Music and Musicians were curial in uplifting Gambians and generating a sense of national pride
Loving your country is part of solid faith!
Why are Gambians not passionately Gambian?
It is true our country is small
It is true we don’t have natural resources like other African countries to brag about.
But what we have is a fighting spirit and an innermost humility in doing things without wanting to get much attention.
The Independence of Mother Gambia means different things to different people, depending on which part of our beautiful strip you come from.
What we all find unity and comfort in is the realisation that, we have men and women who look like us, who are our kith and kin running the affairs of our country.
So yes, be happy and proud of our Independence day.
Our challenge now is for every Gambian to inculcate the passion of self-reliance, getting involved in our national business, not being satisfied with the way things are, running to God without understanding our responsibilities to ourselves, and ignoring things that don’t directly affect us.
As a rural person, independence meant having the realisation that, our farm produce will have a ready market at prices which are best for us. It means that, having people who understood our hard work and need to live simple lives but satisfied with our earnings from simple farming methods.
Independence further connects us to genuine Gambians who will do all they can to improve our living standards. The creation of better farming techniques with expert assistance in making our labour pay, our produce even more plentiful, going beyond our wildest imaginations.
The rule of Law and equality in our public space, with our common humanity defining our inter-connectedness and common heritage made independence a sweet reality.
Today, there is independence and there is the struggle to bring back human dignity and freedom and liberty for all.
President Jammeh created a victim mentality and blamed some within our country for the ‘perceived’ victimisation. Hence, the equality in the public space is now well and truly ransacked and destroyed. Hence, the fight today is to bring the glimpses of that sweet taste of what it meant to be truly independent.
The suspicions in our society today are nothing but the failure of the state to independently arbitrate in our national affairs. The chronic hatred that has been sub-planted between us, created a wedge so ugly, people today speaks of oneness but sadly, it doesn’t mean much in their inner hearts of hearts.
Yahya Jammeh’s legacy is glaringly clear, he triumph on ugliness, barbarity, brutality, callousness and lack of emotional sensitivity.
Intellectual prostitution becomes the order of the day. Since intellectuals as well as the ordinary people compete for his heart to be able to have basic access to employment and food.
Our society has turned upside down, and the common relationships and bond which hold the fabric together broken in order for Jammeh to take roots and destroy all our traditions and customs that could be a defence mechanisms against his brutal onslaught.
The legacy of our founding fathers for Independence is today soiled and contaminated beyond recognition. Opportunism and lack of empathy defines the goals of many. Deception and fabrications, with pump and arrogance dominating our national discourse.
A trend has been created where, nepotistic and xenophobes glamour to win the heart and mind of the tyrant. They mastered the art of destroying and tarnishing the images of good men/women.
People have now championed the art of ‘Switching the Labels’, which has never existed in our country.
Tribalist will rush to tag others as tribalist, victimisers and those they assist in victimising will quickly blame others for victimising them. And the re-writing of our history becoming a common trend in our national newspapers. Being factual and obeying the simple rules of truth in telling a story an alien common currency.
Once upon a time, celebrated writers unable to resist the lure of the ‘devil’s’ dining table. Recalling Nana Grey-Johnson, Sam Sarr and Sherrif Bojang. There are others too.
So independence needs to be celebrated, but then our focus now is to re-establish the decency, toughness, and resilience that propelled our rural elders, our Towns and City elders to demand self-rule and national inter-dependence.
Hatred and the intellectual masking of it be dumped. The national space be a place of joy and comfort. The rule of law, order and equal opportunity be a staple diet for all hard working citizens to run for their desired objectives.
Let this be known, villagers or urban dwellers, no one is sleeping these days. Let us give each other respect and have emotional sensitivity.
Suntou Bolonba Touray
Kairo News Political Editor
Aside from my antipathy towards anything aggrandising self-anointed supplement names such as “Bolonba”!!, I found solace in a very good written article dedicated to 18th of February.
I can only re-emphasize the importance of focussing on issues that really affect us and stem against diversionary tactics. The Gambia stands to lose a very important commodity. This is the social capital. It is the trust that reduces the transaction cost of doing business in a country or economic zone. Today the Gambia is on a fast track becoming a segmented and sectarian country. A fallout from the current dispensation.
Here mandinka’s as the dominator and/or conquerors of another man’s land and there Christians as “relics of colonialism”.
May the slogan “Gambia our homeland”, goes for all and sundry.
Kinteh, thank you for the compliment. Interestingly, your query is the name…’Bolonba’.That is quiet interesting though. I will refer you the Shakespeare play. What is in the name? Thank you Kinteh.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare’s lyrical tale of “star-cross’d” lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called “Montague”, not the Montague name and not the Montague family. Romeo, out of his passion for Juliet, rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to “deny (his) father” and instead be “new baptized” as Juliet’s lover. This one short line encapsulates the central struggle and tragedy of the play, and is one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes.
Indeed name is an integral part of ourselves and it is who we are. Enriching our names though, can take on a worrying magnitude. Hence my aside meant as a joke….no grudge at all and thanks for referring me to this fitting play about what’s in a name.
Oscar wilde also delivered a mockery on names in the play “the importance of being earnest”.
Gwendola asserted “the only really safe name is Ernest(68)” and Cecily agreeing “I pity any poor woman whose husband is not called Ernest (69)”. Later both will be indignantly annoyed to find out that the men they were engaged to, real names were not Ernest.
So names do confer offspring but arrogating names may become superfluous.
Less we divert from our main discourse, happy 51st independence anniversary.