[ Excerpt: Voice-Over Transcript ]
This is Fanta Fofana. She is a home health aide, originally from the war-torn, West African nation of Sierra Leone. She left home shortly after the tragic death of her husband, mainly to support her three, young children. She is studying for her citizenship exam in the hopes of bringing them to America.
Sometimes her favorite client helps her study. This is David Kpormakpor. Yet he is mostly known as "Prof" or "The Professor." He is 71 years old and requires twenty-four hour nursing care.
Ten years ago, he lived under very different circumstances...
* * * *
Former law professor and Supreme Court Justice David D. Kpormakpor served as Interim President of Liberia between 1994-1995, during its disastrous civil war. He was appointed by a handful of warlords who had been searching for a neutral person to chair the Council of State of Liberia's transitional government.
Kpormakor was an ideal choice. Born far from the capital, he was the first member of his family to read or write. As a young man, he impressed a missionary from Mississippi who secured him a place at the prestigious College of West Africa. He finished third in his class and won scholarships to San Francisco State University and UCLA. He returned home, became a professor of law, and was appointed to the Liberian Supreme Court. His reputation as incorruptible and perhaps a bit naïve made him a superb candidate for the warlords who were looking to install an uncomplicated figurehead of the government.
As Interim President, he had little power beyond the capital; and even there one of his generals seized the mansion in what amounted to a failed coup. Ultimately, Kpormakpor left office with nothing. He spent the next two years living on a military based guarded by African peacekeepers who broke into his home twice, stealing everything he owned.
In 1997, with his health declining and the ruthless dictator Charles Taylor coming to power, Kpormakpor returned to America. He settled in this housing project in Park Hill, Staten Island, where nearly 6,000 Liberians have sought refuge from war and poverty. He has lived here alone, on welfare, for nearly a decade.
It is morning in Park Hill, the night shift is over, and Fanta is about to replace Raffia at Prof's apartment.
* * * *
Corruption is endemic in Liberian politics. By consequence of his presence in Park Hill, it is likely that Kpormakpor was unique in that he did not use his political office for his own ends, for this reason, he is a peculiar figure in the Park Hill community. Some people believe he isn't normal, that he stole millions and is simply storing it away somewhere. Others accuse him of being a fool, for not taking what was rightfully his.