After banning music during the Ramadan, President Yahya Jammeh (full name and title, Sheikh Professor Dr Alhajie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh Babili Mansa) may have put himself back into the good books of his country’s artists.
The Ramadan fast apparently had Gambian artists not holding a grudge as they sent greetings to the government.
“On this auspicious occasion of the ending of the Holy Month of Ramadan,” said Jalikebba Kuyateh, “I take this special moment of joy in wishing all Gambians Happy Koriteh and special prayers to my president Babili Mansa.”
Said another artist, “I travelled with the president during the recent tour and there was a day when I looked at him, I wept because of the assistance he was rendering to the people during the tour. I came to conclude that he is a leader who wants everybody to have something.”
President Jammeh has now recognised his country’s musicians’ contribution to the Gambian culture since the 22 July Revolution which took place 22 years ago. He presented over two dozen musicians with medals.
These musicians were among the hundreds of persons to receive the presidential medals during Gambia’s celebration of the 22nd anniversary of the revolution.
Some of the awards were: Soldier Pap, Nyanco, Jambai Ndure, Jali Ansu Jobarteh, Cess Ngum, Alhagie Mbaye, Mbaye Gaye, Jali Neneh, Sambou Suso, Singateh (Freaky Joe), Mass Lowe, Bai Babu, Jalikebba, Jali Suso, Magnificent Joe, and Amina Conteh.
In a subsequent interview, the recipients were grateful. “President Jammeh being the first person to award me,” said Jalikebba Kuyateh, “I will use this opportunity to express utmost gratitude and appreciation to him. This award will go a long way towards helping; it will serve as a source of encouragement in our careers.”
“I must commend President Jammeh for this and I hope other people emulate him,” said Bai Babu.
“Under President Jammeh’s dynamic leadership,” Neneh Jali Suso said, “Gambian artistes have achieved and enjoyed a lot. We thank him for taking us to another level and we will continue to work harder to make him proud. Long live The Gambia and its people.”