The political football field of the country has been marred with confusion, jubilation, furious and positive comments. Like the El Clásico football match, the political turnover in the country has made many; not only the literates in the Queen’s but also the unlettered as political commentators and analysts. The return of DE-MO-CRA-CY!
For many decades, the Gambian was muted especially on issues that are government related, even if he desires to add his personal jumbo to a hot-cake issue in the country, he had to look sideways in fear of a spy for Mansa Magafuli. Such a situation ceased on December 2, 2016, when Gambian political sovereigns democratically and to the best interest of all, terminated the 22year leadership contract with Mansa Magafuli; now exiled in Equatorial Guinea.
The termination of the contract paved way for self employment for many. From the offices to the streets, from homes to ghettos, in churches and mosques, on the social media to the print and electronic, in schools and at markets, in cars and on horseback, the journalist, farmer, the fisherman, the market woman, the Alkalo, the councilor, the lawmaker, the politician, the judge, the magistrate, the teacher, the school child, the marabout, the priest, the disciple, the gardener, the carpenter, the contractor, the constructor all found a new occupation; political analysts and commentators.
Like the famous Jon Champion and Jim Beglin of mobile games football commentary, the Niuminka farmer and his journalist son exchange comments and make in-depth analysis of the country’s politics. Around the fire place at the centre of their home or round the bowl of porridge, the Serer fisherman argues out with his Jola wife on the leadership style of Mansa Magafuli. In the interior of Diabugu, my Sarahuli uncle on his WhatsApp group writes a mile piece on Magafuli’s plus and minus in the political mathematics class.
As Talib Gibran (one of my favourite Gambian essayists) wrote to Ado, Uncle Madi Jobarteh could be heard paving a safe path for Ado to trek on in nominating his five constitutional guaranteed parliamentarians. Gone are the days when “only” Halifa Sallah could and would critique the government on the pages of “FOROYAA”.
The Niuminka farmer no more discusses about how to weed his farm, the Serer fisherman has found no appetite in complaining low catch at sea, my Sarahuli uncle yellow card his trade in gold, my palm wine bottle stands empty for days because my Jola comrade is on sabbatical palm wine tapping holiday. I no longer masticate the Guinea cola because my Alpha Goro Guinea, together with the Niuminka farmer, Serer fisherman, Sarahuli uncle and Jola comrade, are all either on Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter as bloggers and political analysts.
In this new Gambia, Momodou Sabally may lose grip of his title as the “Gambia’s pen” to a Niuminka wrestler. Tha Scribbler Bah would have to wait for the Baddibu dust to settle before he could ink his ink as Dr. Ismaila Ceesay’s non-registered political science students rush to complete their TC’s.
It’s a new Gambia with a new dispensation. The true meaning of the brand “SMILING COAST” is indeed returning. The international community has embraced us. Exiled Gambians save Pa Nderry of Freedom Newspaper, are returning. Baba Sheriff is back at Standard Newspaper. Mansa Magafuli is at Equatorial Guinea?? 2016/17 is a record breaking history for Gambia.
#For the Gambia our Homeland
#let Justice guide our actions
#we pledge our firm allegiance
#To the Gambia ever true
Author: Baka Dem