Friday, 1 May 2015

May Day and The Poor Workers In Gambia

There is a Wollof proverb which hold true for all of us. "every child will grow up to be exposed or revealed, whatever you become, give thanks to the woman who brought you into this world", And the Mandinkas have similar saying, "every child's rope emanates from the mother."

In the global workers day celebration, I can only vividly remember seeing multiple Gambian women in rural areas rushing to farms and gardens, rushing back home to cook and then heading back to farm...This visible imagination inspired one of my poem 'Every woman knows'.

With all the hard work, dedication and tending to little ones, these women still have time to look good. Hence, everyone woman knows her worth and beauty. It only happens, some lacking the financial means to perfect it.

So let us remember the women in gardens all over the Gambia, the women in the markets places hassling and all workers struggling to make ends meet in our mother/fatherland.

Not forgetting the many armies of Gambians scattered across the world suffering to make a better future for their families and children. Let us strive hard to make work pay for our fellow citizens whose salaries are far less than their daily bread. The average salary today does not have an inflationary increment to cater for the expensive cost of food, higher rents, school fees, travel expenses, let alone savings.
Gambian workers are poorer today than they were 10 years ago. There have not been any serious salary increases for the civil servants for a long time, and prices of basic commodities continue to appreciate.
The average civil servant, carpenter, builder, and market woman lives from hand to mouth. In fact, many civil servants survives and protect their dignity on 'small shop loans' from shopkeepers. They have a book with the shop keeper who records their daily borrowings. These circle continues month after month, year after year.
For us in Europe, America and other African countries, our earnings are now hampered by the expensive living cost we cater for back home. Without remittances, many families will beg to survive. So kudos to every single one of us who looks back, should we all hold our remittances for a month, there will a nationwide riot no doubt.

Our brothers and sisters are dying at sea, all to find work and make ends meet. Working is a sacred duty upon every man and woman....