I have just returned from a long-weekend in England’s Ashdown Forest (like KK1 and Nyambali Forest, I am always inspired by the magic of the forest!) to find much hullabaloo by my Gambian Diaspora fans about the fact that His Excellency Alhaji Dr. (etc.) Yahya AJJ Jammeh could be formally declared de-jure King of The Gambia. Of course we all agree that KK1 has been de-facto King of The Gambia for the last two decades.
Has he done well during the last two decades to deserve the KK1 title? I concede at once that there is much debate and good argument on both sides as to whether KK1’s rule has over the last twenty years been good for The Gambia. I also concede that I would be in an extremely low Diaspora Gambian minority in saying that KK1’s rule has been good for The Gambia over the last twenty years for two reasons:-
- The first reason is quite simply Pax Jammehnica itself: the peace that has reigned over The Gambia for the last twenty years while much war and destruction has ensued all over the world (all the bloodshed thanks to Pax Americana!).
- The second reason is that KK1’s reign over the last twenty years has been crucial in getting the economically developed world to treat KK1’s subjects with due respect – and accord them the rights to work, learn and earn in the West. This has in turn established a vibrant Gambian Diaspora in the West which has contributed massively through remittances to the development of the mother country.
My Gambian Diaspora fans objections to the enthronement of King Kanilai 1 is twofold:-
- We haven’t had a democratic agreement to it;
- Kingship is not appropriate for modern advanced societies.
My answers to these objections are equally short:-
- A referendum will be held in The Gambia before the enthronement of KK1 – this will give Gambians in Gambia a chance to say no or yes to KK1’s enthronement (unfortunately, Diaspora Gambians have been too infected by Americanism and MacDonald’s to be given the vote!);
- As to the claim that “kingship is not appropriate for modern societies”, one just needs to look at the most peaceful and advanced countries in the world to see that monarchy has been good for them: United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, King Hirohito’s Japan, etc, etc. By contrast, republican USA is a thoroughly violent society – look at what happened in Ferguson last week, look at the statistics of 20 people being shot dead in 12 hours in Chicago. By contrast KK1’s Gambia, King Hirohito’s Japan, QE2’s United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Norway are very peaceful places.
Finally, as with United Kingdom, the democratic process can flourish under a monarchy – and I am sure KK1 would happily dispense with the running of a government and leave that to a democratically elected Prime Minister of The Gambia.
Finally, a point for my number one fan Lafia la Manju Touray: Lafia would have no objections to monarchy if KK1 had been a Mandinka. But infact, the best monarch is always the one from the minority tribes. For example, Queen Elizabeth II of United Kingdom (who has reigned for sixty-two years!) is from the minority German tribe that immigrated to UK some 400 years ago – while the King of Spain is from the minority Moroccans (Moors) who used to rule Spain some 400 years ago.
Thank you, editor, over to my fans!
Dida Jallow-Halake (aka His Highness Hail Haile-Halake!)