As Senegambia’s emblematic figure has been laid to rest in the holy city of Touba, Senegal, tributes are continuously being paid to a musician that dedicated his life to foster unity between Senegal and The Gambia. The late Musa Afia Ngum believed and campaigned for the unification of the two countries.
“Musa Ngum’s musical career prove he was a true artist. He was ahead of his epoch, and played his quota for the achievement of Senegambian ideals,” Oumar Diouf, Head Of Arts & Culture desk at the Senegalese daily newspaper Le Soleil told Kairo News.
Oumar Diouf said the rich repertoire of Musa Afia Ngum was not understood by many people. “Even the powerful message he has tried to convey through the shoes and socks was wrongly interpreted. His link with Super Diamono is illustrative of his commitment to the ideals of Senegambia.”
In a tribute to Musa Ngum, widely shared on social media, Gambian music promoter and expert Oko Drammeh explained that his songs re-echo the ancient Kingdoms of Senegambia region. “He is indeed a musical hero. Musa left The Gambia in 1981 and moved to Senegal. He was assiduously courted by Super Diamono, one of the then premier Senegalese bands and he finally joined the group in 1985. He teamed up with Omar Pene, Maiga, Lamin Faye (Lemso) – the legendary Senegalese guitarist and they released “Borom Daaru” and “Partef” which became Senegambian classics.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Père Ouza Diallo who described Musa Ngum as “an inspiring and creative spirit. His music will survive the test of time,” he said during a telephone interview.
When asked to comment on the way the President Yahya Jammeh extended his
largesses to Senegalese artists at the expense of Gambians, Ouza recollected his earlier conversation with the late Ngum. “Four years back, we toured Germany together and had the opportunity to share unforgettable moments. During our conversation, he told me that the Gambian leader had offered him a piece of land.”
Ouza added: “Like Souleymane Faye, Musa Ngum was not attracted by the material world. He was a veritable Muslim.”