The stage is now fully set for the launch of the novel, ‘Her Virginity’, authored by a young Gambian writer and activist, Fatou Camara, tomorrow at the Sir Dawda Jawara International Conference Centre in Bijilo.
Ms Camara said the launching of her maiden book scheduled to start at 11am will attract high-profile personalities from different walks of life in The Gambia and beyond.
The book will be reviewed by Mrs Haddy Dandeh-Jabbie, head of practice at Dandeh Jabbie Law Practice, and the official launching statement will be delivered by Ms Fatim Badjie, CEO of ACE Communications Executive. Other speakers include; Minister of Youth and Sport Bakary Badjie, and Fatou Saine-Gaye, CEO of Gaye Njorro Skills Academy.
Dr Fatoumatta Jahumpa Ceesay, Gambia’s Ambassador to South Africa is the chief guest of honour, while Fatu Camara, the CEO of The Fatu Network, will also attend as the special guest of Honour.
A number of leading and influential women such as Aji Yam Secka, deputy party leader of the United Democratic Party, Ramatoulie Jawara Ceesay, Lady Chilel Sarr, chief executive officer of Elegance Magazine, and Binta Dibba, chief executive officer of MISS B Designer Outlet, have all confirmed their attendance.
A superstar of The Gambia rap music, ST, who often sings about crucial social issues, has also confirmed his attendance.
The book, Her Virginity, is a ninety percent non-fiction novel that looks into the unspeakable and traumatic real-life experiences of women and girls in their homes and societies.
“While the novel is set in The Gambia, it generally depicts the persecution of our sisters and mothers across the African society,” Ms Camara said.
She explained that the main theme and central focus of the book focuses on issue of virginity and how it is used as a benchmark to determine the rights, value, and dignity of women and girls in society, especially in their marital homes.
“This theme was chosen after extensive and deep observation of how the virginity test is used as a tool to suppress and maltreat our aunties and mothers in their matrimonial homes,” she further affirmed.
Other related issues of sexual and gender-based violence such as rampant rape and incest, prostitution, trafficking of women by family members for monetary purposes, abuse of young girls by the rich and powerful in society, and cyberbullying are equally covered in the book.
The author said her idea was not just to highlight the rampant and prevalent nature of such acts of violence, but also to make them a topic of discourse as society is “disturbingly quiet and silent” on this abuse of women.
The young author said the event is not just about the launching of her maiden novel but it will serve as launching of her career as a writer.
“I call on all Gambians to support my career as a writer by buying the book,” she said.