Madam Kartumu Yarta Boakai, First Lady of the Republic of Liberia

 Mrs. Kartumu Yarta Boakai, First Lady of the Republic of Liberia, embodies an exemplary life of resilience, compassion, and dedication that emerged from humble beginnings. Her life and work, marked by an unwavering commitment to the welfare of the most vulnerable - children, women, and marginalized groups - shine as a beacon of hope and empowerment for many who crossed her path.
Early Life
Madam Boakai was born on August 6, 1950, in Jawajeh Varney Boohn, a small village in Bomi County. Kartumu, like many village girls, needed easy access to early childhood education. Raised by her mother, with the support of her grandmother, she barely spoke English at age six. As an underprivileged village girl, Mrs. Boakai grew up like other girls who lacked access to primary and necessities. She worked on her grandmother's farm, experienced mosquito bites, drank unsafe water, sold in the marketplaces, and walked long distances to survive like every other village child.
In 1968, she graduated from high school, and a year later, she made her public service debut at the Monrovia Post Office, balancing work and Education. She met President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., at the University of Liberia while pursuing her undergraduate studies. She later graduated in 1972 and married the same year; together, they lived a happy and prosperous family life blessed with four children. As a mother and an advocate for family values, Kartumu represents a binding factor of success for her family. She adores her role as Head of the Deaconess Board of the Effort Baptist Church and is guided by faith-based values: love, peace, humility, integrity, and honest service. Madam Boakai's early life laid the foundation for her faith and servant leadership journey. 
Education and Training
The First Lady holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Education from the University of Liberia and a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) from the Baptist Theological Seminary in 2022. Preceding her dual bachelor credentials is a high school diploma from the Lott Carey Baptist Mission School. Mrs. Kartumu Y. Boakai is a trained psychosocial counselor with a certificate in counseling and psychotherapy, a profession she has passionately used to inspire the lives of women, girls, and marginalized groups.   
Public and Private Service
The Firstly Lady enjoys a solid public and private sector record – one that is built on integrity, honesty, hard work, accountability, and faith. As an educator, she served as Principal of the Assemblies of God Mission Elementary and Junior High School in the Township of Caldwell (1973/1974). Her experience fueled a passion for teaching that led her to her securing a teaching role at the African Methodist Church School in Washington, DC, USA (1984/1985). Mrs. Boakai served as Human Resource Director of the General Services Agency (GSA) and Administrative Manager of the Tellewoyan Hospital in Voinjama, Lofa County (1979/1980). She also established then Lusu Café (1988/1989), a reputable community restaurant in Monrovia. In addition to other private sector work, the First Lady also served as an Administrative Assistant at the Firestone Medical Center (1997-2005).
From 2006 to 2017, as Second Lady and in support of her husband's mandate as Vice President, Mrs. Boakai was privileged to head the Group of 77, an institution dedicated to improving the quality of life for persons living with disability in Liberia. During her tenure, Mrs. Boakai's dedication and passion for the job contributed to transformation initiatives at the Group of 77 that provided better opportunities to its beneficiaries. With service at the top of her agenda, the abovementioned roles prepared the First Lady for more profound pathways to serving humanity. 

What makes Kartumu outstanding is her continued commitment and services to not-for-profit initiatives geared towards impacting humanity, especially girls, children, women, and marginalized persons. Her roles as Project Coordinator of Abused Women and Girls (AWAG) in Danane, Cote d'Ivoire, Trauma Counselor of My Sister's Place – a community-based organization (CBO) in Cote d'Ivoire, and Coordinator of the Monrovia-based Counseling Center for Families, including individual services from 1993 to 1994, consolidated her passion and love for leadership. 
By 2015, the First Lady established the Kartumu Yarta Boakai Foundation for Humanity, a humanitarian initiative grounded in the foundation of Christian Faith. With the theme, "Lending a Helping Hand When and Where Needed Most," Mrs. Boakai has continued to reach persons in need for the past few years. 
First Lady Kartumu Yarta Boakai's life story is a powerful narrative of making a profound difference in the lives of others. Her journey is a testimony to the impact one can make through a lifetime of service in leadership and compassionate engagement for her people. Mrs. Boakai is innovative, farsighted, and passionate about quality and accountability. Her story inspires and challenges us to make a meaningful difference in the world, one act of kindness at a time.


First Lady of the Republic of Liberia
Madam Kartumu
First Lady of the Republic of Liberia