Breaking The Mould

Gambians seem trapped and confused in dealing with the dictatorship back home. Our academics are shying away from playing the expert roles, deeming it too risky for their careers, our professionals (lawyers, accountants, auditors, nurses, doctors, teachers, bankers, etc) wonde if sacrificing for a cause is worth it. Now watch the video and analyse if we largely fit into the fleas category. Trap a couple of fleas in a jar and close it, they get use to the condition. Have Gambians become too use to the dictatorship that they don’t see the urgency to end it?


Recalling Dida Halaki’s 5 Monkey theory.

A parable for our times? (By Dida Halaki)
(I used this story at a meeting on senior teachers in Wembley, London, in 2003 – Dida)

Once upon a time, a zookeeper built a cage for 5 monkeys.

In the cage, the zookeeper hung a banana on a string – just out of the monkeys’ reach. He also put some steps underneath the banana so that the monkeys can step on it and reach the banana.

As soon as the keeper left the cage, the 5 monkeys looked at the banana and began to jump up to get it. They couldn’t reach the banana but didn’t give up.

Soon one of the monkeys went to the steps, intending to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touched the banana, the zookeeper sprayed all the monkeys with ice-cold water. This happened several times.

After sometime, when a monkey tried to climb the steps, the other monkeys all tried to prevent him. Once this happened, the zookeeper turned the hose off and stopped spraying the monkeys.

The next day, the zookeeper removed one monkey from the cage and replaced it with a new one. The new monkey saw the banana and went to climb the steps. To his horror, all of the other monkeys attacked him. After another attempt, and another attack by his fellow monkeys, he knew that if he tried to climb the steps he would be attacked.

Next the zoo keeper removed another of the original 5 monkeys and replaced it with a new one. The newcomer went to the steps to get the banana and he was attacked. The previous newcomer took part in the attack with enthusiasm.

Again the zookeeper replaced a third original monkey with a new one. The new one made it to the steps and was attacked as well. Two of the four monkeys that beat him were also new, so they had no idea why they were not permitted to climb the steps, or why they were participating in the beating of the newest monkey – but they still took part.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys that had been sprayed with ice-cold water had been replaced by the keeper. Nevertheless, these five new monkeys never again approached the steps – for fear of a beating by fellow monkeys.

Why did the beatings take place when these 5 newcomers had never been sprayed with the ice-cold water? Why didn’t any of them try to get the banana?

Because they had learnt that that’s how things are always done around here – otherwise you get a beating!


  1. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Thanks for refreshing the memory! It is amazing. My daughter, born in 2003, is reading Sophie’s Choice and laughs out loud when Sophie’s mum asks: “Are you on drugs?” – because Sophie is asking too many intelligent questions!

    • Thanks Dida, I remember that was signed off with the silent Londoner, Haha. In any case, a struggle that of our magnitude requires battling the minds to keep abreast with why we are resisting. And the need is there to alert our brothers and sisters to continue standing firm, with the nonsensical comical peace makers abound. Nice to read your daughters view point. The future is to push our kids to read and read. Less games, TV, video games, etc

  2. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Sorry, I meant to say Sophie’s WORLD the children’s philosophy book. Sophie’s Choice is the Movie.