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Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

Time flies, can you believe we are already past the half year mark? Just the other day we welcomed the New Year with long lists of resolutions. Well, the year doesn’t feel so new anymore, it’s that time of the year when energy levels sink, we get sucked into the routine of life and many times become complacent. All these are symptoms of Mid Year blues.


Posted by Editor On JULY- 18 - 2011

Growing up, I was a ‘someday girl’. I had dreams of someday publishing a book, someday working for a newspaper, someday being an editor, someday. Until one day many years later I woke up to the realization that someday was today; the only assurance we have, not 2 years from now or tomorrow but today.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

For some April habitually brings in to mind Spring; sunshine, blooming flowers, the green of trees and sliding into flip flops. For me, April is just April because luckily where I live the beauty of ‘Spring’ and getting high on Vitamin D is something I experience every day.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

As I kid, one of my all time favorite TV shows was 'The Jefferson’s'. As I write this, the theme song is playing in my head. “Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side, moving on up, to a deluxe apartment in the sky. Moving on up, to the east side, moving on up,we finally got a piece of the pie.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

February is a special month, apart from the red roses, boxes of chocolate, great deals and the romance, it’s also the month we celebrate the history and contributions of African American men and women to society in the name of Black History Month.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18- 2011

Happy New Year!Yes, I know I'm a little late on the wishes just like the way I'm late with our new January Issue but it's finally here. New year, new layout, new name, basically, new things. Its all about the new new! For all those who knew this blog as The Ladies Room, I now introduce you to AfroElle; a blog for women of afro-descent from all over the world.


Posted by Editor On JULY - 18 - 2011

The year has literally flown by, I can't believe it's already December. To many, December is a month of in depth self evaluation and stock taking; taking that walk down memory lane to see if you accomplished the goals you set at the beginning of the year.It's also about looking at your present to see what has worked for you or what you need to eliminate before you head on to the new year.

Cover Story: 'A Jill of All Trades"

Posted by AfroElle On 9:24 PM

Matu Saye is a jill of all trades; she is the founder of Technology in Liberia, a singer and a model; an activity she says she does for fun. Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Matu who is also a database administrator in Philadelphia says she loves her country because of its people, their resilience, adaptability and warmth, a warmth that she too possess from our conversations during the interview.

Can you tell us in detail about who you are and what you do?

Currently, I work as an Oracle and SQL Server a database administrator for the City of Philadelphia.

I am also involved in non-profit; I am the founder of Technology for Liberia which is a non-profit organization whose overall goal is to integrate information technology into education in Liberia. Liberia, it is a small country located on the west coast of Africa which was founded by freed slaves from America in 1847. It suffered a brutal civil crisis which lasted for over 14yrs leaving the country destroyed, both physical and human infrastructure distabilized. Today we have the first female president elect in Liberia and the entire continent of Africa.

Technology for Liberia was officially established as a 501(c) (3) organization in Philadelphia in 2009. Since our inception, we have had a few successful awareness and fundraiser events. Our first trip to Liberia is schedule for this summer, hopefully sometime in June. My hope for Technology for Liberia is that it thrives because I believe it has the potential to ignite innovation and creativity, it has the potential to lay a solid foundation in our education system that will overtime impact every system in the country; like  health, government and education.

Music is another that I am involved with a lot. I am a singer and a song writer. I have been singing since I was little girl, in fact singing is one of the things I do effortlessly. Sometimes I think it's my calling just because of the response I get when I sing. I say this humbly. I have traveled to many countries and places to sing. I am currently working on a CD project; I haven't titled it yet.

What prompted you to start Technology for Liberia?

Technology for Liberia is an idea that I conceived while working for the management information systems department of a  company in Pennsylvania called AmeriGas Propane; whenever we deployed new systems to various  departments of the company, I came to the understanding that the company(AmeriGas) would  paid a recycling company to get rid of the old/used computers. I said to myself that it would be wise to take some of the computers that weren't terribly old, refurbish them and share with students back in Liberia which would in some ways enhance their learning processes, install some of the basic applications like the Microsoft office suites and other simple applications.

Matu with former Liberian Ambassador to US

Matu with Isaiah Washington of Greys Anatomy and her friend Dr.Major

I spoke with my manager at the time about the possibility of taking some of the computers, he was very willing to donate them, however, he wanted to know if I had/knew an organization that would be responsible for the computer and for tax purposes. I didn't know anything about the non-profit environment then and I had no experience establishing anything of this nature, but I had a passion to help; I knew there was a need in Liberia and I also knew that I wanted to be a part of meeting this need. Prior to the opportunity at AmeriGas, there was a desire in me to do something in Liberia; I remembered that we've come  from war and there was so much work to be done; to rebuild what had been destroyed and to build what that which was needed. 

Matu with Hosea Chanchez of the hit show The GAME

Matu with Jean Baylor formerly of the group Zhane

I just didn't know what I would do or when I would do them, but working at that company gave me a glimpse into what I could contribute toward change. Today this idea has evolved into something bigger than just giving a computer to a student or two. I believe it is a project that will lay a strong foundation for Liberia's future. When I think about Technology for Liberia, my heart leaps for joy because it is an opportunity for me to serve; it is a chance for me to take responsibility for what belongs to me. Too long in Liberia and in some parts of Africa, we have maintained this mentality that others should do for us, give to us, be responsible for our resources, and well being, I think it is time we take the lead and take initiatives. I can only hope and pray that our effort is successful.

With work and your organization, when do you get time for your love for music?

That is a good question. Honestly I haven't quite figured out a good balance to them  all given the fact that each of the things that I am involved with is very important and each requires that I allocate quality time to be able to produce my desired result. However, music/singing to me is a like a lifestyle; it is something that is a part of me. I'm working, I'm singing, I'm walking I'm singing, I hear sounds, music, melodies, lyrics; it is sort of constant for me, if I can put that way.

What genre of music do you sing?

My choice of music to sing is gospel music; I sing about love, life, courage, etc. I think that gospel music is more of a message or a theme than it is a genre. I say that simply because it is a kind that is very eclectic but one message/theme; you will find different styles and ideas of music; Jazz, soul, rock, bluegrass, funk, country etc.

Has there been a defining moment in your professional career and in your music career?

Defining moments for me are usually the little things you know. For example, several months ago I sang at a concert and an Haitian lady came up to me after and said to me with tears in her eyes that my music blessed her, that the sincerity of my heart through my music was a blessing to her. That for me is a defining moment. After working on important projects, an email with a sincere thanks for ensuring things worked seamlessly is a defining moment for me.

"A phenomenal woman to me is one that has a great purpose; she is passionate, compassionate, humble, caring and giving. She exudes a beauty that reflects great values, wisdom and strength. She is one that will use her influence to bring about positive change. She is a servant."

What else are you passionate about?

I would say that I am passionate about other productive efforts that others are initiating; I keep my eyes opened for other great ideas and people that are making a difference.  I think about ways I can help to make their efforts successful; I see all of our initiatives as a collective effort.

What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?

My faith, family and friends inspire me everyday to be the best person I can be. I am entirely grateful to God for His love, for loyal friends who believe in me and family who loves me. No matter what, my motivation comes from knowing that I am able to inspire or make someone better through my gifts, talents or the sharing of knowledge that I have acquired. I believe that my life's purpose is to serve God and to serve others and so my motivation comes from knowing that I am impacting someone positively through service. I believe that I make myself matter when I make others better.

Is there a role model or mentor who has helped you along your road to success?

I have been truly blessed to have had many great influences in my life. I wish I had the time to mention them all and share about how each has impacted my life, but there is one that has transformed my life tremendously. He has challenged and demanded me to do/be the best I can like none other I know. He has given me  insight into abilities I didn't know I have and,  has helped develop in depth the ones I know I have .He has thought me in deed that I can attain and reach my goals and aspirations without fear. He has without any hesitation to instill into me valuable lessons and principles that have taken him years to cultivate. I am truly humbled and blessed to have him in my life. I am indebted to him for all that he has done for me.

What advice or motto do you live by?

Learn to treat others with the dignity and respect that they deserve, take some time to know people, you never know, he/she could change the world. Do your best to live life to the fullest .One of my favorite quotes, ”The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt. Another recent favorite of mine is by Isaiah Washington "You don't have the time to make the time to do anything. Just do it.”


1 Response to "Cover Story: 'A Jill of All Trades""

  1. Anonymous Said,

    Thank you Matu for all that you do to empower yourself and people of Liberia, especially young people. We are so appreciative of your efforts.


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