By Abdoulie John
As President Yaya Jammeh is celebrating 50th birthday today, activists are calling on invited artists to desist from performing in TGambia.
“It should not be about the paycheck, but about using art to enlighten people. Dishonouring your father’s legacy and all those who fought to end repression in South Africa,” US-based Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (DUGA) posted on the Facebook wall of South African musican Nkulee Dube, who is set to perform in Banjul for Yaya Jammeh’s birthday anniversary.
A good number of African musicians have been invited by the Gambian leader including Nkulee Dube, daughter of slain reggae star Lucky Dube. The news of her planned concert has given rise to a wave of outrage on the social media.
In an attempt to contain harsh criticisms from inundating her Facebook page, the South African artist said in a post: “My father performed in Gambia in 2000. So, maybe music is the best weapon.”
Lamin A. Tunkara, one of the critics, brushed off her argument, and reminded her of a time when many people stood for justice in South Africa. “They used their voice to fight injustice. Nelson Mandela stood against tyranny and injustice, your father used his platform as a voice for the voiceless. Gambians stood with South Africans to fight against Apartheid.”
To many observers, the call for astists and entertainers to stage ant-apartheid like boycott during the birthday celebration has little chance to succeed. The lack of massive support from the international community continues to provide President Jammeh with the possibility to use huge amount of money to rally musicians around his cause.
Our Senegalese neighbours are his biggest supporters and all for money. They are indeed very interesting neighbours with allthe talk of democracy and freedom in Senegal, they could have use their music and sing jammeh down for his undemocratic behaviour but instead choose to look the other way….thanks
Music no matter from which quarter or artist will not save a dying regime.The Senegalese artists think they are wiser than Gambians by exploiting our situation. Gambians will have to come up with their own music that would without doubt quieten down the regime during this election cycle which is in it’s dying days. The people are becoming ever cautious and alert to their responsibility as citizens to salvage their own country through democratic means. It will not be long, the signs are there for all to see.
Do not forget about our Gambian musicians too, they are his biggest supporters. Charity should begins at home. Let’s stop pointing fingers.