Like many cities in Africa, or developing countries in general, most of Monrovia’s nicer houses and apartments are surrounded by an eyesore of security. It is standard to have a thick concrete perimeter wall, bars on the windows, guards stationed at the gates, and massive bales of barbed wire laid over any surface that could be remotely climbable.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much barbed wire in my life. In other places I’ve lived, the high walls around the compounds were half-heartedly studded with pieces of broken glass. But in Monrovia, it’s all about the barbed wire. And it’s bigger and more menacing than any barbed I’ve seen on chain-link fences back home – this shit is gonna cut you up.
But seriously. It’s a shame that the “security situation” in Monrovia (be it real or perceived) is such that property owners find insane amounts of barbed wired to be necessary. Because it’s damn ugly. And Monrovia has the potential to be a beautiful ocean-front city. A number of times I’ve walked down the hill in Mamba Point toward the ocean high on the horizon ahead and been struck by the spectacular setting of the city. But the view to the beach is impeded by layers of walls, gates, and barbed wire.
I thin I’ll submit the photo above to Better Housekeeping as a tip on how to decorate your barbed wire. Maybe some Christmas tinsel would do, too…