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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Camp Africa to celebrate Gambian legends

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By Juldeh Njie George Gomez, direct of Camp Africa, a non profitable organization with the aim of encouraging integration between Senegal and the Gambia, has revealed that the organisation plans to dig into the past and bring to light prominent Gambians who deserve to be celebrated. George was speaking on Wednesday during a meeting at Asset Bantaba with members of the Senegalese-Gambian Association for Integration and socio-economic Development, SGAID. The meeting was meant to discuss ways of integrating the two countries in order to promote culture, tradition and heritage of Gambia and Senegal. “The other area we look at as concern Gambians is our history and legends; whatever we know about Gambian history and legends is written by Europeans. If you ask any Gambian who their legend is they will mention Nelson Mandela and the like because they don’t know Gambian legends. “Every five years the investigation done on these legends will be put into books and published by young Gambians. We have very strong legends who were kings but where is the Gambian version of these great kings, community and cultural leaders? No one talks about them, so this is an opportunity for Gambian children to discover their cultural heritage and celebrating their legends by writing our own legends by our own young people. “We fund most of our activities like ‘Mboka’ which is an annual festival that started about six years ago to promote small scale businesses so that they can have a market outside of the Gambia. We have it twice for both countries but the 6th edition could not be possible due to the problem of border closure but last year, we revived the ‘mboka’ again but this time the ‘mboka’ is not only an exhibition, it’s a festival with a book and trade fare. “These festivals that we are engaged in do not only help to promote our culture but also promote and enhance tourism because when we had the mboka, we have almost 30 people from England to the festivals, those people will pay money and will be in hotels and that in turn will generate income to the industry. We also have a Gorgor -lu festival in Senegal but we want to establish it here. For them they make calabash and other things and most tourist love to buy this thus, create employment for many youths and putting the Gambians name on the map, he said. George Gomez expressed gratitude to their partners for the great initiative, saying it will go a long way in helping the Senegambia youths discover their talents. “We set up this camp few years ago to encourage integration between Senegal and Gambia by extension the whole of Africa. We organize youth camps for colleges and universities but later we thought of partnering with Senegal. While we were developing the concept the first year we had a camp for Gambian students and other international students will also come to camp here and learn from each other. We normally give them a project base on the theme of the camp and they will do a presentation and the winner will be given a trophy. We also send students to England to camp but now we are thinking of expanding not only to have the international camp but to have local camp where students will be divided into groups, an expert will help them showcase their talents in acting, writing, public speaking skills,” he added. Adama Bah, assistant director of Camp Africa said: “It is important now that we have a democratic government for the grass root to start to organize so that we don’t have to wait for our government to do everything for us. We will organize ourselves, take programs to the government and tell them this is what we want so that they can implement those things. That’s exactly what we want to do in terms of integration so that we are getting the Senegal-Gambia secretariat involved to collaborate with Senegal in terms of culture, tourism and big program from all these sectors”. On his part, Saihou B Jarju, president of Senegalese Gambian Association for Integration and Socio-economic Development, said: “Senegal have a bigger economy as a result Gambia will benefit a lot if it exploits and if they trade very well, they will be able to benefit from each other. So both countries can tap the opportunities available. We want the Gamtel of Senegal to integrate with Gamtel of the Gambia, post office of Senegal to integrate with post office of Gambia; in that way the servers, integration and exchange will be so smooth and cheap”. Both parties expressed optimism and urged the government to support them in their bid to integrate the two countries. The meeting also witnessed the presentation of jerseys to its development partners to promote sports in schools, both in rural and urban areas.]]>

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