Tuesday, 12 February 2008

part two of MADIKEY .A STORY

after eating the chicken soup for late night diner and drank waraka or ataya bunoi ,they bid each other good night. but the following morning ,things did not start well for the late imam's son call morro . he always wakes up for his fajr salah(early morning prayer ) to the sound of his chicken's every early morning. but this time he did heard any thing.he continue sleeping untill his wife wakes him up . aaah ,moro was the standing imam so the villagers became worried .they start asking each other ''did the imam travel ,why didn't he attend fajr prayers ''? they enquire .so morro's first purpose was to find out what happen to his big chickens .he look all round the neigbourhood to no avail. he start asking and threatening .he goes like this '' if anybody stole my hen's please bring them if not i deal with the person or persons spiritually and legally .'' i will katime you ''.well some of you out there will know what a katime is .it is a dangerous mathematical combinations mix in with some names of jinns. so all the children in village and youngs boys where terrified about morro's barking walking the lenght and breath of the village. our ants ,uncles ,fathers ,mothers you name them start pulling us aside ,asking ''did you take part in the chicken theft ? '' yes or no ?. well this went on untill midday when morro gave his final ultimatum , '' identify yourselves or you will get mad '' .what? the youngs boy though to themselves .suddently some started coming forward blaming each other. it was m jawneh's idea ,no it was m bayo's idea ,it went on .untill they name each other to the last person. then a village meeting was convine .it was headed by the alkalo and other village elders includinh alh sajo darbo ,demba jafune ,pa suso ,kebilli etc and many more.the villagers where asking morro what would he accept as a fair replcaement for his chickens ? he said he wants the dead hens brought back to life or else he continue with his wish to make the boys mad. .this is funny now to me but then it wasn't .my aunt was the head of the women and she was a no noncence lady .so i was scolded three times on suspicions of my involvement in theft but i wasn't part of the big boys game.the elders pleaded with moro untill he accept a money offer of D100 for three hens .D100 was a lot of money then but that is the amount that will quench moro's thirst. he was given D100 by the parents of the boys .but then before moro accept the money he asked the boys '' who help you to buy ingredients for the hens ''? they looked at each other and they said madikay .what he exclaimed ? they reppeat Madikay jafune give us D5 to guy all we need.then the matter went back to square one. Moro said madikay most be called to give his own account .every body was sadden by madikays involvement. this is a close knit village where to shamed means exile or death .it is just now that things changed but our elders use to die from been publicly shamed. yes this is true.so Madikay was summond by the Alkaliba. he came head bow dowm. he seated close to the alkalo .he was aksed whether he took part in the theft of moro's hens ,to which Madikay made this famous quotation so please pass it on it is in mandinka but i will try to translate it in english. he said '' nnin katato yela yela nninkatato mela hemela ''. if a troublesome person goes to bed then you are in bed but if a troublesome person is awake then you are awake ''some may have a better explanation .the alkalo persisted untill madikay admit giving them the money to buy the ingredients.he was fine some money and warned never to take part such criminal acts.madikay was deeply embarrased . he couldn't even to the shops ,he later left the village with a heavy heart and he resettle a village close to bansang ,the petty criminals made us lost our only skilled leather worker in the village .shame on them . but madikays quotation bears truth .today yahya jammeh is a katato .if he wish jail for you ,jail you go .sad indeed. good night. madikay is now deceased .may his soul rest in peace.amen


every night a leather skill worker locally Known as farabo will take orders from different clients to sew different leather materials into belts , bags and some times shoes in a remote gambian village.the man is so skilled customers come from far and wide for his products. his name is madikay .madikay became very famous in sandu area and wulli area of the Gambia . his fame reach far and wide up to sami and niani and even janjanbureh island. as young boys we use to buy the latest belts and sandals from madikay and even scholl backs. he was gifted people will always say but madikay was hard working and intelligent .he some times work all night to complete the huge customer orders .so one faithful night madikay was doing what the wolof will call banye lal ( refusing to sleep ) all night just to complete orders ,this nature of him usually coincide with the time of bad youths .youths in rural area's go out at night for bad behaviours .so madikay knows many hidden secrets of the village ,cus he is awake all night. he see's many evil things but he is always kept quite about what he show.see nothing and say nothing is his policy .but madikay is an elder of the village and his opinion counts .so one faithful night the youths came to him with an offer he can't refuse .this are bad youths ,petty thiefs .this youths stole three chickens ,this chickens belong to the son of the late imam whom every body in the village knows his quick tempar and hardheartedness. madikay was innocent all along untill the youths told him '' we have three big chickens but we don't have the money to buy cooking oil ,onions,tomatoes and some other spices to cook our chickens''.madikay though about the matter for a while and said to the youths ''don't tell any body about the issue '' to which the whole youths aggree in unison. madikay gave them the money to buy the ingredients .the chicken was well cooked and they all ate it happily.guess what happen next ? i will have my own diner now and pray asar ,then i wil complete the true stroy.thanks

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Mystical Gambian trees

JALOO a bitter huge tree use for curing tummy ache. also they use to say it stop wichcraft what ever evidence they have i don't know. SANTAN, a santan is also a tree use for making fragrance. they slice its body and leave it to release a kind of liguid which is use as a churye or local fragrance.the sarahulehs like this kind of medicinal fragrance. some even put under it under the mosquitor net in the summer season. very nice smell.Another mystical tree is BAMTAN .a bantan is also use in anceint times as idol.Tabou . a tabo is a tree that bear fruits. it is nice .tabo aslo use to be used for adol worship. some will leave offerng under the tree and even kill animals for idol under a tabou.another mystical tree is Sotoo. a sotoo is use for many kinds of medicines. they claim to even use it in curing infatility for women. it is also use for many other purposes. in days gone ,the circumcise boys are usually lodged under a sotoo .a huge circular tent is build arround the sotoo .Also Sitoo .many knows about sitoo.This is use for food. its fruit is use in making local beverages and also as an add-on in the delicious mono.


Devastating consequences of an emigration, a typical story of a Gambian immigrant. This is a story of a father and husband who abandon his family for the seeking of wealth.
Africa’s hard working bread earners get hooked up in the magnetic immigration trap of America and Europe. In search of wealth for the welfare of their families back home, many African immigrants end up getting lost for very long periods. In worst scenarios some of them never return at all. It is a common situation in the Gambia and no doubt possible in other parts of the world. The most affected are those who leave their spouses behind. Without proper travelling documents they could not return. Unable to beat the situation and without fulfilling the ambition of amassing wealth as was the dream, these immigrants prefer to stay away from home as long they can. Behind them wife /wives, children and the extended family keep hoping for a dream that hardly comes to be. After very long time of waiting some of the marriages are broken. Some women fall victim of unwanted pregnancy when their husband takes too long to return home.A good number of African families rely on remittances from bread earners abroad. Many of these are located in the United States of America, Europe, and elsewhere. When they leave home, the ambition is to generate abundant wealth to change lifestyle, with houses, cars, jewellery and luxury commodities. For some people things work out fairly. For many others expectations are never fulfilled. This is the story of someone who travelled to America more than 12 years ago. He was a successful retail trader with business located at Basse market. He employed some youth workers especially during school holidays. Everybody in the locality knows him. He is a towering figure with a lot of humour and kind personality. He lodged lots of students in his home from surrounding villages of Basse and Mansajang Kunda. These are from families he was not related to. He practically adopted children from other locations without asking for compensation from their parents and provided them opportunity to be educated.The man, Mr Beteya Mokende was a household name during his peak of business success. Beteya is a Mandingo word for kindness and Mokende is also another Mandingo word for nice or good person.Like many business people during the days of the Gambia Commercial and Development Bank (GCDB), Mokende secured a loan to venture into business. He was a skilled person by trade. His fame and charisma brought him in contact with many of Basse's famous Fula and Sarahuleh Business men. They advised him to get into business and so he did. In his business Mokende made good contacts within a short span of time. He was soon to open a new shop at other end of town within a year of business. Things started moving fast. Business was good. Sales grew beyond normal profit expectations. Mr Mokende extended his suppliers to Banjul. He later established supply chain with a business tycoon in Banjul who provided regular supply of essential commodities and hardware. He was soon to become a major distributor in Basse town. Record keeping for the business was performed by secondary school student learning quickly from Mr Mokende. He encouraged his school going adopted youths to learn business, some of them after school proceeded straight to the shop and others stayed home to do homework. Later in the evening the students take their turn in helping as sales associates at the shop. He was making a lot of money every day. Like many business men in the area at that time, Mokende borrowed his starting capital from the Indigenous Business Advisory Service IBAS, small enterprise development and promotion organisation. The rest was borrowed from the defunct Gambia Commercial and Development Bank, GCDB. These loans were agreed on weekly mode of payment at specified local bank account. Business success depended on steady cash flow derived from profitable sales. In other words, re-investment of profit, more appropriately called plough back of profit keeps the business going. But in most cases to ensure the agreed weekly repayment is kept on track Mokende was compelled to part with profit money needed to help further purchases. Being the honest person he was, Mokende rather than ploughing back instead paid the bank hundreds Dalasis into his loan account in the defunct Gambia Commercial and Development Bank. This regular loan repayment was not good for Mr Mokende's business but he quickly found a way of controlling the flow of funds in the business. Another way business men make quick returns is by taking fast moving goods from willing suppliers in Banjul. This way, you pay nothing upfront. The profit is not wasted on interest payments to greedy bank managers. Mokende’s business had many willing suppliers. Things started to look rosy again in the expanding business. Soon Mr Mokende became the envy of most of his close friends. Success in some instances has a way of turning friends into foe. That was the fate of Mokende. Mokende had three hard working wives. They all adored him. With three wives comes accommodation problem. He built a new beautiful massive house for him and his family. At the end part of his home he built a second mansion locally called self-contain house, the first in its kind in the part of Basse's neighbouring towns.Getting a new nice house was to the pride and joy of all in the family but the spiralling cost of building materials later proved harder to sustain. The thing became out of control. The cost of building materials could not be accurately estimated. Circumstances compelled Mokende to start dipping into his personal savings and suddenly the loan repayments got delayed. Mokende wanted the house finished earlier than was possible. Most of his friends had new houses and nice seating rooms. While building his prestige and social relations, Mokende's relationship with his associates and the bank managers began to sour. Soon the stocks started to go below reorder level. Mokende also bought a commercial vehicle which later failed to bring in needed income. Cost of frequent maintenance was much more than income. Bad news was coming out of Banjul. The Gambia Commercial & Development Bank GCDB had gone burst. The collapsing bank demanded all loans repaid. Also IBAS wanted its loans repaid. That was a sharp turning point and fate and fortune. The once prosperous businesses in Basse was about to collapse. Other business persons suffered similar situation from Fula, Sarahuleh and Jahanka business men .Everyone was affected. But for Mr Mokende he was largely the cause of his own downfall. The English saying that ' cut your coat according your size' is very true. Mokende chewed more than he could swallow. The Mandingos have a saying that 'if you make your eyes look like some one willing to hold the rope of goat, they will hand you the rope'. Mr Mokende was nice to every one. He extended help even at his own personal detriment. That was very un-business like. Creditors start calling him, from suppliers to banks and business developers. With all creditors wanting their money back life was different for the one time jovial and socially motivated Mokende.As a final resort, Mr Mokeende decided travelling to the LAND OF BIG DREAMS; the United States of America. With good business paper and a healthy bank transaction records, getting a visa was easy. Not many knew anything about Mokende’s travel plans. Soon afterwards Mokende transferred all the remaining stock from the main shop in the town centre to the smaller shop. In two days everything was moved. Early one morning Mokende hugs and bid the family and bid them farewell. He left behind his unfinished business with strings of liability beyond reconciliation. The wise decision was to travel and see what the world has in store. Mokende like many before him finally landed on American soil to face the dream world of USA. Being the hard working person, Mokende soon raised sufficient funds to repay all his loans. His spouses back home talk positive about him. According to them, he is fine.Going to America is one thing but coming back is another matter all together. Months turn into years. When Mokende left the Gambia, he was nearly 45 years old. His oldest wife may be 40 years at the time and the second and third wife about 30 and 34 respectively.More than 15 years since he left and has never retuned home to his family and children in Basse, Gambia. Which woman of faith will want to wait for her husband that long? But the wives of Mr Mokende have waited for him and still are waiting for him. Those who spoke to him a few times had been given assurance that he was getting ready to return. “I am planning to return', he often said. But yet he is caught in the magnetic trap America’s immigration system; unable to make all ends meet and no travel documents for a return trip. Mokende eventually advised his spouses to look for another husband because he may not be able to return home any time soon. That statement was rejected by his spouses. They loved him. He has children with them and they are willing to take their chances of him returning one day.The sad thing is that many Gambian-Americans are in a similar situation. Their wives suffer because of hope and love. Mr Mokende did every thing for his family. He bought them every thing they needed, material wise. He bought them a car to transport them anywhere they wish. The victims in this sad story are the thrilling occasion of love, hope and wild ambition. We all need someone to love and care for, some one to hope on. We need someone to complain to; someone to hold in times of sadness and joy. Marriage is not all about providing for ones needs. It is much more than regular phone calls and sending of money back home. The wives want more than that. Seeing one’s partner alone is a great blessing and deep source of joy. The emotional and psychological sides of a relationship are lost in this particular case. America and the rest of Europe have damaged the relationship of this once affectionate husband and father, Mokende. His spouses are now old. They have forgotten how to hold a man, how to be emotional with him. They have become emotionally dead. WHY? The many Gambian men and women out there in the big wide world; don't stay away from your partners for long .The pain and sadness is hard to reconcile. Whatever is holding Mokende in the United States must be very important; so important he left his family for over a decade. Some of the young children he left home wouldn't remember his face now. They have lived for a decade without a blood father to look after them. Let's not allow the pursuit of wealth to make us abandon our spouses and loved ones.This story stimulates highly charged emotions with heavy heart. The emotional deep bite is that Mokende left three wives and several children and still alive somewhere far. There are many more aliens in far away countries where travel restrictions keep them stay away from family and friends for long, long periods. Does it make any difference to the West that they are contributing to devastate good family ties? In conclusion, should it be only young unmarried men or women that can travel abroad for longer periods without any marital attachment back home or should married couples travel together to avoid the breakdown of love and companionship? Long question but ponder over it. Who knows about anyone in similar circumstances? There may be a friend or family member in similar circumstances. How can we help?