a deep breath and recomposes himself.

Over the course of the evening, the 34 year old takes a few deep breaths. Being the son of Charles Taylor, Liberia’s jailed warlord president, and Jewel Howard-Taylor, who may become the country’s next vice-president, has not exactly been plain-sailing.

That very morning, his father had called from his prison cell at HMP Frankland in England to dispense some Zen wisdom. “Dad reminded me to be focused. He said: ‘Always be calm, don’t lose your temper, analyse the situation,’” says Philip. “When I talk to him, he sounds like he’s in a six-star hotel.”

Unlike his once-flamboyant father, Philip prefers to keep a low profile. Ensconced behind the high walls of his Monrovia residence, the political science graduate pursues his passion for gangster rap, a creative outlet for his pent-up frustrations.

As “Bentman the Don”, he rolls out the standard gangster tropes, but there are also some clues to his real-life identity. “Come on baby, you can roll with government plates/Ain’t my money, you can spend that government cake,” he raps on Don’t You Baby.

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Source: The Irish Times

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About Cholo Brooks 10865 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.