Saturday, 25 July 2009


By Suntou Touray
The Gambia/Senegal region has seen a fair bit of its own self-style Islamic scholars. Many of these men were of impeccable and dedicated character and persona.
The history of Islam in Gambia/Senegal is dominated with the influence of sufi doctrines and tariqas. This orders made it such that, student follow the sufi code of obeying a sheik/teacher or master.
A master or sheik is seen as a guide. The guide has total control over the student or seekers of knowledge-talibe. The sheik decides how to impart knowledge and wisdom to his band of students. The culture of students gathering round a sheik or teacher has a long and illustrious history in Islam, starting from the sahabas to our present generation. (in kuffah, Basrah, medina, Hijaz etc)
Islam recommends students to learn from experience and charismatic teachers. But the methodologies defer from teacher to teacher. Again depending on the school of taught one adheres to, the teacher is suppose to follow clear patterns in figh, usool, hadith, philosophy, the Qur’an, history and many other sciences.
The early scholars never instruct blind following. Scholars like Imam Malick went out of their way to say (750-850 CE) that, if my ruling is found to be incorrect, then follow the correct ruling. They aspire to follow the sunnah of the prophet to the later. They never want to make the religious affairs about themselves.
Imam Malick was commission to write a book of jurisprudence and hadith collection. The book was the Muwatta. The book can be read today in its Arabic and translated form. Many other scholars, including Imam Al-Layth in Egypt, Abu Hanifah, Imam Ash-Shafi, Hambal, Abu yusuf, Ibn Taymeeyah, Ibn Kathir, Zafar, etc left their mark. By 850 CE the sunnah of the prophet Muhammad was completely collected in books and figh has taken roots. The scholars then concentrated on new challenges posed by new cultures and people that came under the sway of Islam.
The new cultural infusion with that of Islamic teaching posed a danger of cross contamination and a breeding ground for innovation and distortion. New methods must be implemented to deal with the new situations. This is how qiyas, and mutual consultation was instituted to come to terms with new problems. The Muwata of Imam Malick is a classic example of new ways to tackle the wide range of problems, this includes: hadith ruling, opinion of sahabah, students of sahabah etc.
The scholars of the past wrote extensively to find solutions within the prophetic tradition in dealing with problems of their time. They wrote books and pronouncement about issues. Their students also continue on this trend. Cross- scholar consultation and debates were taking place to make sure, each ruling is accurate and within islam.
Kitab al-kharaj by Imam Abu yusoof, Al-umm by Imam Ash-Shafi, Hadith scholars such as Imam Bukhari (810-870 CE), Imam Muslim (817-875CE ) and other scholars arose in response to the needs of the time. Books by eminent scholars include the al-mudawwanah by Imam Ibn-alQasim dealing with problems to the community. No gamo or celebration is done for this eminent noble scholars.
The rise of many other scholars who left an indelible mark in the sand contributed in strengthening the Islam as we know it today. But since societies rise and fall in the quest for knowledge and the determination to make a society better. Islamic states also went through this natural process of rise and decline depending on the rulers at the helm of the state.
The famous muslims scholars that are well known and quoted daily never created any avenue for their sanitification. They wrote books, teach and guide students who also went on to teach and guide others. The chain continues.
The rise of the sufi orders made it possible for scholars to concentrate on the mythical and monastic style of things. Students in tariqas rather elevate their masters to levels never seen before. The masters were so much praise, they left a legacy of them self becoming the centre of attraction and their message hardly talked about.
This is what happen in the Senegambia region. Although our great scholars write extensively, their work is mostly known in limited circles. Since the scholars follow a strict order or tariqa, their teaching and rulings are based on such limited realms. Their students continue clinging on only to the words and teachings of the founding teacher of their order.
The students maintain and promote their dikr and salutations prepared by the master. This process opens the door to uniqueness and exclusivity. Factionalism in tariqa creates barriers and supremacy by quality and number of followers. The vast majority of followers hardly know anything about the teaching of the master. The ordinary person is shown the mystified side of the master, his legendary family line, his perfect birth, origin and many other fabricated stories linked to the master and his house hold.
The beginning of the gamos and diara:
The master who in most cases started by belonging to one of the well known sufi orders: the tijaniya or qadiriya orders. Then the master perfect his own brand of weard or salutations and then write poems and short prayers mixed with general Islamic teachings. But the main reference point in our own self-style sufi scholars is their personified writings and prayer books. Only insiders can benefit from these books.
The gamos and diarras took roots after the founders of the diara or karanta dies. The unislamic practise of grave veneration takes roots. An annual commemoration of the passing of the master sheik is celebrated. His children benefit from the influx of admirers and students all over the place. The late master and his family are mystified and unnecessary attachments created. The start of generations of confusions open doors to ignorant practises and passive scholarship.
The offspring of the departed sheik adopt a preaching style never seen before. They dare preach serious issues for fear of turning away followers who hardly has the basic understanding in Islamic education.
The Challenge:
We don’t need to create an aura of mysticism around our late sheiks or scholars. We don’t need to make them super human and infallible. We don’t need to stick only to their Islamic teaching and close doors and eyes to other doors of knowledge.
The books of this late scholars can be translated and made available to the wider readership. The art of reading should be encouraged. Criticism of text should be tolerated and allowed to happen. The errors of the masters rectified and mysticism taken away from the reality. More emphasis placed on the sunnah and qur’an than on hyms and poems by the masters.
That is the challenge. If we from Senegambia wish our scholars to be quoted and widely read, then their work should be placed in the general public domain. A detachment culture adopted and the family of the scholars left alone to continue teaching instead of making them into something they are not. Halal and haram made clear in all matters, from food, drink, social interaction, entertainment, cultural practises etc. A clear distinction is made as to what is our culture and what is religious, where they conflict, the scholars rise to the challenge of finding solutions to these issues. Our culture also documented and where necessary promoted for good value. Islam does not challenge cultures that don’t conflict with the basic tenet of monotheism and good moral values.
The evolution of Fiqh by Bilal Philips 2005
The religious brotherhood in Senegal, by Gadem Mbacke
Beneficial Answers by Shaik Saalih Al fawzaan 2004
A lecture By Abu Murtaza Khan
A lecture by Abu Usamah Halal and Haram

Thursday, 23 July 2009


By suntou touray: any error in this short peice is mine and ask Allah's forgiveness.
Bidda means creating something without precedence. Imitating none muslims in religious matters. Birth days for instance. Any form of worship which the prophet Muhammad and his companions were not upon is bidda. Introducing group Qur’anic reading is one of those.
Everything in the world is good except where god forbid us indulging in. Allah provided us the ability to make things and benefit from them. In aspect of material matters, there is no bidda. In the shariah everything is haram, except there is an injunction which permits it. Modern technology is not bidda.
Bidda haqiqiya, means no evidence about a religious activity in sunnah. Example is making halal into haram, celebration of prophets birth day has no precedence in the time of the prophet and his companions.
Group qur’anic reading:
The reciters are paid for their efforts and therefore counter the verse that state that “ not sell the verses for paltry price”. There is no record which indicates that the sahabas ever read the qur’an for anyone. The recitation may borders on Show off and pretentions. The recitation is not done purposely for reward since it was someone who prompted the activity for his/her benefit and in return for a favour ie financial payment .
Scholars also say, reading the qur’an over a dead person is bidda. The duaa of a child to his parent supersedes the duaa of every other person. The child share blood and love of his father or mother. The scholars say that, when a person dies all his actions are stop, no reward reaches him except three categories of actions, and among them is the praying of a child for his late parent. Why calling others who are not qualify to pray for him/her?
All introduction into the deen not found in the time of rasulula will be rejected. Group incantations are new innovation. The word the prophet use is ‘every’ innovation. Those who try to justify innovation turn to weak ahadith.
Islam distinguished itself from Christianity in that, no one can abrogate what Allah and his messenger has stipulated. St Paul in Christianity has nearly 70% influence of the current new testament of the bible. Making allowed what the old testament forbid, introducing the trinity and the believe in original sin etc. This are innovation which the Christians today allowed to take roots. The deification of Jesus was through innovations, the Qur’an made clear such dangers. The introduction of celibacy in cathotism is also an unnecessary burden that is beyond man’s nature. Because of this innovation, some priest commit create evils on young people under their care.
Among us today, the magals or gamos are strong occasions for strange religious activities. The supplications in the Qur’an and the found in the sunnah is clear and more recommended.
Abu Musa a sahaba show a group in the mosque counting the tasbe with stones, he ask Ibn Masoud about this, Ibn Masoud asked those group about their reasons, the group maintained that, they mean well. Ibn Masoud ban them doing it because it was opening door to bidda whilst there are thousand and one acts which they can do without inventing new things.
Birth days:
If people are allowed to celebrate the birth of the prophet what would stop them celebrating the birth day of their so-called saints and holy men? The excessive praising of the prophet was preached against why? Because the whole religion of Christianity ended up being about Jesus instead of his message. The prophet Muhammad always preach that muslims not to fall into such state. But unfortunately, the copying of Christian action in terms of birth days, saintifications, and monasticism as creep into some sufi Islam.
Those trying hard by doing bidda thinking they are gaining nearness to Allah are deceiving themselves. Imam malick said, “whatever was not deen at the time of the prophet cannot be deen today”. The new methods of decorating the mosque during birth day of the prophet is nothing but copying the Christ mass type. This muslims tend to think that, they love the prophet more than others. The decorating of graves and over attachment to it is bidda and shirk.

Scholars also state that Bidda is worst than a sin. A sinner may repent whilst one who commit bidda doesn’t accept his actions as forged will never repent.
Bidda is something which essence and action is found in the Qur’an and sunnah but the way it is carried out is no way similar to the way the prophet did it. An example is that, night prayer is a strong sunnah but over doing it is not recommended as it may affect people associated with the person. Omar Bun Katab (may Allah be please with him) once state “what a good bidda”. This statement was referring to an action which is superseded in Islam. He was a sahaba and khalifah who falls into the category of people that can recommend good action for social cohesion.
The hadith in Muslim which states that, whoever brought a good sunnah will be rewarded for it was in reference to charitable action, not a blanket every biddas today.
Dikr should conform to the qur’an and sunnah, we cannot just say, a certain act is intended for good and we continue to do it. The duaa book fortress of muslim contain lots of duaas.
As muslims, the strict monotheism is our hallmark. We should at all cost avoid going round circles to get to Allah. We don’t need anybody to intermediate between us and God. He hears us directly and rewards us according to our intentions and manners we do religious activities. The condition is that we pray the five daily salat, fast, give zaqah, attend pilgrimage and testfy to one God and the prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him). Along with this is be modest, eat pure food, spread peace and the usual good things.
One can give charity, help the poor and needy, assist old people, take people for hajj, help the villagers, pay school fees for others and looking after ones own family properly and keep good relation with blood relations. These are all act of reward. Even marriage is an act that we get reward from. If one is not married and he/she commits fornication, he get sin, so by marrying you fulfil a right which protects you from sinning.
The over praising of certain families merely for being sheiks or teachers and holding them as wallis making annual gamos for them open doors to shirk and serious biddas. On a personal note, i have been to Gamos and seen the way people act in the graves of their saints. The sand is collected, people weep there, leave offerings etc. This is all bidda and shrik. That dead saint cannot do anything to harm or bless people. Why call on him in matters of need? Why not call on God the almighty? Our marabouts, serigns and chernos were mortal human beings who are not infallible. They have made some mistakes and have emotions like us. If they teach good things that conforms with the true Islam, we listen to them, but if the err or try to create unnecessary religious activity, we leave them to it.
I have also meet people who are equally disgusted with the attachment of unnecessary significance to so-called saints. Some old people make their children burry them in Touba after their death. How ignorant is this. What benefit would they gain from being buried in Touba? Can serign Bamba help them when he himself in under the mercy of God? People have also been visiting the Gunjure sea side for blessing from the footsteps of Sheik Omar Taal. How absurb! What benefit would that serve? Yet the Tijaniya sect scholars in the Gambia support this shirk. Who is Amadou Taal to warrant such veneration? Many look for heros in their tribe or clan, but saintifying them is beyond the acceptable level.
Islam is simple, easy to follow and understand. Believe in One God, avoid associating partners with him. Practice Islam as the prophet Muhammad and his companions did. Don’t seek salvation from any person or thing except Allah. Not Jesus, Amdou Tijani, Abdul Qadir, Serign Bamba, Bia Niass, malick Sy, Bu Kunta, Kan kalifa Jabbi, Sinmoto Kemo Sano, cherno Yaya and the many other servants of God. They are all incapable of providing salvation to human beings.
God does not wish us to be perfect. We are by nature bound to make mistakes, but we should rectify them and move on.
May Allah make religion easy for us to understand and practice.

Sunday, 19 July 2009


The tradition of group Qur'anic recitation is nothing but bida (innovation). This is not found in the tradition of the prophet and his companions. The Qur'an extort its reader to ponder over the verses and commandments. How can everybody reading at the same time make one concentrate on anything?
So the actual event (reading qur'an for yaya) is just another time wasting rigmarole and a biding to gain few favours of an ignorant buffoon.
The traditions of celebrating death, ie 4o days celebrations, partynising Hajj and the frequent group Qur'anic recitation are all ploys to make religion entertaining in the wrong way.
In the final analysis, people can do what they want, secular or religious but using religion to patronise a human right abuser is a complete misrepresentation of religion let alone Islam.
Islam frees man from the oppression of man's errors and wrong policies to the abundance of Allah/God grace. The occasion is nothing but a party atmosphere and not anything associated with Islamic customs. The occasion will in fact incur the anger of God rather than generate blessing.
Those in the Gambian religious hierarchy are as greedy and self-serving as the many of us hiding away and doing the messy and dirty jobs for yahya. we shouldn't be thinking that, religious leaders are any different. anyone can be a religious leader. The title sheik bestowed on Yahya doesn't make any sense just like his doctorate, professorship etc. Yahya is a complete contradiction in every aspect.
What happen to his early business associates today? many of them are either bankrupt or in jail, he is dipping his fingers into everything and religion is no different.
The bestowers of the titles know fully well, the man is a joke, all they are doing is fulfilling a paranoid man's ambitions and they get to live their life peacefully.
"Every religious innovation is rejected" Quran. many folks continue to make their families host qur'anic group recitations for them, i ask those people, who is that listen whilst more than 20 people read at the same time? why not try reading the Qur'an yourself and use the money given to reciters to the poor and needy students or orphans. That may be more bless-full than gathering many for a practise which is completely not rooted in the Sahabaas tradition.
Muslims should continue reading the Qur'an themselves and try to understand the message. This will attain them reward and greater understanding of the final testament of God the most high.

Thursday, 16 July 2009


Thanks to Allah the almighty, the all wise. I got my results today from the MA dessertation i did on a Gambian institution which refuse point blank to offer any help with information. With the grace of Allah and some good people, i was able to bypass them and get bits and pieces of data here and there. I pass the project with good marks, even my supervisor was impress with the outcome.
I cannot thank those who help me with the data, some of this people are working in important institutions and i don't want to name them. May Allah reward them abundantly. My graduation will be in November this year God willing.
I am deeply humble, and may Allah protect and guide us all. Amen

Pakistan and Extremism

By Saad bin Muslim Buxoo
It was September 20th, 2008 around 7 pm. Me and some friends had justprayed maghrib and were seated at a table in a small restaurant inIslamabad. We were about to engage in a conversation when suddenly thebuilding took a powerful shockwave. The main entrance door, made ofthick glass fell into pieces and I could feel the air compression inmy ears. Everybody froze. There was a deep silence. We all thought itwas an earthquake but we soon realized it was an explosion. We rushedoutside and from a couple of hundred yards; we could see a thick cloudof smoke above the Marriot Hotel. We did not take time to drive awayfrom the site, fearing a secondary explosion. We went straight to afriend’s house and turned on the news. It was a dumper truck, loadedwith a ton of RDX that was blown up at the gate of the hotel leavinghundreds of dead.Since its formation in 1947, Pakistan has had a long history ofinternal problems, very often between political and religious groupsand sometimes between the state and its people. Almost everygovernment that has ruled the country has had to face severeopposition from different groups across the country where most clashesresulted in either destabilizing the government or dragging the wholecountry into a state of anarchy. During the last ten years,indiscriminate violence has escalated to an unprecedented magnitudewhere literally every day, Pakistan makes the news headlines on thetop news channels around the world. Today, violence is not restrictedto some remote areas of Pakistan, but as if the whole country has beenturned into a battlefield.The situation got bad after the U.S. drone strike on a madrassah inBajaur, North West Pakistan killing 83 civilians, with the help of thePakistani intelligence. It got worse when the Red Mosque standoff wasended with the brutal killing of hundreds of young students. When theTaliban decided to react to that, Condoleezza Rice decided to declarethe Taliban as a terrorist organization. The irony is that there wasonce a similar group with similar ideologies which America called‘mujahideens’ during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and aided them tofight off the Russians. Indeed, there is religious extremism inPakistan where different groups choose to follow extreme ideologiesand creeds, the main reason being ignorance. However, in the case ofTaliban, they are simple a group of people that are really angry withthe Pakistani government. Let alone being bombed, people do not likebeing stepped on the toe. It is easy to condemn their way of doingthings, but how do we expect them to react when in their view, it isblatant that Pakistan is fighting America’s war? We are not advocatingviolence, but there is a need to know who the aggressors are and whothe victims are. North West Pakistan with its warm, welcoming andhospitable people used to be one of the most peaceful places inPakistan. Today things have changed. We ask ourselves, why has thishappened?‘Extremism’ does not just come into being on its own. If today we seeextreme ‘reactions’ around the world, it is most likely because thereare extreme ‘actions’ being done to the world.The undeniable and sad truth is that in Pakistan, those groups thatare called ‘extremists’ live in the most underdeveloped areas of thecountry such as the Waziristan and Balochistan provinces. Authors fromoutside Pakistan who have written extensively on what they define asextremism and terrorism argue that the main reasons behind that areusually: political deprivation, the state’s inability to satisfysocial demands and corruption. Pakistan, a country where the majorityof its people live below the poverty line, spends massively onmilitary equipments. There is a clear unjust distribution of wealth inthe country. Half of the country’s gas production is based in theBalochistan province, yet its people are living in extreme povertyconditions in mud huts, next to those huge factories and have noaccess to that wealth generated. No wonder, there exist a separatistgroup in that region, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA) who havebeen struggling for autonomy for a long time. South Korea, incontrast, no longer has an army and is investing hugely in elevatingits people and in its tourism industry. Countries like that usually donot suffer from internal problems like extremism or rebellion. For thelast ten years, Pakistan has just been making enemies, both externaland internal and keeps doing it.After the Islamabad Marriot Hotel incident, I understood what it wasfor those people living under constant fear in North West Pakistan,with U.S. drones patrolling above their homes, looking for new‘training camps’. There are indeed many issues with the Taliban andthe way they deal with things, but those problems can be sorted outthrough proper education and dialogue and not by beating the livingdaylights out of them. As I said, five years ago, North West Pakistanwas a quiet and peaceful region but now its people have been provokedinto this dirty war with increasing violent and aggressive attacks onboth sides. As long as America keeps pressurizing and dictatingPakistan, the internal tension that already exists will keep onrising. We tend to forget the past. Vietnam, Rwanda, Bosnia,Philippines, Somalia and many more are all the forgotten chapters ofAmerica’s dirty military involvement. In 1994, while hundreds ofthousands of people were being butchered in Rwanda, Madeleine Albrightthen secretary of state was going through her dictionary for themeaning of ‘genocide’ in order to decide whether to intervene or not.Yet we do not learn any lesson from that but instead we keep buyingthe myth that America is the ‘good guy’ and is working towardsmaintain peace around the world. What the Pakistan government sees as‘religious extremism’ is just something that it has created with itsown hand and continues to aggravate it. Let us reflect on the words ofAl Ghazzali: “Do not buy the enmity of one man for the love of athousand men”.By Saad Bin Muslim Buxoo, MA Islamic Banking, Finance and ManagementCURRENT AFFAIRS CURRENT AFFAIRS CURRENT AFFAIRS

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Introduction to dawah in the Park

This is one test of faith. If you think you have conviction of something, anything, just try standing up and preaching it. May God guide us all.


This video is a face to face open religious talk. With Dr Bilal Philips and others. A grouped open challenge.

It is interesting to get an insight into Islamic understanding of God and religion.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

FANN WAROO (big headeness)

A poem in mandinka, check it out on the Mandingo proverb blog. I will translate it later God willing.


It is Gambians for whatever reasons who allowed the situation to get to this far. From a skinny wet lips lieutenant to a fat bloke who doesn't seems to know the limits of anything.
A man engrossed in praise seeking and partying mentality (by the way, he is not on his own in the love for partying). We all allowed him to slowly control the entire free space of Gambians, now he doesn't know what to do with them. So what should Yaya Do with the rights and security of Gambians?
Today, anyone who stand up to him is considered a person who doesn't know his good, he/she is termed a foolish person, a show man/woman. People are regularly calling their relatives, "don't be part of anti-yaya events", why do they say this?
the rasonale is that, God will take care of the situation, Yaya's time will run out. They have it all work out. Just mind your business, think about your family, your trips.
Is this what life should all be about? Prophets of God stood up for justice. The sacred scriptures even say, some of the men of God were killed. example is John the Baptise was beheaded. The prophet Muhammad was oppressed, he migrated but later stood up to oppressors. Jesus was tormented by his enemies for speaking up for the poor.
So it is not a noble thing to mind your business, neither is it Godly. The Qur'an states That "we should as men stand up justice and be witnesses for God...".
The least some of us can do is speak up or write up. Those in u.k, attend the demo. most of us don't know a single journalist who is today facing unlawful prosecution. But they are after all our fellow country men/women. To Yahya, he is doing nothing wrong. We are all jealous sobs, unpatriotic useless Gambians. Is that thought of him correct?
Well, you decide. But none of us is safe from Yaya's claws, you might be mistaken for a critic, as the English would say, "God works in mysterious ways". Your silence may not safe you.
The prophet of Islam says, the least we can do about an evil is hate the action with our heart, but there times for that. Let Yaya and his men see you or hear you speaking about the crimes. That is a much better reward than the twiggy silent hate.
The late Bob Marley sang in Zimbabwe in the track Africa liberate "NOW IS THE TIME TO KNOW, WHO IS THE REAL REVOLUTIONARY". African indepence and self-governance was not the real revolution, but how we treat each other, view each other, love and care for each other.. this will determine the out come of our freedoms.
some of us talk too much, but don't you think that we have too much time. may
God guide our actions.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


The all encompassing game
Men stand toe to toe to other men
Not observing the conditions
Not knowing, neither making any efforts to know
This game is expensive
It is ruthless- men get killed
The news get reeled
Talks get tough
Experts paraded
Decent suits and decorated resumes
The speech though is worst
It is a game
Some call it noble
Whilst others see it as murder
In this game, the gamesman plays serious
Yet the mannerism are choreograph
With touching words-far reaching
Unlike many other games
The activity here is unreal
Made belief scenarios
A spectator’s nightmare
Dire you choose a side
Just like a two sided blade
This game don’t demand open support
Don’t worry, the game is never over
Where some stop, others continue
That is the policy, a job
All in all, the tasks are to bend hearts and minds
They say in pursuit of enduring freedom!
Against mad men, wick players, evil advocates
In destroying them
First blood gets spilled! Stray drones unsettle here and there
Better still, it is all a game- master minded by shadows
You think about it

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Remnants Of The Nyanchos

Kabunka balanas remnants
Men choosing death over disgrace
The parody of bravery and willingness
Where are the remnants of kabunka kewlus
Are they here or have they demised
Yet changing lanes in modern society
Men can be men if kept in-line with good teachings
Fear of God and respect of fellow man
Where are the Kabunka balanas
Today is today, yesterday is gone
Fan kun fan kun is the order
Don’t let them catch you, my kabunka friends
The trow is still here but the spirit is gone
Stick with truth now and remain in God’s lane
Tipu korto and majah doloh
Kumaa baa foo and Jamun dIma
Sidoyaa anin laban tiinya
Where are the remnants of the nyanchos?
Muu nyo mann nyon-soto
Suturo maan nyon soto
Nka nko kumo lefo aliyee
Taa moo kana ale badalindi
Kubaa bee laban, kun din
Saya wote baye lah
Nyancholi tubita
Allah yee tuboli mutale
Be on the deen nyanchos
That is the final verdict.


A former Rap star became a Muslim, he is now a change man. One wonder why some Gambian brothers after arriving in U.S and Europe act like if they have landed in paradise itself. This young men tend to lose their identity and sometimes abandon Salah. This is a good development for the former rapper. May Allah guide us and make us stay in Islam. Amen.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Gambia: The untapped Mind-Field Of Talent

A country of under two million people, with a land size ranking among the smallest in the world, Gambia is blessed with sufficient talent to stare it towards African glory. Is this statement that of a crazy patriot?
The number of personalities with outstanding talents and capabilities is enough to put the Gambia on the map of Africa’s stable and human rich country. Why this claim and why now?
It is apparent that our country lacks natural resources to attract heavy FDIs from abroad, the only asset we have is human capital, the MINDS.
Britain for instance depends on its peoples’ intellect to control territories way beyond their size in every avenue. They relied on the intellectual class to control and dominate in excess of their capacity (the servicing sector). Can Gambia benefit from its mind-field of intelligent men and women to at least improve the living standard of the majority?

The Gaps:
A nation of a small population will naturally have a small intellectual and elite class. That on its own may not be a problem to provide the string box in creating an enabling environment for many. Mega multinational companies usually rely on a single inspirational CEO to innovate and break new grounds. Such CEO-rewarding traditions couldn’t be contemplated by third world countries to remunerate their national leaders. But why so?
People are stimulated by their leader(s), if good; the fundamentals get the appropriate attention. For us, our gab is lack of connection between what we may term as the elite intellectual class and the ordinary aspirant intelligent men and women.
The gap is the none-association; none contact what so ever between the engine and the fuel. Our elite intellectuals who may have had no assistance from those ahead of them in their own making also continue the trend of ignoring the upcoming youths, without care and abandoning them to oblivion.
It is not entirely the responsibility of the acknowledged in our society to mould and create the environment of academic exchange and interaction but opening up will encourage and foster the momentum of social advancement.
The gap continues to be the mistrusted and self-preservationist, only me mentality abound in the torrent of talented young youths. Our intelligent brothers and sisters go to school lacking direction and guidance and end up finding their own way in attaining whatever the society have in store for them.

The Disconnection
Highly advanced societies infuse the mentality of sharing, caring and strengthening the talent of others. The learned elders relish in guiding formable, dedicated individuals willing to sacrifice to be great. Youths get noticed, a pipeline is set for them: a teacher, lecturer, editor, adviser, philanthropist, just somebody willing to assist. These youths get spoiled by abundance choices; they can be whatever they want.
Our case:
Typically the few intellectuals aim to keep the touch-light on them selves for as long as it takes. They don’t recognise the abundant talents infested in the schools, colleges and streets. In fact, mainly it is a family connection that aids one to attain meaningful education.
Since poverty is an issue on a large scale, the elites too strive for survival but not on the same level with the majority. Where they should acknowledge, guide and even give incentive to others, they ignore and disregard the efforts of none close associates. The meeting of minds in intellectual exchange and interest gets lost. The need to advance on the route of having a society of readers, learners and experts is left dormant. What is left is the basking on the little efforts or glory of the few elites. Their efforts are mostly unbeneficial to our country. They are snatched away by International organisation and we are left with mediocre.
In this day and age, anyone can notice the other. You can provide whatever advice you feel is necessary to advance others. Acknowledge others and their products however nonsensical you find them. We don’t have to like each other to open up paths towards opportunities of self fulfilment.
Imagine how far our country will go if the few intellectuals find time to advice and mentor others. The opportunities available for sponsorships and how to tap into them, how to get practical experience in reputable bodies is lacking. These are all needs our upcoming talented young minds require. The first point of call is for the elders to end the cold-shoulder-mentality. The West became what it is because it respects knowledge and helps others in acquiring it.
How many Gambians are working in International Organisations around the world? These men/women are very discrete and hidden. They intend to remain that way, this is to avoid jealousy and its hazards, yet, the most damaging is disregard to create an enabling environment that shows the path.
The internet age has provided us with abundant opportunities to network and benefit from the work of others. Sharing and putting forward better ideas to contemporaries and like minded are readily made easier by the internet. It is about time we capitalise on this opportunity and make one another grow for the better.
But when we continue ignoring and cold shouldering one another, the spirits of graving for knowledge on the side of the youths will be lost. The small satellite group of close associate networking should be broadened to include other members of our society. Let the minds meet, interact, argue and actualise knowledge and ideas. We will not regret it. The ball is in the court of the elite, open up and share.