This Teen's Honesty Yields Next-Level Rewards

Emmanuel Tuloe's is a hero to many in one of the world's poorest, most corrupt places
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2022 8:01 AM CDT
This Teen's Honesty Yields Next-Level Rewards
Emmanuel Tuloe, who has become a national hero in Liberia after finding $50,000 and returning it to its rightful owner, speaks on his phone in Gbolor Dialla, Liberia, Oct. 14, 2021. The Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission commended Tuloe for returning the money to the businesswoman who lost it.   (AP Photo/Anthony Duo)

In Liberia, where the gross national income per capita works out to just $530, it might have taken motorbike taxi driver Emmanuel Tuloe nearly a century to earn $50,000. One day last October, he found that amount in a plastic bag on a street. By then, the teen had already worked for half his life, having dropped out of school at age 9 following his father's death. Now 19, Tuloe is back in school, but it's thanks to his honesty, not the money itself, reports the BBC. Shortly after finding the precious bundle, Tuloe heard local businesswoman Musu Yancy on the radio "crying for her money and appealing to anyone finding it," per the AP. He returned it to her.

She rewarded him with cash and gifts worth about $1,500; WBTV reported one of the gifts was a mattress, which he planned to give his grandmother. Next came praise from Liberia's Anti-Corruption Commission and an invitation to meet President George Weah, who handed Tuloe $10,000. Tuloe also landed a seat at the prestigious Ricks Institute, where he resumed his education despite being years older than classmates. To top it off, North Carolina's historically Black Livingstone College—which has long-running ties with Liberia—offered him a full scholarship. The BBC checks in with Tuloe now, reporting he won't be done with his studies and ready for college until he's 25.

Once there, Tuloe wants to study accounting "to prepare myself to help guide the use of the country's money." While some mock his honesty, most see it for what it is. Speaking to the BBC, a fellow moto-taxi driver said, "It’s a good thing that Emmanuel has gone back to school, we thank God for him … He now has an opportunity that some of us don't have." (More uplifting news stories.)

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