First of all, I would like to congratulate my fellow nominees who have been shortlisted for the eleven (11) positions of Commissioners of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC); the composition of which aims to reflect the gender, regional, religious, cultural and possibly, ethnic diversity of both majority and minority Gambians.
I wish the shortlisted candidates all the best as they move through the next stages of objections and consultations before formal appointment by the President of The Republic of The Gambia.
Secondly, I would like to thank all those who took time of their respective busy schedules by nominating me in writing to the Ministry of Justice in Banjul. With joy, I salute the rural dwellers who suspended their farm work to travel to the regional selection meeting in our Jimara district, Upper River Region (URR) to vouch for me in an open democratic process. The time you took out of your farms to go and choose me was not a waste. It was an investment in the future and a vote of confidence in my humble self.
My gratitude goes to our film industry regulatory body, the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) for recommending me for TRRC appointment. I am humbled that NO court in the universe can show record of me being ever convicted or declared bankrupt so far. No Gambian political party can confirm me as an active card-bearing member or rank-and-file surrogate. Being nominated for a public assignment and meeting the basic legal requirements do not mean one must be appointed to that effect. It could therefore be a blessing in disguise that I am not selected to be among the published list of intended TRRC appointees. Then in life when one door is closed, another one will be opened. The Gambia a developing country and more opportunities will be coming up.
Thirdly, it is crucial to remind all that some of us who responded to the call of President Adama Barrow and his Government to come and join him in building our New Gambia are neither failure in the Diaspora not desperate job seekers. I, for one, am accomplished in my profession and I have a well-paid day job in Germany that makes it possible for me live better.
Immediately after the swearing-in of President Barrow in 2017, I took the personal initiative of flying into The Gambia, at my own expense, to mobilise at least 180 youths of both male and female gender, train them in creative film-making and made five (5) world class films with them. One of the films “PAIN OF SORROW” is nominated for the Hollywood African Prestigious Awards (HAPA) in USA as Best Film 2018. The other film on FGM “BLEEDING BLADE” is currently on a global educational screening tour after passing through Scotland and Germany. QTV Gambia screened my Sarahulleh language film “HISIRNWALLE” last Ramadan. I am getting regular requests from organizations interested in screening my films at their various events as I have modesty placed The Gambia on the global film map.
Some of the young people I trained and mentored in the creative arts and media have gained employment at QTV Gambia, Paradise TV, Star FM and TV and other media outlets in the country. The national broadcaster GRTS got staff who told me that I inspired them into the media. My other female trainees have successfully made their independent films and they are going to be The Gambia’s best female movie stars in due course. At the time of writing this note of gratitude, one of my male mentees who graduated in graphic design is currently representing The Gambia at an international youth event in Crimea, Russia.
Fourthly, I feel relieved that I came back to The Gambia and started something tangible and measurable without waiting for government jobs or donor funding. Between January 2017 and July 2018, I remitted at least 120,000 Euros (GMD 6,720,000 when the exchange rate is D56 to an Euro) from my legally-earned salary in Germany into The Gambia (copies of money transfer slips available for verification) for various long term investments in both human and material assets.
Finally, I am optimistic about the future of The Gambia in spite of the post-dictatorship challenges. The debate around the TRRC has so far been about the appointment or selection of some people into various positions. With my note of gratitude, I was to put a face to the other side of the transitional justice process by appreciating all those who were nominated at public or grassroots levels but were, like me, not lucky to be considered by the higher entities. The public might not know all of them. Notwithstanding, let us join hands in building our commonwealth of The Gambia in our various progressive ways.
I remain a loyal and unflinching supporter of President and his Administration and will do whatever I can, positively, towards the consolidation of his legacy. Some of us will use our transferable skills and expertise in adding value to New Gambia and will NOT involve ourselves in any reactionary or subversive activity that could detail our national reconstruction. We have an interest in the success of our new political dispensation.
See you at the fourth (4th) edition of our leading CineKambiya International Film Festival (CIFF) and subsequent world premiere of our pivotal documentary on the legendary Kelefa Saane of the then Kaabu Empire.
Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu