The Educated-Illiterate

An educated man bearing horns
An educated man bearing horns!

By Jutala

You said he is an educated-illiterate. But how is that possible? How can one be educated and still be illiterate?

“But how could he not understand this simple equation? People want to live according to their natural will. Forcing people to do things they don’t like is equal to unhappiness and resentment. The absolute power now rests with the supreme leader and that is not how it should be. At first it was not like that. It is the legislative branch that should decide what can or cannot be done by the citizen. But even the legislative branch should also be driven by the interest of the people, and the people should know their rights under the law and should know how the three branches of their government work and question them when they try to stray from the common interest of the people. This is call transparency and accountability and that is why the three branches of the government should be independent of each other and yet work together for betterment of the country. It is illegal for the president of the country to be the only one that decides what the executive, legislative and the judiciary branches of the government do. This leads to corruption, injustice and negligence of the duties of ruling the country justly, you see. The common people should be the ones to decide how things happen. But how could he not understand this simple equation?”

And who is this educated-illiterate that you are talking about? Some of these people have doctorate titles from some institutions out there, you see.

““Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all” Aristotle told us. If your so-called doctors do not have the heart to work for the society rather than their pockets, then their education is only that of the mind. They only become intelligent devils. So it is not the tittle that matters, but the integrity of the person that holds the title. If his education that got him these fancy titles cannot inspire him to stand up for justice and do what is right for the good of the entire society, then it is not an education of the heart and hence might be classified as illiterate.

“He would foolhardily sweat the little water in his body, in fake solidarity rallies even when he knew that most of the things the shrouded-leader does is contrary to the common interest of the people. He must be illiterate, not to know that the country barely survives without a foreign donor’s sponsorship and remittances from his imaginary enemies that live abroad. Yet while dining with some economic prostitutes from the Middle East, he is romanced into believing that everything is well with the economy. How could he deceive his own people that he claimed are behind him, about the poorly planned two-lane highways laid in the urban towns? Some of which were laid high above people’s houses leaving them to the mercy of flooding. Even a good illiterate knows that the money for these roads was a loan or at best a donation from the very organization he chastised for wanting to recolonize his country. But then again he would block traffic on these roads in a disguise for national security, instilling unnecessary fear amongst the people he claimed to protect. How could he not figure out a better way than stiffing traffic in these already congested roads? Have you not also seen the police man sweating in the baking sun at the traffic junction directing vehicles? What happen to the “vision-2020” traffic lights mounted at these junctions? Perhaps the oil wells we heard about have not started flowing yet. Apparently they are still on a CD in some office hoping they never come out for the good of the country. In the wake of low oil prices in the world, you would think that gas prices would go down in your country as it was in other countries, but instead his country men and women, whom he claimed are always behind him were compensated for this low oil prices by a rising electricity bills, and yet he calls himself a patriot.”

But how could you call him an educated-illiterate when he built more schools for our children to be better educated? How can you say he is an educated fool when he gave up his integrity to serve the interest of the country’s leader? How can you say that he is an educated ignoramus when he sweats in the steaming swamps of the president’s rice fields, helping him to realize his dream of a new Dubai of Africa? Don’t you appreciate the new national assembly building he built and the best airport terminal in the sub region? He brainstormed and came up with the monthly national set-setal to keep the country as clean and healthy as the top ten on Forbes’ list and yet you call him a functional-illiterate. What about the “back-to-the-land” campaign from which people “grow what they eat and eat what they grow”?

“You must be late my friend, not to realize that it’s now called “Vision-2016” (The myopic vision that is supposed to see the end of rice importation into the country. I hope this vision was not devised in the new national assembly building you mentioned). And in case you missed it, his new dream for you is for the country to surpass Qatar and Japan as the world economic powers by the year 2015. Or maybe 2025 sound better. And mind you, my friend, the women of your country are the target group for this sudden ascension to mightiness as evident in their theme for 2015 international women’s day; “Vision 2016, Gambian Women Can Make It Happen!”

“Don’t you see a trend here my friend? It’s just the same old wine in a new wine skin. Check your dates and you will realize that the next presidential election is closer than you may think. Apparently you can credit him for some competency in that regard. He is taking advantage of the ignorance of your people to achieve his political goals. Do you really think he cares about your religion as he pretends? If he does then why did he force thousands of your people against their religious will to worship god on the day he choose, when there is supposed to be “no compulsion in religion”? Hardly will any expert tell you it’s impossible for the country to be food self-sufficient, but seriously even with your honorary PhD you should know it’s unrealistic to achieve such a big initiative so suddenly when the conditions necessary are not all in his control. Unless if the almighty God that belongs to him alone becomes the very rice farmer.”

But you also said “he does not think well before he acts and that is why his economic policies are pulling the country to her knees. How can one person be in charge of every business in the country? Not even the selling of chickens is spared. And I said he wants to make business easier and cheaper for the people and the best way to do that is to own the businesses himself. Then you said “that is a way of an economic fool who does not know how the real economies work.” I said he does not have good advisers to tell him a better way of doing things, and you said, “That is because his ill-literacy makes him too arrogant to listen to anyone and the few that tried to help him are used and then betrayed.” Then you also said “those few are also fools because they are no strangers to how his systems work.”

“If he is not also an educated fool, he could have talked the supreme leader from some of the things he does by pointing out areas of priorities to him. He could have told him that his economic policies are handicapping the country’s progress. Which sane leader in this day and age would ban importation of goods based on a mere projection that enough will be produced? Did he sign a pact with the Angel of rain or maybe there is some kind of Indian engineering happening on the shores of our mighty Gambia River (the one the queens of England still wish they own). Killing competition in this generation is a way of indirectly laying the groundwork for mediocrity. He could advise the supreme leader not to become the supreme law that decides who becomes what and what happens to whom.”

I said he cannot be an educated fool when he is interested in the progress of the country which is why he sacrifices his life, pride and integrity to work for the government and the people. But you asked “how comes then he bashed away the freedom of those who dare speak to inform their countrymen about how the government works so that they can hold their government accountable for its actions? Because his ill-literacy taught him that such people are menaces to the power that he thinks belongs to him alone. Oh…how can you say he is not an educated buffoon when he makes it a crime for his people to even say that life is hard in the country? He might as well be stripped of his PhD since he cannot even devise a better way of protecting his citizens without killing them in taxis with weapons. A Chinese philosopher once told us that “Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them. Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint.” Now you tell me, does your so called ‘security’ forces knows any other way than using weapons when dealing with your people. You see, my friend, “when you don’t trust people, you make them untrustworthy.””

I again said he must not be an educated-illiterate because he creates a three-day weekend for the civil servant, a genuine gesture from someone who cares about the people and also tries to cut down the government’s expenditure. He is considerate to the majority of his countrymen that’s why he gives them a day off on their holy day. Who else is capable of that but an educated wise man?

“But still he must be an autocrat, to make such changes without first consulting the people he represents. He must be some kind of an educated jester to not consider the impact of his decisions and actions and how they will affect the living conditions of the people who make him who he is. How many of our youth are forcing themselves through the dry deserts of Africa to the unstable Libya of Qadafi’s aftermath, hoping to still be alive when the unfortunate opportunity comes for them to cross the deadly seas to Europe. And you still think this has nothing to do with his misguided priorities (like printing new money) and failed policies that are forcing the countries youth into the dangerous wilderness of the mighty seas of terror.

“How can you not blame him when he does anything he is asked to do, putting aside his integrity and forgetting his oaths of office to work for the people of the country? Isn’t it your definition of Patriotism to let foreigner be in charge of deciding who is a citizen of your country by issuing Passports to whomever they desire.” No that is not patriotism I said. “Then he must be a fool not to know that in this world of heartless opportunist, some ill-minded people can take advantage of such a thing and commit stupid crimes in the name of his country. Did that ever crosses your mind? Do you ever wonder why it’s cheaper to call other countries in your region much more than your country? Do you not wonder why when you call your family from abroad you call ends up on someone else’s phone? You think that is just computer misbehavior correct? Apparently there is a lot you really don’t know about your country and the people who run it. Whether your call goes through to your relative or not, as long as it’s terminated in your country, the call terminator (who is no longer Gamtel) gets paid. The government you think is working for you is in fact selling your country piecemeal to the one with the best promise of gratuity and yet you said he is not an educated-illiterate.

“My friend “those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act,” and by extension if they fail to act in the right way, and in the best interest of the society, then their education does not make them any better than an illiterate.”



  1. jaddus the higher priest

    There’s difference between education and instructions. Education is knowing about oneself and the connectedness of the whole. Today we mistake instructions for education, that’s why we are baffled in the characters of so-called educated elites.

  2. My heart bleeds upon reading this article. Loaded with the realities.

  3. Baboucarr Samba

    Educated people put us into this mess. Yes, the picture fits their perfect description.

  4. I drop tears while reading Jutala’s masterpiece. May Allah save us from the evil that strangles to death everything Gambian.

  5. Let Jammeh understand that no one rules like the way he does without facing violent and painful ending.

  6. @JADDUS, I think you got it. There is a difference between education and instruction.
    Education helps people understand themselves, others around them and their environment. Education in its very true form will help us to be aware, to learn to organise ourselves socially with real respect for one and other. And whilst instructions, in other words courses. are merely job finding opportunities and has little to do with one’s social state of mind. However, i don’t think both the latter have anything to do with one’s honesty and self esteem.
    Educated or illitrate, we have to be honest to ourselves and our country and that is one good key to a better life in our society.

  7. Thank you for your brilliant piece . You have well stated our so called educated people’s problem . You are right to point out the issues we face daily in dealing with educated- illetrates and their irresponsible roles in entrenching dictatorship in our country .There is difference between education and instruction as pointed out by jaddus . I think educated folks needs to be aware and understand themselves , their government , should have political awareness and understand their roles as responsible citizens . They should be able to critically think and make decision that are in best interest of the country . In our Gambian case , the only difference between some of our so called educated folks and those who didn’t attend school is reading and writing . Majority of our educated forks can only read and write but lack the capacity to think and understand issues at hand , they are not polictical aware and didnt understand their responsibility in the society . This is why with all the PhDs , they can’t even come with simple ideas to improves people’s live but to steal and oppress them . They think that their education is meant to sit in offices with beautiful tie to impress women and sexually harass them . Drive foreign made flashy cars without knowing how to do basic maintenance Job . They are liability to society due to their self importance and unwillingness to do the right thing .

  8. Quite a handy work, Jutala… Our murderous devil-worshipping professor of worthlessness is rather semiliterate with NO realistic education at all…. It is a bandit with a destructive course armed & temporally shelled by the utilized state machinery which necessarily belongs to the masses & temporarily overseen by the incumbent of the day… The fact is, the murderous despot will soon face reality in some rude awakening; Gambians are determined to salvage the motherland from decadence no matter what & how it takes, & will never rest/stop until completely successful, for NOTHING, unless the desired outcome achievement can stop us. God helps & bless Gambia; Ameen.