How Gambian Intellectuals Fail Us


I think you are missing the argument on why Gambian intellectuals have failed the country during 22 years of military dictatorship. There is no doubt that our intellectual community has not only failed to provide leadership and brilliant ideas in the form of policies but also these intellectuals lacked strategic vision in shaping the democratization process of the country when Dictator Yaya Jammeh was in power. This was evident by Jammeh’s usage of Gambian intellectuals to formulate laws and policies that violated constitutional rights of citizenry. Was it not the same Gambian intellectuals who helped former President Jammeh to loot our meager resources at the expense of ordinary citizens?

In fact, the commission of inquiry that has been probing into the financial activities of former President Jammeh clearly indicates that Gambian intellectuals have become completely negligent, demonstrated lack of economic patriotism and totally disregarded the welfare and economic advancement of Gambian people. The evidence of this commission is further indictment of Gambian intellectuals’ lack of foresight, patriotism and the true meaning of intellectualism. Intellectuals in any civilized society are supposed to be a change agents through advocacy of innovative ideas to improve lives of people.

But Gambian intellectuals who deviated from the ideals of intellectualism have directly participated in looting millions of dollars from state coffers. The same blind eye to human rights violations under their nose. It was this reason that people of goodwill and wisdom have questioned the roles of Gambian intellectuals when the country and Gambian people needed them the most to salvage us from dictatorial rule and exploitation. I think you would agree with me that all those who lost their lives in the fight to restore democracy and rule of law, none are people Gambian people consider as intellectuals in our everyday usage of the word. But these ordinary people without any higher education. Solo Krumang was a farmer and blacksmith who had wisdom and patriotism to stand for what was constitutionally and morally rights for our country. He paid the ultimate price for freedom and dignity of Gambian people. I believe that Mr Krummah’s innovative ideas and advocacy for democratic ideals has brought positive improvements in the lives of Gambian people. This is what intellectualism is all about. No one hates intellectuals but their actions and conduct in recent past have shown that Gambian intellectuals careless about human rights and economic development of the country.




  1. Alieu Badara Saja

    Maxs, your observations about Gambian intellectuals may not be pleasant to some people but very factual and honest. It is high time we swallow our pride and accept our limitations and failures to forge a better future for this country. To say that the comportment and actions of many of our intellectuals during the Jammeh days is disgraceful is an understatement. Every well-meaning Gambia must denounce the failures of some of our intellectuals.

  2. Alhagi Touray

    Hello Max,
    Thank you very much for your views and analysis on our Gambian intellectuals.
    I brought up this topic first time on Kairo News, because I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that our intellectuals were no where to be found when they were needed the most. The evidence of that is everywhere for everyone to see. We will not entertain elitism any more in the Gambia because it had been devastating and cruel. The Gambian intellectuals are less than 1% of the population but they could be heard all over. The gap between ordinary Gambian and the Gambian intellectuals is miles away. I said it before that I had no grudges when it comes to intellectualism. I believe we need intellectuals in our new found democracy. But we need intellectuals with vision, integrity, reform minded and impeccable character.

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