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! !