World News

Look at who graduated!

2 June 2016 at 03:28 | 1595 views

By Felix Sesay, Virginia, USA.

Mabinty Quarshie demonstrated the attribute of curiosity, which bears the hallmark of the most successful journalists.

In an audacious manner, at the age of four years, Mabinty had gone to the Franconia, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) with Aunt Mary Sesay (now Mary Vandi), who was Mabinty’s babysitter for the day.

Sitting next to an individual whose gender presentation proved troubling, Mabinty could not tell whether she was sitting at close proximity to a boy or a girl, but Mabinty was determined to unravel the gender identity of this individual. Without any reference to her chaperoning aunt, she confronted the stranger with the question: Excuse me, Are you a boy or a girl?

It was a bold and direct question.

The stranger, a very receptive person, seeing the imaginary microphone in her hand and her notebook, knew at once this curious child better be answered. They obliged very dutifully with, “I am a girl.”

This encounter, I now believe, was the genesis of Mabinty’s take on journalism.
For those of us who knew Mabinty during her formative years in school, her earning a Master’s Degree in Journalism at the prestigious Georgetown University (former president Bill Clinton’s Alma Mater) did not come as a surprise because no one ever advised Mabinty on what to study.

When it was time to take her driving learner’s permit written test, her mother was concerned and gave her a DMV handbook, urging her to read it well since the questions were a tough nut to crack. But she ignored her mother’s counsel and read the book only once, a situation that sent her mother’s blood pressure some ten points up because she thought her daughter would become a statistic of people who thought they knew it all, but ended up failing the DMV test on their first attempt. She was wrong and needlessly worried as Mabinty attempted the DMV test and finished in record time seven minutes only and she passed too!

Mabinty bags the outstanding student award at Georgetown University for the MPS (Master of Professional Studies) journalism program. She was secretary for the Georgetown Society of Professional Journalists group, interned at National Public Radio (NPR) and Meet the Press graduated Magna cum Laude from George Mason University with honors in English.

In 1991, when Madam Yabom Thaslim Sesay made the decision to migrate to the U.S., she came along with an eleven-month-old baby, who has now just graduated with a Master’s degree in Journalism. Adjusting to a new environment was daunting but with the help of senior sister Jane Iftoni (nee Sesay) and several aunties the process was mitigated.

At 24, Mabinty has just set a bar that her sibling and numerous cousins are now challenged to meet and raise even higher.

Here is the 2016 Georgetown University Convocation ceremony: