Monday, 2 September 2013

The Gambian Military Failed Us

The fear against the barrel of the gun is the biggest enabler of dictatorships and tyranny in Africa. And who are the elements within our country that are professionally train to lawfully take life, to kill and attend to normal business? The military, hence the British mirror columnist referred to them as “professional killers” Brain Reade.
The threat of the use force, the use of arms against civilians is what has kept Yahya Jammeh and those like him in power. Henceforth, the need to have a security team within our movements and organisations cannot be sidestep or underestimated.
God is my witness, ‘A Gambian soldier pointed an AK47 assault rifle at my face threating and throwing insult. And I was also detained at the Gambia Navy headquarters for close to 1 hour for no reason.’ So The military have a lot to answer for.
People don’t fear Jammeh, they fear the men with guns around him. If highlighting that fact turns you off on my analysis Chris, I will go to bed quiet content actually. At every given elections in the Gambia, the military is mobilise to scare the civilian population. Which ex-Army officer put himself forward to provide succinct backdrop to this behaviour? Now coming to the issue at hand, the abductions and executions of army officers themselves, what credible inside and outside source connections do we have? Mostly, when the boys left the force, they cut off all connections, if not, what is stopping them providing key intelligence as to the madness Gambians are struggling against?
I am aware that we have opinions and views of one another, we came from different experiences and we take stock of one another through varied lenses, some quiet tinted, but such is human nature…
It is not bad to be cynical sometimes, however, on this occasion, far from it. Some of the things I write or comment on are either deep felt or an attempt to create a discussion.
Lucky for you, you have never felt the boots of a Gambian Army personnel. The GNA officers, some of them have stinking reputation of seeing the civilians as their enemies.
If truth be told, Din Din Mansa (The young Mansa) can attest to the excessive power and aggro against civilians by Gambian security forces.
It is the Gambian militia (para military and army) who brought the mentality of intimidating the civilian populace. One would hope, upon leaving the environment which ferments such brutalities against ordinary citizens of the Gambia, the ex-GNA boys will play their part in exposing and ending the state of affairs in the Gambia.
Is this the case Chris?  Readership generating has nothing to do with it, if it does, I would have stated “This is the soldier, permission to speak Sir”.
The ex-Gambian army men are largely invisible in all this commotion taking place. Now, we don’t expect them to use arms because, it require a harder efforts. If they can’t stand up and be counted in routine political discourse, what about the arm part of things.
The reason I state categorically that, they are missing in action is thus: ‘one expect the military in Africa as amongst the most organised institution that follows strict codes of conducts and routines’. The military are bind by common brotherhood, and the claim that, they are the defenders of our rights and lives. The time they spend together, is supposed to create a network, where they can be in contact even after retirement. In scenarios as ours, wouldn't that be helpful and eventually a way to save lives if the ex-military officers keep in contacts with serving officers, helping exposing imminent threats to the life of serving or ex-army officers’.
I can be controversial, however, in this case, and many others, I felt that, the ex-Gambia military officers did not and are not making any attempt to fill in the vacuum in helping the civilian politicians and activist end the dictatorship.
I will not indulge in responding to the boys in Green/ or grey.

My Barada (green tea) cooking pot

During the Eid cerebration, I was brewing a slow cooking Attaya. Lo and behold, we got some guest. A British couple distracted me. The lonely barada brew the water dry. The bottom of the pot got slightly burnt.
However, My lovely wife did her magic on it. I thought the barada which I had for four years will finally retire. But happily, it is still going well. For those concern about my Barada, here it is, well and cooking. Thanks to all concern. I hope our Gambian brother who invented an electric attaya cooking pot can go into mass production quickly.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Children By Jaliba and Judiya
Big up to the future makers...Don't use condemning language against children..Don't use derogation against them, it sticks...Be gentle and firm, but positive and encouraging.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Stinking Fart Of A Dictator

When a dictator farts, the stench affects everyone. When we say, let us see beyond our petty differences and take care of Yahya Jammeh, some people fake-ly nod in agreement. However self-delusional that may be, we are all in the mess. Yahya Jammeh want to take over all Money transfer businesses like he did with other Gambian base businesses.

 He is secretly talking with Western Union according to inside sources. But what he is failing to understand, many legitimate money transfer businesses were operating secretly, and they will all go back to operating secretly, which means, the state will lose out big time. But in the meantime, the stupidity will affect us all. Whether you sit on the fence or you speak or act against Jammeh, whether you say Jammeh forever, or not, his evil smell will drown us all.
President Jammeh has been tampering with the foreign exchanges prizes just to suit his pocket. He buys currency cheap, and allows the prize to rise and then sell. Then the prize is force down, he buys and then allows few weeks for the prize to stabilise, then he sells. He careless, whether this is in Ramadan, Koriteh, Tobaski etc..But it is our Gambian bitter pill; we may as well swallow it.

Black Africans Are Not Muslims for Arabs

We are not Muslims for the Arabs. Some non-Muslim Gambians and Africans tend to look at some privilege Arab Prince or Kings and attempt to insinuate that, they are wild and bad, hence indirectly we Africans should reconsider Islam. 
Some will even comment 'Look at what that Saudi Prince or Kuwaiti Prince is doing', which means, indirectly, even Muslims do that evil. If western Christians misbehave, is that the business of African blacks Christians?
For the record, those Arab Prince, Kings, Princess and so-call Royalties need Allah like anyone. They have no place in the Islamic tradition. If a Prince live wild and party hard, that is his business, hence, Islam is a Universal faith which does not belongs to any family, country, or dynasty. So please, take your Arab Prince sinning to the doors of the Arab Prince, may be such Prince lived all his life in America, Spain, Or England. May be he doesn't know silt about Islam.
Muslims are not guilty for the sins and crimes of others. The noble Quran states that, "every soul will bear the responsibility for its sins and mistakes". Our God (Allah) is very merciful, forgiven and always eager to accept the servant who turn to him in repentance. The political turmoil in the world are all big business underneath. From colonialism to slavery, it is nothing BUT for control of people and their resources, and of course, the big business need partners in our lands.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Let His Excellency have a breathing space!!

Banka Manneh is attacking him, Pa Samba picketing his US mansion,Jallow Mathew, compiling his victims list, Dr Amadou Scattred Janneh,Mai Ahmad Fatty globe trotting exposing his crimes, Sidi Sanneh even has new blog, focusing his eyes on him, whilst Pa Nderry M'Bai Newspaper, calls him all sorts of names...not to talk of Essa Bokar Sey's mic and critics, Fatou Jaw Manneh's oilly fingers also at it. Now when can his Excellency relax and chill out? Ramadan came and is going, you haven't relent. Some call him Tony Dabaa, some call Buki amna almet, he is accused of not functioning down there. Bamba Mass and Demba Baldehscrible on him also, the pressure is too much...
Hence our H.E reaction saying "western foods make some Gambian men impotent". Do you guys remember the rumors that, H.E's kids aren't his hard work, and that they are product of some soldiers...His Excellency has big ears and wide eyes. All your character attacks hurts, it bleed his heart. It makes him sleepless and restless. This is bad for his health, give him some break, at least for the one day of fasting remaining. Guys cease fire!! It is a Command from the secretary of Gambian spiritual healers, aka the Gambia Marabout Association (GMA). Thank you

Saturday, 3 August 2013

A reminder to Jinns and effect of bad marabousm

This video is a detail explanation of how jinn affect people. Some by the initiation of evil magicians.

Bamba Mass explain Mansuwan Kunda (MSK) influence on Armitage Students.

Armitage High School for those who do not have the privilege to learn at this great School, the Sankore Mosque of the Gambia, the Misira University of the Smiling coast, I belief without doubt have missed an opportunity of a lifetime. This institution used to be the best in terms of academic performance in the country. A school of the highest competition per excellence where students pride themselves as masters of spoken terminology. Like any other schools in the Gambia, cause it has students who care little or less about making it big or some who allowed themselves to go astray. On the other hand even that cannot be compared to any other institute. Arbitrage is the only institute in the Gambia where a king's son cannot be distinguishable from a beggar's child. All are the same and treated as such. No fancy cars picking/droping students, no sense of favouritism towards a minister's child from a carpenter's child. 

Prayer times are respected likewise church times are never missed by Christians. Students regardless of their background repeat classes when they fail or get expelled for misconduct. Debates are more regular with fanfare on weekends. Regular checks on health and cleanliness round the clock with trophies to win for outstanding cleanliness. 

The idea of dry dance, I have never heard at Armitage may I must have left but during my day and before since 1927, we elect our own chiefs Alkalolu and other councilors without interference from government or School authority. Though I learnt there are some changes to that but all the same a lot still remains the same like boys don't visit girls domery visa vis, lights out, study time no disturbance, regular prayers and prayers before and after every meal. Can someone tell me how many homes or families behave or treat family matters like this in the Gambia from Koina to Kartong? 

On alcohol consumption and other unruly behaviours, Armitage is far far better than most schools in the Gambia because because even schools affiliated with Islam like the three Ahmadiya schools and Muslim high, some students drink alcohol where as at Armitage, it has never been that students would drink to the knowledge of teachers no! I was stubborn at Armitage yes but I would say I was lucky never smoked or drank maybe because my dad put a course on it or maybe I was striving to do well at school so that I escape 7 to 7 farming something I hated I don't know which was true but yes some people do some of the things but just for a while because the moment they realise it's affecting their performances and as a result, they could repeat they stop.

Armitage is no doubt the best institution that teaches and prepares students for the task outside school. It moulds a stubborn child into a responsible adult like myself and it exposes you to the fact that no riches or parental position can propel or catapult one from class to class but academic performance from hard work. I knew because when I remember at the ministry of education, I was called by then deputy Pam. Sec. begging me to go and teach not to join the army saying am too intelligent and can do better in teaching where I can go to college, do HTC then go to university, I realised studying hard had paid off. People who do not know me from Adam, taking out their hard earned money and giving me as pocket money just to convince me to self progress and thus saving my life. I would have been dead by now for sure. I had so much ego for the military because of the rapid promotions straight to cadet attached but after some thought, I choose teaching and here I am today thanks to Armitage.

My friends the school is just second to none. A home away from home, a social class set up found nowhere else, a village, town and city of its own where the wealth of tolerance resides.

Omar Joof on his experience At Gambia College: Dry Dance explain

  Dry Dance in fact means san alcohol! During my time at Gambia college we did review, but alcohol or weed smoking were never viewed as problems emanating from Dry Dance. We were however worried when we viewed it in terms of the failure rate. This itself was low, but we were concerned about certain girls who were regulars at Dry Dance and were failing. All we could do at the time was to encourage them to cut on attendance at Dry Dance.
From 1992 to 1995, we had two cases of drunkenness, and in both cases, the individuals concerned consumed alcohol off campus. The student leadership dealt with the cases without ever allowing them to get to the college authorities. In fact in one of them, we instructed a college employee to pay compensation to a student who was under the influence of alcohol and was taken advantage of. 
Dry Dance was organized by the social committee, there was also a student DJ. Refreshments were sold but as far as I was aware, alcohol was never made available .
Gambia college has always been a microcosm of the greater Gambian society. Religiosity has always been a marked characteristic of the college. I met many good Christians and Muslims during my training there and we put in the application for the college Mosque while I was secretary to The Student Islamic Solidarity Association (SISA).
However, student politics on campus was very dynamic, and progressive. During the Campaign period, all candidates for the various positions take part in public debates. There was a tremendous culture of lampooning and caricature. These publications were put out by secret groups whose members the contesting candidates mostly did not know. The practice of democracy was remarkable! The environment was free, and students can be found experimenting a lot of things which may be frowned upon in the larger society.
Gambians and Africans in general are very religious. It is the cultures of governance inherited from the colonialists which are secular. We all cherish this because while we like to question our politics on continuous basis, most of us shy away from questioning our faiths.

 I hereby express gratitude to our brother Suntou for coming up with a contentious issue which has enabled us to share our experiences in regard of the institutions of relevance to his topic. It was at Gambia College that I was introduced to the Dawa, and I became aware of the existence of some compatriots who have come to find an escape from the socioeconomic woes in The Gambia in Islam. Personally, I was fascinated by the tremendous potentials we have for effecting progressive change through social mobilization. As a Muslim scholar, I would like to direct Suntou's attention to the existence of a dual system of education in The Gambia in the shape of The Madarassahs and The formal schools; and the dangers and issues of social justice that scenario poses. There is a lot of ground to be covered in terms of research and generating knowledge in The Gambia. The potential for evolving concepts and constructs to jolt us out of the
current socioeconomic decadence is immeasurable

Monday, 29 July 2013

In Defense of Armitage High School

By Demba Baldeh (Suntou), great write up but clearly a miss opportunity to do a broader research on Armitage and its culture. It appears that you spoke to some ex students and picked a negative narration of the institution and make it look like "a breeding ground for Alcoholism and prostitution" aka girls dressing badly.

There are certainly thousands of Ex Armitage students on this forum who will vehemently disagree with your assertions. I am not interested in defending Armitage as my Alma-mata, but simply setting the records straight or broadening the discussion. First, the section of students you referenced who frequents or make the "Mansuwan Kunda" a habitual place represent a very small section of the student population. In fact if your sources were open to you, they would have told you that these are mostly students who struggle in their academics and many of them end up failing and repeating their classes, some expelled, some transfer to freer schools. This is the same group that runs away from regular five day prayers, night studies and against rules of staying on campus. This group does not reflect the larger student body who are overwhelmingly pious and hardworking...

Second, if you research Armitage and the institutional set up, you would have realized that there were strict rules separating boys quarters with girls' dormitories. In fact some spent five years in Armitage without ever visiting the girls quarters which was locked 24/7... So were the girls restricted in visiting boys quarters. Of course as a co-eduational institution students were allowed to have musical nights were girls and boys mixed. But to characterize girls in Armitage as flouting or dressing sexual is to not know about Armitage and probably never visited the school...

Clearly, you missed a great opportunity to touch on the strict religious schedules and teachings at Armitage where students are woken up at 5am to pray dawn every single day 7 days a week. The five daily prayers were stricter than that of Mecca if you ask me. This includes both boys and girls. Girls are locked during prayers... (almost like Sariah law).. This is something that even parents cannot maintain for their kids. By the way students who were Christians were also forced to go to Church on Sundays... You should have seen Friday prayer time when the whole school will assemble and march to the Juma prayers without deviation. 

Finally, the discipline the Armitage institution teaches its students is a classic example that our regular transitional families teaches their children at home. Almost 95% of Armitage students greatly benefits from this routines and are greatly appreciative of being part of a culture that treats every student equally. At Armitage during my days of course, it doesn't matter what your family background was. We all ate the same food, wear the same clothes and of course bitten by the same mosquitoes..

In short, I think in terms of religious training, academic rigor, social norm of respect for seniors and the elderly, restriction on gender commingling, and routine schedules, Armitage is a classic example. In fact students who spent five years at Armitage will forever appreciate being part of an institution that never discriminates and teaches basic fundamentals of social upbringing...

I hope you will have another chance to do more research on Armitage and the idea of these institutions being breeding grounds for secularism. 

Keep up the good work..

Gambia Social Issues

by Joe Sambou reaction: Suntou, thanks for your take on the issue. However, don't you think you are according more blame on the two insitutions and sparing the rest of Gambian high schools, secondary schools, and the University as well? Julbrew/Banjul Breweries has been known to run out of stock in a country that is 85% to 90% Muslim. Who is drinking all that alcohol? Certainly not the 10% with almost 100% not knowing where Armitage is located. The output of Julbrew far out number the combined Daakaa output in the country. So, who has contributed more to the consumption of alcohol in the country? Also, have you not seen the students of SAHS, GHS, Muslim High, Nusrat, etc. at the clubs and beaches tilting the bottle and smoking weed among other things? How about the rate of teenage pregnancies in the urban areas? I would venture that what happened/is happening in the urban areas far outweigh what went/or is going on at say, Amitage. SAHS used to go to Armitage every year and at the time the place was quite restrictive for some of us. When we have a dance, it ended up being attended by the outsiders for the most part and we played cat and mouse with the Principals trying to play around the curfew, with the local student heads to report local students that ventured out pass the deadline or tried to join the party.

Let us also not forget that the Gambian state is a secular state and the constitution is the people. I do not think secularity is the issue. Are you trying to push for a Theocracy? Because due to our multi religion, tribe, and other persuasions I think a secular state is best for us and each to be free to practice their religion without hindrance. You live in the UK, do you know how many Gambians who are Muslims drink alcohol for instance and they did not pick up the habit in the Gambia or an Armitage? And so, like many of our affairs, we are masters at looking the other way.

I will extend the conversation to venture into prostitution in the Gambia. Our target of choice for blame is "The Foreigners" (Sierra Leoneans, Senegalese, Nigerians, Bissau Guineans, etc.). We all know that a great deal of prostitutes in the Gambia are our fellow Gambians (you and my neighbor, relative, etc.). There are various kinds of prostitutes, female, male, open, covert, etc. and Gambians have the lion share.

I will also add the case of homosexuality. Is there any place in our globe that humans habitat and you do not have homosexuals? There isn't. So, why do Africans pretend that we never had homosexuals in Africa, and specifically, Gambia. How many of us can honestly say we do not know of a homosexual, growing up in Gambia? And so, who are we fooling? Yes, the culture was/is hostile to homosexuals, driving them underground. However, we have some that came out even back in the 70s and 80s with their drumming sessions and entertainment of their counterparts in say Senegal and to this day they are homosexuals where ever they are in the world. Homosexuality is not a European creation but part of humanity. There was time that white and black marriages were prohibited/frowned upon in the UK, US, Rhodesia, SA, and countless other places around the world and many black folks were murdered for it. Today interracial marriage is a fact of life, and so will we come to a stage that accepting our brothers and sisters for who they are will be a fact of life. A question for you, if you have a son/daughter that told you they feel different from their apparent gender, what will you say or do to them? Yes, you can wish it away, pray on it all you want, but you had easier raise a person from the dead than make them feel otherwise. I have heard Gambians that swore by the heavens that they will use their bare hands and kill that child of they reveal their humanity as such. So, Yaya is not the only one out there. However, I will put it to those Gambians that, that is just talk. It is very hard to look your child in the face and kill them just because of their sexual orientation. Those that will follow through can go ahead as long as they know they will rot in jail for the rest of their life and as faith would have it, if a man, may be forcefully made another man's wife. That is also a fact of life in jail too. Daaw Be Mbokou! 


Saturday, 27 July 2013

Bastion of Secular Gambia:Dry Dance and Gambia College/Armitage

Suntou Bolonba Touray
The birth of secular Gambia took different twist and turns...many individuals and institutions played significant roles in shaping our mindsets...Armitage High school and Gambia College are said to contribute immensely in promoting and solidifying the secular Gambia.
The regimental rules in the Gambia's only boarding school, is seen by outsiders as filtering grounds for  Gambians who will become career public servants, and innately secular in outlook, although the institution also encourages obedience to hierarchy, master-servant following, headman-ship and free spiritedness.
Head strong young Gambian men tasted the jewel of secular anointment 'alcohol'. The road to decommissioning one's inner spirit is through the consumption of liquor. Armirtage became a breeding ground for taking young impressionable minds down the road of becoming hardcore secular elite institutionalist. The Mansuwan Kunda wine brewing den played key role fermenting this culture.

The freedom young women gain in Armirtage also means, the body covenant was discarded through subtle mechanism-the carefree dressing and lax attitude towards the male sex. Once the head is de-spiritualised, the candle of liberal secularism became glowingly lit. A point of no turning back, similar to the liberal literature supplied to the women's bureau and elite women within the civil service.

The emphasis in hierarchy found in Armitage  also means, draconian seniors put new comers through paces which acts to formulate deconstructing the in-build discipline a young 'green leave' may have been brought up with.
Sons and daughters of Imams became so distance from the route of the parents, many live double lives. When in home environment, they are what their parents expect of them, but when they are in their convenient circles, they over indulge beyond recognition.

The Gambia college's training programs also accord it's pupil the  facility and privilege to be free, to be inquisitive. The regular entertainment program which acts to foster secular dance spirit was none other than 'dry dance'.
If you were not a student at the Gambia college, you will never have heard of dry dance. I will actually hope that, former students can indulge us into what dry dance was. From the information gathered, dry dance was a weekly dance program, where young men will gather and sit and watch female student compete in provocative dance...Some notable academics today, where said to be instrumental in making sure the dance takes place. A further detailed analysis of Armitage and Gambia College is in the offing.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

The brave Gambian journalist: Musa Saidykhan and Others

I am proud to be associated with Gambian journalist, although I don't count myself as one. I am certainly even more proud to count Musa Saidykhan, a friend/colleague at kibaaro, a survivor of unimaginable brutality by the coward, sadistic killer President Jammeh. 
Musa Saidykhan was electrocuted countless times, his back was sliced, his wrist was broken like a log of wood, his body was so badly tortured, only God knows how he survive. So if you still think a President who stoop so low as to inflict brutality on fellow Gambians is a good President, then you need more repentance than the Satan himself. God forbid oppression on himself, why do we condone a President ordering his men to butcher fellow country men?
 If you say you fast for the sake of God, then search deep in your heart, why we look the other way in the midst of serious crimes against innocent people. July 22 brought with it some glimmer of hope, however, the dept of blood stench, is so sobering, sometimes you try to cry, but no tears come. 

May Allah calm the hearts of all those Gambians whose love ones have been brutalized and maltreated, some killed by our Commander In-chief, Our own national President..On his Orders. The evil men taste the pains of there crimes, is a sweet day for lovers of Justice. Can Deyda Hydara be brought again, can the lsot years of Ebrima Manneh be repaid, where is he? Watch the video and see

Hands off First Lady Zenab Zuma Jammeh

Leave her spend to our money!!
By Suntou Touray
Gambians are misplacing their priorities these days. Zenab Zuma Jammeh is the wife of the enduring, long serving President of a tiny West African Republic (The Gambia). Her husband is among the ugliest African heads of states, past and present. In fact, he leads the way on ugliness bar, the likes of Idi Amin, Yazimbe Yadema of Togo, and few others. President Jammeh picked Zenab Zuma Jammeh in a Morocco hotel according to some sources. She did not travel to live in the Gambia, because she love and like the country. She is in the Gambia because she is married to the richest man in the whole of the country.

Zeinab Zuma went to the Gambia in search of a brilliant life. She didn’t go to our country to settle for our small super markets and riff raff clothing shops. Oh NO, she is a high class social girl. President Jammeh married her, knowing she is a man eater, and an expensive one at that.
She is a hustler who will gather wealth and then head to a place dear to her to spend. Aren’t we all hustlers? If we gather some money, where do we head to?
An overwhelming amount of Gambians will travel to Banjul to enjoy their hard earn money. Some will frequent hot spots by the beach sides, night clubs etc, whilst the more sober ones will undertake investment in property and the like.
Zenab Zuma sees herself as a hustler in an unfriendly environment. The Gambia is too low key for her. She is not from the country and evidently, does not like the country and her people.

Her husband, our mandated head of state, the man our people voted for in the highest political office is our business. Zenab Zuma has every right to spend her gains, in whichever way she deems fit.

And by the way, she shouldn’t be judged on her lack of fasting. How many Semesters to the Gambia fast? She is enjoying herself. Our focus, target, camera lenses, secret photographs should all be aimed at President Yahya Jammeh, not poor old Zenab.
Zenab lives in an expensive apartment; she drives expensive cars, and eats expensive foods. That is what she works hard to attain in life. You might disagree with her, like I do, but then, that is what she chose to attain success by.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Face Book Over-exposure of the Body

Facebook is good, but some make it bad. Share your face, dress. your nice moments with your friends...But I think certain Gambian sisters are taking this too far. Please sisters, your breast, your belly/tummy are private parts that shouldn't be shared to hundreds of people. Not all of us want to sin seeing your breast and naked belly...Showing your private parts of your body doesn't add any value to you as a person. Sadly, vanity loving brothers and some sisters will continue liking things just for the heck of it. Keep private parts privates..God Guide us.

Lessons in Fasting Ramadan

By Suntou Touray
A Muslim man/woman who fast for 30 days, has learn a thing or two about self-control. He/she should be incapable of committing sex crimes. A key goal of fasting is mastering one's desire...We fast because we are commanded to do so, but it also teaches us determination and humility. May Allah make us humble and make it easy for us to do good for him and mankind. Ameen

The Broken Pen Of the Gambia

At the top of the hill
Sat an old, dejected Gambian scholar
Who use to scribble fantastic essays and books
There he sat, along with very few who takes
The pains and solitude to think

They think loud to us in the pages
and cover of magazines and books
We adulate their grand minds
and hope that, many will emulate
the audacity and sacrifice

The pen then was in good hands and great thinking minds
Minds that encourage protest writing and thinking
Sitting elegantly and heads held high
Under our soft Sun, the Buhabas (Scholars)
Exhibited the talent to communicate

We took their words and believed that,
They are genuine
That was before the test to their character
and personal interest hits home

The Pen is broken, the Gambia’s pen is dented
broken by the celebrated writer and author
Alas, it downed on Gambia that, not all that glitter is gold

(Nana Grey-John, a key player in Gambia writers community
Is found wanting when he is needed most)
Hypocrites at best
Gambia Writers forum should distance itself from him)
WAG needs to rethink and be bold

Pregnant/Breast feeding Woman should not Fast

If God makes something easy, why complicate it for yourself? Ramadan fasting month create a buzz in people, both men and women. Some sisters even start covering their heads, some find the quickest available guys to get hitch. All of that is self-delusional. What is important is, whether you are married or single, stay sin free..Marriage is not a requirement for doing good or bad. Yes, the institution of marriage is blessed and all eligible bachelors should be encourage to marry, but please don't do it for Ramadan. Another subject is, very clear sound hadith of the Prophet Muhammad explain that, "women who are breast feeding, pregnant, very old people who cannot fast..." feed a poor person a day. That will replace the obligation of fasting for them. 

But certain Gambian sisters are refusing to obey that Prophetic providence. They are saying, they will repay all the month of Ramadan when they are strong enough after pregnancy, breast feeding. Come on sisters, how many voluntary acts of worship can you do, that you don't, why make Islam difficult for yourself in just fasting? If you are breast feeding a baby or you are pregnant, eat and drink, and provide Fidya (food) to a needy person for each day. If because you have money to give and you felt, that option is easy..Please remember, there are countless others who cannot fast due the above conditions, but at the same time, will find it hard to feed a poor person...Our religion is easy, learn the basics and read it. 
No one will confuse you. May Allah forgive our mistakes/sins and make us better human beings. Let our educated sisters please say something. We are having some sisters insisting fasting after breast feeding and pregnancy..Imagine we guys have such allowance...Nothing is more nobler than motherhood, don't underrate it...Jazakalah

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The fears in a Tribal society

Tuesday, 16 December 2008
BY Suntou Touray
In a recent posting at the Gambia L, I made a comment that, in the near future, a piece concerning our individual respective tribal competences will be written. The remark seems to raise eyebrows simply it will discuss aspects of our cultures or tribes that no one has attempted before. The writers who felt it unnecessary for me to embark on such a mission did that with deep care and concern. The vital point to note here for all is that, The key word is 'TRIBAL COMPETENCES'. This doesn't mean, what one tribe is competent at another is incompetent with.
Student of management can surely remember reading about the differences in management styles across ranges of racial or national boundaries. The Japanese for instance are known to be very loyal and committed to one job and one firm, whilst the American managers are quick to sack or fire their staff. The British are known to be very pompous managers whilst the Germans believe in Hard work and proven track records.
Some companies go across tribal lines to hire a person with different competence in turning over a failing company, Honda is a good example. A Japanese manager was replaced with an Irish-American if my memory serve me right. This is all due to different cultural and management styles. Sadly, Blacks and women managers are portrayed in a negative light due their management styles. Blacks and women they say tend to be 'too bossy' and 'power hungry' managers.
How did the the social scientist came to that conclusion? This is through studying different companies with particular types of managers. Yet we in the twenty first century fear what 'the minds' of others conceive.
I am well aware of prejudice and bigotry and seriously as a Muslim, that is the last thing that comes to my mind.
The 'social construct' of each individual is different. Even two Mandingos from different region in one country will have different social construct. A Baddibunka mandingo for instance may culturally value money differently to a Kobomka mandingo. Similarly a Senegalise Wolof may see marriage differently to a Gambian Wolof. Is writing or talking about this peculiarities sensitive? Yes, because our society is very rigid and sensitive. In India for example, they give jobs according to cast system. This is to avoid alienating the lower cast members. In Britain, the equal opportunity acts makes it possible for companies to employ people regardless of their race or colour. The interesting thing is, we have to start breaking certain moles respectfully and with care.
There is nothing call the TRUTH. Your truth is not my truth,. Even God gave us the opportunity to either worship or him not to worship him. Yet, we are told that our creation into tribes and races is not for us to ridicule each other but for us to be amaze by the power of God's creative abilities.
The dilemma in a tribal society is so great that anthropological exercise is made very difficult. This is why i only concentrate writing about Mandingo subjects. Surely no one will accuse me of being an anti-Mandingo. The fear is that some will start seeing me only in a Mandingocentrict dimension. Should that deter me from enjoying my hubby which is reproduce what i learn as a child? hell no.
Being connected to both FULBE and Mandingo, i can equally write about certain interesting fula custom, but that may land me into unpredictable waters. People relate and disconnect from people base on petty comments. It is hopeful that our world view broaden and become less sensitive to educational endeavours. I will put together what i know to be our tribal competences, i shall not mention a single tribe, it is up to people to guess what best describe their perception and feelings. I may got it all wrong, yet my conscience is clear. We are what we are due to many transformation and experiences, some positive other negative. I wish to comment about unifying paradigms. The axioms of successes and progress in a multi-tribal society. Feel me! 

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Women, Our Companions

Sentimental Sunny day in England today. What comes to mind in a humid office?
I say 'Real men are not afraid to admit that, they are inspired by Beautiful dignified women. I'm very much inspired by my wife, however, that doesn't mean, she wouldn't have a right go, as men, we shouldn't see the beauty and softness of women as weakness..we are each other's pillar. Smile for your love one. A little smile, a small compliment goes a long way, guys think about.'

A Thought On relationships

As a village man, I have seen love in that ordinary setting, the town people tend to think they understood life better than us. It is natural to think so, because the ordinary farmer does not cuddle and openly declare is undying love for his wife, but never underestimate that for not loving at all. 
But as I settled in towns and cities, I have seen love there too. In grand public show at times, regardless of the place, sophistication and glamour, Love has one language. What is it? For a moral Muslim, love is deep care, and affection, truthfulness and close bond...supporting each other, and defending defending, the rights of the other half against all odds...overlooking short coming, and being gentle...guys gentleness improve things..sisters, understanding, it helps lowering the testosterone.'

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Voices of Gambian Queens In Raleigh

By Suntou Touray
When Me become too big and Us too small
When a call fell on deaf ears, but scrutiny became prevalent
When the nobleness of silence is raped
When plagues spread like wild fire
And the sorrows of the affected decline to affect the heart
When moving on and seeing a grand view
Of the African Sun became too inartistic
God's beauty lost in transition
Our beauty irrelevant
I love women, but hate their beauty
You tell me, "this is how it should be done"
But Cannot and did not do it yourself

When 'I' say, my rights, my hero, my scholar
My my my consume the heart
A cause is lost and the lost cause get blamed!!
"Who are you", British footy fans will sing
"Who are you?"
"Who are you?"
The African little tyrants, our many faceted tyrants
In the media, in social media
In politics and in government

Please, My Gambian, my African kings and queens
See the vastness of our beauty
Our beautiful  women, in their elegant ropes, and make ups
Attended our gathering, they spoke
Yell and preached
Didn't that touched your heart
The Beautiful faces
Of Smiles, And large Gambian smiles, together
Of Smiling Coast Smiles
Let Raleigh--North Carolina Conference Be
Petty me me's

Friday, 17 May 2013

Gambian men health

Gambian Men: Some of us involve in Gambian associations and community issues are well aware of the rate Gambian men are been diagnosed with serious health problems. The bulk of the health issues centered around the food we eat. Gambian men are highly likely not to be engaged in fitness exercise in Europe or America. The rate at which Gambian men are dying from corollary health condition is becoming alarming. As people of faith, we know, our time is decreed by our Maker, however, a bit healthy lifestyle can go a long way.
The big question is, since many Gambian men, including myself eat more home cooking than eating takeaways or at restaurants. Is it the responsibility of our spouses: Wife's to look after the diet?

Between 2012 to date, more than 6 Gambian men died, some of it sudden, some whilst at work. Some conditions are said to hereditary, but many are from eating highly nutritious food without shaking it. The summer is coming, I encourage our Gambian brothers, wherever they are, to engage in some form of physical exercise, even walking long distances will help. Many of us, now feature with pot belly, which is a big sign of danger. Let Gambian women reduce the cooking of palm oil, it is very rich and full of fat. The sisters should encourage the husbands to be fit, although the sisters too should watch the waistline. The amount of sugar we consume is also high. Let us watch our health. A bless Friday all.

Former MP Mahawa Cham with Me in Dakar

Me and Mahawa Cham in Dakar back in January. He is a very nice human being and someone full of hope for the Gambia. He is active and always engaging in Gambian affairs. Now he is missing, I hope and pray he is safe and sound. His disappearance is a testimony that, our struggle is complex and Senegal is a difficult base for Gambians.
 Many confided in me that, the powers that be in Senegal are in no rush to see Jammeh go, according to them, since Yaya Jammeh assume power, Gambia lost many advantages in trade and other economic dynamic that use to make Senegalese come to Gambia for business. This is our mess, we must be counted and clean it.