Loving your country is part of solid faith!
But why are Gambians not passionately Gambian!
It is true our country is small
It is true we don’t have natural resources like other African countries to brag about.
But what we have is a fighting spirit and innermost humility in doing things without wanting to get much attention.
The Independence of Mother Gambia means different things to different people, depending on which part of our beautiful strip you come from.
What we all find unity and comfort in is the realisation that, we have men/women who look like us, who are our kith and kin running the affairs of our country.
So yes, be happy and proud of our Independence day.
Our challenge now is for every Gambian to inculcate the passion of self-reliance, getting involve in our national business, not being satisfied with the way things are, running to God without understanding our responsibilities to ourselves, and ignoring things that don’t directly affect us.
As a rural person, independence meant having the realisation that, our farm produce will have a ready market at prices which are best for us. It means that, having people who understood our hard work and need to live simple lives but satisfied with our earnings from simple farming methods.
Independence further connects us to genuine Gambians who will do all they can to improve our living standards. The creation of better farming techniques with expert assistance in making our labour pay, our produce even more plentiful, going beyond our wildest imaginations.
The rule of Law and equality in our public space, with our common humanity defining our inter-connectedness and common heritage made independence a sweet reality.
Today, there is independence and there is the struggle to bring back human dignity and freedom and liberty for all.
President Jammeh created a victim mentality and blamed some within our country for the ‘perceived’ victimisation. Hence, the equality in the public space is now well and truly ransacked and destroyed. Hence, the fight today is to bring the glimpses of that sweet taste of what it meant to be truly independent.
The suspicions in our society today are nothing but the failure of the state to independently arbitrate in our national affairs. The chronic hatred that has been sub-planted between us, created a wedge so ugly, people today speaks of oneness but sadly, it doesn’t mean much in their inner hearts of hearts.
Yahya Jammeh’s legacy is glaringly clear, he triumph on ugliness, barbarity, brutality, callousness and lack of emotional sensitivity.
Intellectual prostitution became the order of the day. Since intellectuals as well as the ordinary people compete for his heart- to be able to have basic access to employment and food.
Our society is turn upside down, and the common relationships and bond which hold the fabric together broken in order for Jammeh to take roots and destroy all our traditions and customs that could be a defence mechanisms against his brutal onslaught.
The legacy of our founding fathers for Independence is today soiled and contaminated beyond recognition. Opportunism and lack of empathy defines the goals of many. Deception and fabrications, with pump and arrogance dominating our national discourse.
A trend has been created where, nepotistic and xenophobes glamour to win the hearts of the tyrant. They mastered the arts of destroying and tarnishing the images of good men/women.
People have now championed the arts of ‘Switching the Labels’.
Tribalist will rush to tag others as tribalist, victimisers and those they assist in victimising will quickly blame others for victimising them. And the re-writing of our history becoming a common trend in our national newspapers. Being factual and obeying the simple rules of truth in telling a story an alien common currency.
Once upon a time celebrated writers unable to resist the lure of the ‘devil’s’ dining table. Recalling Nana Grey-Johnson, Sam Sarr and Sherrif Bojang. There are others too.
So independence need to be celebrated, but then our focus now is to re-establish the decency, toughness, and resilience that propelled our rural elders, our Towns and City elders to demand self-rule and national inter-dependence.
Hatred and the intellectual masking of it be dumped. The national space be a place of joy and comfort, The rule of law, order and equal opportunity be a staple diet for all hard working citizens to run for their desired objectives.
Let this be known, villagers or urban dwellers, no one is sleeping this days. Let us give each other respect and have emotional sensitivity.
Suntou Bolonba Touray
UDP U.K Member.