Marx? The paradox is that, if you reverse most of your indictment laid out to make a case for the so-called “Jola hegemony”, and Superimpose it over the First Republic under President Jawara, it would fit like a glove. My concern is that of Marginalization, Prejudicial and Stereotypical attitudes, believes and behavior that is insidiously and subliminally communicated at the Bantabas, Ataya Brewing gatherings and in Oral history narratives that denigrates and belittles other tribes. It is this hate-filled half truths and hyperbole about others that is passed on in some quarters and regions from generation to generation that all Gambians must resist, opposed and guard against at all times. I have witnessed such inflaming rhetoric and self-serving platitudes and did my best to address them head-on.
I have heard and read about the Supposedly existing “Jola hegemony” in the Gambia, and yet the writers and or speakers would inevitably try to justify their allegation by pointing out some Jola in a position here and there, without any Historical and Sociological Context or Analysis with reference to the contributing variables and factors behind the mirage or smokescreen. Historically, Culturally and Traditionally many tribes especially among the Mandinka, Careers in Law Enforcement, the Police and even the Military are not acceptable because of their Caste believe system and the Taboo attached to these Careers. In fact, a Police career is believed to lead one into “Hell” due to quote, “you would be obliged to arrest your own parents” and thus be damned into Hell fire.
The Jola society being an egalitarian society without the classical definition of a Monarch, Class and Caste like Stratification, does not subscribe to such Believes and Taboos in matters of earning a living. Jola egalitarian society presents a double sword. They are not restricted nor do they see any job as being below or not appropriate for them. They worked as guards, laborers, baby-sitters and house maids for decades in the Gambia and Senegal before it became fashionable in Gambia and other parts of Africa, especially with regards to babysitting and working as maids abroad to take care of American and European kids and families, which most other tribes refuse to do in their own country, the Gambia but don’t have any questions or concerns engaging in America and Europe.
Sociologically, this industriousness of the Jola, has been turned upside down by their counter parts and instead of the Jola being recognized for their work ethic, they earned the scorn and prejudice and stereotype of a Supposedly “lower class status” among the other tribes. It is not unusual to hear a seemingly intelligent and self-described educated and generally speaking knowledgeable non-Jola Ganbian, say “NNA JOLA” or “Summa Jola Bi”, meaning “My Jola” in Mandinka and Jolof respectively when referencing or speaking about their employee who is Jola. The connotation and subliminal message is clear. It assumes that the speaker or the employer “owns the Jola”, he or she is a good or property, even though they can barely afford to pay the Jola and feed themselves adequately. The false status symbol and appearance must be maintained at all costs. This further contributes to the Corruption and Corruptive practices of looting the National and Private limited resources just to keep the unsustainable life style.
Marx, and any who cares to ask, where are we going with this and how is it related to the issues of the Subliminal and negative narratives any and all Jola as being guilty of all things during the Presidency of Yaya Jammeh. “The Jola have been victims of the Second Republic under Yaya Jammeh as much as any tribe in the Gambia”, one Commentator or Writer would stipulate in one breath and then in another Insidiously and subliminally offer an opinion that the Jola as if they are a Monolith and an unthinking being, are the Supposedly running the Affairs of State in the Gambia.
An analysis of the tribal origin of all Ministers, Ambassadors, Permanent Secretaries and other Gate-keepers who Served under President Yaya Jammeh and the Second Republic Government would reveal a Contradictory results and Fail to Corroborate the Fake News or Subliminary Commentary with reference to a “Jola hegemony” in the Gambia. It is not helpful nor does it further or contribute to the Resolution or Solving the Political impasse casting the dark shadows of impending civil disturbance and potential deadly Conflicts in the Gambia.
The current drum beat of the so-called “Jola hegemony” is at the minimum irresponsible, criminally slanderous and potentially genocidal and should be addressed by the Silent Coalition Alliance Party Leadership and President Elect Adama Barrow as well as all Peace loving Gambians. The Gambia is too small to be Balkanized and Sub-divided, especially at a time like this when all Gambians should be working to effect a Peaceful Negotiation and Transition of Government.
Any Insidious and Subliminal attempt to Scapegoat and paint all Jola as the Culprits of the wrongs under the Second Republic, would be met with an opposite and equal response. Such Provincial and Narrow minded and Selective blame would only reinforce the negative narratives and inflame an already combustible environment. Those who like “Marx” who subscribe to such Believes and nocturnal utterances need to invest in a more worthwhile cause and endeavor and not retentively allow themselves to be consumed and destroyed by hate. I don’t know of any Jola hegemony, nor Mandinka or Wolof hegemony in the Gambia. I know of a Yaya Jammeh government, and last I checked it is still populated with all tribes accross the Gambia and has been like that since its coming to Power.
STOP PEDDLING THE INSIDIOUS AND EMOTIONALLY CHARGED SUBLIMINAL MESSAGES TO THE GAMBIA AND THE GAMBIANS. THE JOLA ARE NO ONES ENEMY, UNLESS YOU MAKE THEM ONE BY YOUR WORDS AND ACTION.
Sidi N. Bojang