Friday, 28 March 2008


loosing the straw
When we use to live in our backyards
we use to hold onto things dearer to our hearts
the smiles and passions for life was true
the respect for elders and the concern for the young was remarkable
our believes and faith meant some thing then
out we are in the big wide world
crossing the many seas and oceans affected us
we see things differently now
our cultures, not an issue any more
the belief's and faith ,well who cares
we are now on our own
we do as we like
we see as we like
no more peers to pressure us
no more parents to tell us what to do
the drink, we take a bit
the unmarried cohabitation ,some times we do
the big wide world as swallowed us
God, we will remember, may be one day, may be in old age or may be never.
it is life ,it's just like a rolling stone
there is a period when it will all end, in good or bad.
May Allah guide us and keep us steadfast. Amen.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

gambian elites, african elites

African Elites, Gambian Elites

You are the most skilled, the most privilege, should I say
In the social group that you belong
What more than a narrow and powerful clique
It is you I’m calling
Do you see yourself when you look at us?
Do you not see us as part of your big self?
In the world over, elitism comes with privileges
A society in which most members are least privileged
And the least members are most privileged
A matter of opportunity and status not evenly shared
Elites of Europe, America, Australia, Japan
Elites of Africa and Asia, what a difference
Life worthwhile for all fellow citizens
Will you make yours any different?

African Elites, Gambian Elites

A choice for you
To stand up for your people
For survival of a people worth living
The comfort, the luxury
A life we all so deserve
Time to grow up now, and forever more
What do you do for Africa?
Children of the native land in far away destination
Expensive lifestyle good for all yet reserved
Open the iron gates guarded by angry dogs and hungry watchers
Approach and let be approachable
Keep the human connection
With the people that you belong
Never needing to live above them
Get to know and be known
You are still part of a body

Gambian Elites African Elites

What do you see when you look at us?
In our big picture you are the other link
Can’t you see us as yours and you as ours?
Our wealth of our continent is not less yours
Our gold dust, the diamond moulds, and coco flakes
Stacks of dollars in Western banks,
The rest die of hunger and thirst
Laughing stock, aid seekers
From live aid to sport relief
What a disgrace to see
Dying malnourished children
Sunken eyes and dried lips
Yearning mouths, no food no hope
What a sadness to see on screen and on aid leaflets
People drinking dirty water
What a humiliation to see
Living in the name of living!

Tell us good elites, tell us
Tell us African Elites
When others laugh at us, they laugh at you too
No matter your special skills and luxury possession
When they say we are sick and hungry people
They mean all of us, you and me.
Stand up, grow up
Never baby men and baby women
Stand up Mr President and Mr Minister
Write up Mr Editor
Sit up Mr Banker
Wake up Mr Businessman and woman
With your special status comes special demand
The finger pointing is on us and with you
Fat or thin as you are, so too your shadow
The longer a day, the longer your trace
You are seen and heard more than you know
Be the one you are
The golden eagle of flying people
This is yours, good elites of all times

Sunday, 16 March 2008


sister F, thanks for reminding me to study English further. I hope you do the same. funny enough ,this time you did not say any thing about the subject at hand. did you in any way snatch some poor lady's husband from her? i wonder why you cannot see the reality i am writing about. sister F, i accept criticism ,but only constructive ones. i don't have time for time-wasters and selfish people. you seems to be a person of cold heart. for your information ,i read widely, that is why i talk about any issue i wish. i hope you read widely too. the question is ,what i said in the poem ,is it true or false? don't try shooting the messenger. thanks for your criticism.

Friday, 14 March 2008


Why is it always about You?
By Suntou Touray

From when we can remember
Through the days of our ancestors
Relationship between races
Never a handful of roses
A relationship
Never about us
Noting to share
Not a thing to care.

Born into a world of un-equals
Things never going our way
From rulers to the rank and files
Never working for us

Why is it always about You?

International agreements pass on
Never in favour of us as one
We deserve Respect, don’t we?
Our talents and capabilities no one sees
Not even our inalienable competence
The slogans, the charities, the grants, the aids
Frequent conflicts, poverty and disease
Corruption, short-life span and self-hate
Isn't that enough suffering?

Why is it always about You?

Turn to laws in the west
Perception, the image of Black African
More than negative
Life of a race with so bad an image
Life of a man with so little honour
Men and women who deserve much respect
Gains of big hands lesser in value

Turned into subject of critical focus
Right and left wing politicians alike
Immigration laws, integration
Whole people demonised
An under-employed workforce
On jobs just to make ends meet
Never acknowledged
Time enough to keep life
Our affairs, our destiny

Why is it about You?

O the union of mankind
What a matter of race, race and creed.
Jobs for blacks jobs for Asians
East and West Union Jack
Not a word of colour but language
Black, Asian, Other yet one language
Eastern Western united by colour divided by language
Here to stay there to leave
A way of seeing
We and Them
Integration, alienation, segregation, racial discrimination
The truth be it told
Same human, different people
Some are Africans, some are Asians
They are Western others Eastern
We are people of a universe for you and for me
From the beginning we have been
Ever we shall be.
Yours and mine no matter

Wednesday, 5 March 2008


Thank you sister F for good comment. As you may know, poems are another form of communicating a difficult factual message. I wrote the poem after observing numerous relationships were the first wife got side-lined due to age and the passage of time. Remember, relationships have there good and bad periods. But when a man ,for some reason took another woman and then devout all his energy ,his love and commits 95% of his love to the new bride,that is never going to be right sister F.

I full understand that, in every situation there two sides to a story. It's my intention to divulge further into our Senegambian cultures and traditions and certainly with time i will comment about the other side. For now ,we have to look at the woes that men are responsible of. It's men who marries women in our society and many other societies. So it should be men who should make sure all is well and every party to a relationship is treated well and fairly. My exposing of the problems of multiple marriage relationship isn't meant to attack any one. I acknowledged that ,this is an ugly phenomenon that goes across our tribal and cultural sphere of things. The social dynamics in Senegambia is such that ,complex issues are seen as a taboo to discuss. we can talk and write about politics all day long without any hindrance, but comments dealing with our social failing is hard to talk about. Finally ,i am a decent person. I guard my religious and spiritual life very carefully. I am very jealous of my deen. If you know what that means. I try my best not to carry any body's sin with me. Some people might feel that i knew some thing about them that is why i wrote the poem. That is incorrect. This is a general statement which is a warning even to myself. I have a lovely wife ,we marry young and we will grow old together God welling. If i decide to take another woman,i know 100% my wife will be heart broken. I know that. So it is a warning to me, and to all other men out there. Islam permits polygamy. But God warns those doing it to be fair and balance in dealing with the trust, that is the wives. Women will always compete for the heart of the man, that is expected. But the first wife deserve good treatment by the husband no matter her tantrums, remember she is in shock. The warnings against being bais in a relationship is so severe that if we know the full extent of the implications, we will go about it with great care. I am not a hypocrite if that of your statement concern this poem. I pray that the Almighty guide us all in the straight path and make us good people.

Sunday, 2 March 2008



By Suntou Touray

This little piece is dedicated to all mothers in the Senegambia whose husband's took up second wife and left the first wife cold-shouldered. The phrase our 'mothers' is meant to include all mothers as women of grace and honour.

A common trend of abandoning the first wife is despicable.
The bound that was first in place is the most honourable.
The relationship that flourished when wealth was little is most genuine.
The love that prevailed then was the most mutual.
The laughers and jokes joyously shared came from the hearts most real.
The passionate kisses and stirs were for love indeed.

For whom the downing of age brings with it the lowering of affections.
Why love that was there turns into just mere familiarity?
The friendship needed to help overcome disagreement is all but gone.
No more laughter; no light hearted jokes to share.
It all fades way But why?.

Why have you changed old man?
What has the once good and beautiful woman done wrong?
The mandate to take up another love is part of our culture.
But why go about it this ugly way?
You have eyed a younger love, a younger darling, a younger sweet heart.
The older queen says not a problem with that.
No power to stop you from engaging your new found fairy
The old queen fears about you taking up another bride
The fear of being left out is telling.
Many men have done just that.

Think of yesterday when life was different
Why swift your allegiance to another so uncompromisingly?
The older queen is left bewildered.
Man of grace can you imagine the loneliness?
Once the new queen takes over the older one is left alone.
Man of today will you remember yesterday?
You make it like the older queen is of no use any more.
You hardly talk to her.
Your kind heart is taken over by another angel of merry making.

You talk but not with her. You smile but not with her.
You still joke but still not with her, but why, why, why.

Do you even wonder, wonder how your old love is feeling?
What happened to the good old days?
When the two of you enjoy much fun
With least money and little material.
Now you are not interested in the past.

You are madly in-love; so blindly in-love with this new bride.
You block all the thoughts of the past.
You even try to distance from your own children.
Just to avoid offending the new iron lady
A lady of higher demands and commands.

It is then that the old queen realises that the old love is no more.
With your body present but gone your spirit in the wilderness.
How many women are left on the side line for the younger brides?
Man you still think you are younger.
Yes you hide behind tradition allowing you second and third wife.
For every privilege there are obligations
You are bound by rules laid down by God.
For those wishing to take another bride.
Do you imagine what penalties lies ahead, man of today?

You call it education, you call it being wise
Account yourself before you are accounted.
Look into yourself and see how the old love is feeling.

Remember the good old days.
Remember when it was the two of you
Mirror in the feelings of the older queen.
She deserves not to be left alone.
Treat your children equally. Treat your spouses equally.
If you know you can't handle two love then stick with one.

Man of today don't be ungrateful.
Your children may abandon you also.
They may not tolerate their mother being left alone.
They cannot accept her sadness.

Remember time is not on your side.
The hammer of the lord awaits all tyrants and persons of injustice.
Don't fool yourself

Stop now. Correct your misguided actions.
Apologise to the old queen!! .
Bring her back into your life, let true love take over again.


I am a huge fan of Mathew K Jallow that started from the time I started writing in some on-line Gambian forums. I respected the courage and boldness of a man who never minces his words. He is one Gambian writer never afraid to say what his good mind conceives. He does not hide behind any aliases like some other Gambian on-line debaters or writers do. I have thought about having an interview with Mathew for any willing online news paper. His intellectual honesty is top class.

I still hold him in high regard no doubt. When last year he ventured into a very controversial territory I thought for once that there was something better Mathew needed taking an issue on. He wrote about tribalism in the civil service and he defended his accounts by all means even though many are until today not convinced of his accounts. That topic is now in the archives. Yet again Mathew once again weighed in the ongoing debate initiated by the retired colonel Samsideen Sarr. Mathew is a writer of high calibre. He is a man who earned a high profile for himself among the reading Gambian populace. Many admire him and love his command of the English language. He is indeed a professional writer.

Mathew I believe should distinguish himself from making oversimplify opinionated comments. If our emperor stands on his podium making outrageous remarks no one will be offended in a serious level. Our emperor I mean Yahya Jammeh. Many heard Yahya making insulting statements against the great speakers of the Mandingo language and those belonging to the tribe of the Mandingo. Yet no Mandingo took up arms against him. Mathew was taking the high moral ground and insinuating that 'the response to Sam showed a sign of immaturity on the part of the Mandingo ethnicity who dare respond to Sam Sarr's ugly and dividing piece''. He compared this to his remarks about the Banjul wollof's who ignored his remarks against them and concluded that it shows a better maturity and polite nature of the Banjul Wollof over the Mandinka. Mathew you have over simplified the human mode of communication. Considering your background of being brought up partly in a Catholic Mission school and boarding you should be able to know silence doesn't at all mean approval. In fact be aware of a silence response another good mode of communication in human language usage. We the respondents to Sam clearly speak our mind just like you opined Sam is entitled to speak up his mind. But what is interesting in all this is the fact that both you Mathew and Sam aren't young armature writers.

Playing with history will always create a reaction. Neither of you (Sam and Mathew) provided any empirical evidence to back-up your claims. What the two of you need bearing in mind is the fact that the young generation of Gambians aren't falling for big names any more. Facts matter so much especially about issues of wider interest. You can call the response to Sam's piece Mandingo sensitivity or phobia to criticism. That is your personal singular opinion uncle Mathew. But please tell me which sane human being accepts incorrect allegations and concocted stories? History is not fiction. It was Uncle Sam who distorted his topic. It was him who went out of his way to write about street talks. Today it is the same Uncle Sam who is blaming others for taking him to task for going out of topic. Gambians will read historical accounts. Much as you know many non-Gambians have written detail history of the Gambia including political events. If Sam had done justice to his piece he shouldn't have left out the earlier Parties before the PPP in his chronicles of bias accounts on history of the Gambia .

Uncle Mathew I defended the good name of Dr Manneh as a true Gambian would. You see if some one is to tell me Mathew is writing using other pseudo names I will take that story with a pinch of salt. But if some one is to tell me Sam is using another alias to write about certain issues, I will definitely not dispute him being capable of doing that. Dr Manneh should not just respond to Sam but he should even sue him for defamation of character Mathew but the gentle man did do all that. What will you call that? Being immature or what? Many like taking the moral high ground but will they spend long doing that?

Mathew if you have read Sam's original and subsequent posts carefully you should have noticed his inconsistencies and unfounded claims. You attacked Saul Saidy's response. You have even gone out your way to question certain Gambian family names associating with Mandingo's and Wollofs of not being those tribes. What is your evidence in making such claims? What does Sabally for instance mean? What historical study did you conduct to come to the conclusion that names like Jammeh is Jola or Sanneh is Jola but they adopted Mandinka? What does Sanneh means? An outstanding scholar of your profile could not afford sweeping statements. You will be asked to beef your claims with factual substance obtained from proper research. You are a scholar and not a story teller. We expect a text book from you and NOT a novel on tales and travels. Ebou Jallow's take on the subject is highly charge and stimulating. He stood on a firm and stable position. That is not only commendable but it shows Ebou's fairness of reasoning.

The subject at hand deals with personalities most of whom are still alive. Nothing stops any one of us seeking to challenge the former PPP key players for their own response. It is unfair to expand a public debate about people who are still alive without consulting them. The likes OJ Jallow,Sir Dawda Jawara, Alkali James Gaye, A.S Jack, Omar Sey, M.C. Cham, The children of the late M.C Jallow, Hassan Musa Camara, Sheriff S.M Dibba, Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay, Nyimasata Sanneh Bojang,Dr Momodou Manneh, Momodou Njie BP, Bakary Bunja Darboe BB, Sakou Sabally, Dembo by force Bojang,Gebou Jagne, Dr Sulayman Nyang and the entire circle of PPP,NCP,GPP combine militants including former ambassadors, the Janneh family of Hagan street Banjul the longest occupant of U.K Gambian embassy in London. Not forgetting Gambian historians and archives of our time, this subject is greater than any individual who seeks to write about it. It is certain that this listed people and many more shared a diversity which transcends ethnic interest.

Mathew, I and many others did not respond to Sam because we as Mandinka have phobia of being criticised. We responded because Sam relayed an inaccurate account of history. It is simple as that. I am not taking breath for Saul Saidykhan but his decision to bring certain aspect of Mandingo history may have to do with remarks by Yahya Jammeh that ''Mandinka is not a tribe''. What Saul did is not only good but it is historically relevant. If a Wollof person or Fula person does the same I will certainly read it and print it. That is what people of interest do. What did you see? You only see an ultra-Mandingo patronising his co-country men. What persuaded you to make comments that cannot be substantiated? For instance, you stated that '' the Jolas were left out during the PPP rule, it is time for them to acquire knowledge and wealth until it is the turn of the Fulas and other tribes''. Mathew, this statement may be a joke to you but it is a sad joke. I and many other thousands of mandinka,fula,wollof children etc never had any privileges during the PPP era. Our parents struggled to pay our fees out of hard work and sacrifice. The field was level as far as the majority were concerned, nothing stopped the Jolas from using the available facilities to gain education and wealth. In-fact you are patronising them, because many Jolas attained high level of education and trade during the past PPP era. That comment of yours is sad indeed. I hope you withdraw that joke. Take yourself for instance, what privilege did you had during your school days as result of your tribe?

In passing if you in all your years of scholarly ventures discovered some facts of history about the Mandinka ethnicity please keep us posted. To bounce on Samsudeen Sarr’s broken platform will expose any defendant the risk of impotence. If you have carried a study (proper scholarly research) to prove that the Mandinka ethnicity ever prevailed the manner your current postings suggests, please let the public know. Good luck to you and thanks for your contribution.

Africa's problem in modern times has always being the making of Africa 's dishonest intellectuals. The cream of African societies regularly betray the uneducated and under privilege masses. Comments made by masses from primitive days are drag to national importance whilst the rest of the worlds are thinking progressively. Every where you look in Africa , you find some one willing to betray the continent with vigour and determinations. The pettiness in and among us can successfully be reduce to nothing if there is proper education for all. The key is knowledge and progress. A wealthy people will hardly have time for fighting unnecessary wars. But a poor person can fight and kill over trivial social issues. Africa 's problem is centered on poverty and lack of education. All the complaint is an offshoot of poverty and illiteracy. If the populaces are financially stable it will take a genius of a General to trigger war. Sam's way is not the correct way to properly Orient people and solve problems. In-fact the man is creating enmity whilst he is busy hunting for the Dollar.

African intellectuals need to look into our problems carefully. The dilemmas we are facing transcend the singular question of tribe and race. It is much bigger than that. How can a politician who is only suppose to be standing up for the people lead those same people to death and destruction? This is only due to poverty, inequality and illiteracy. The war mongers among us are the big cowards.

I appeal to our Gambian and African intelligentsia to devise means of tackling descent before it fester. Descent can be dealt with by addressing the causes of the problem early. No tribe in Africa will allow itself to be ridicule without any justification. No amount of intellectual progress can sooth animosity against ones tribe, the best way to avoid disharmony is through respect and restraint. Not all that which comes to mind should be printed in national news papers. The genocides in Burundi and Rwanda are fanned by radio stations, church alter and other national platforms. Some times we hope to achieve a greater good whilst we fail to calculate the cost of attaining such goods. In modern times, every discussion is protected with the jargon 'FREE SPEECH'. But free speech comes with responsibility. That responsibility is a principle that needs upholding by all and sundry. I accept Samsideen effort to apologise. He hasn't done me any wrong; I read the on-line papers to get factual news and educational inputs. I felt that Sam's effort was misplaced this time round. I hope he can recover from the image damage and come back strong. Brother Tijan, the Fula quotation you mention is just a myth. Nyami jodo is a myth, just like the story of Busingbala is also a myth. That doesn't mean there aren't evil powers. I believe in good and evil. Human beings are endowed with this knowledge. You can either be a good person or an evil person or a mixture of both. I hope the Almighty God protect us and guide us in the straight path. Amen.

Suntou Touray U.K