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City of Banjul
Friday, September 22, 2023

Destination proclivitas

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Foss to foss, like PAB would say, I didn’t think my leave from writing would be this French. From the bliss of carnality to quickly escaping Katchically floods, a rollercoaster leave from scribbling was hard to leave. But like Roy said to a white man, sex is too much hard work. If you struggle like a billy to do it just once a month or twice, then the chills don’t go away. The urge stays alive and red-hot. The temptation becomes sweltering. You crave it. Your blood boils. You want to explore more; deep into the ecstatic mystery. But if you could do it 3 or more times a day for 1, 2, 3 or more years, my friend, you will cow back into submission and appreciate the hardwork put into procreation. But, hey, am still new to this. Not new to lovemaking, not anymore, but new to marriage so we gonna have to discuss it some other time. Sorry for that erotic intro.


Gambia is never dull. We always have something to talk about. We have had plenty these days. Gee-Princess okra scandal dominated vous across urban Gambia. I must admit I saw it coming. I even predicted it but I hated how it unfolded. If Gee takes 5 seconds to do it, I admire his speed. That is a Ferrari speed. But, Princess, suck up and get into a Lamborghini. You both started that shit together; don’t be left behind next time. If he still beats you to the finish line, find other means of enhancing your speed. Besides, who says you should all finish at the same time? If you need a monster d*ck that lasts forever to stay married, you should make that known to all the suitors as a condition. I can assure you there will be plenty of candidates. This is Africa, after all, there are many 13-inch Jonah Falcons here. But, if your concept of marriage is way more sacred, then even if you find an okra there (whether it is a Jola or a Fula okra, as mockingly inquired by Baba Jah AKA Serigne Thiapathioly) that lasts only 5 seconds, you should enjoy that fugitive pleasure and spare us the gory details of your doomed marriage. No one gives a rat’s ass. 


I’ve got a soft spot for PAB. I think he knows that; no, he doesn’t. He would have appointed me honorary adviser already. But am losing it now. Not because he took APRC as a second wife—which has rattled nerves—but because he’s developed the habit of backtracking, with the help of his spin doctor EB. If he says he’d ban politics after election, he should stick with it. I would have backed him. This country is polarised. Toxic. Tribal. Dangerous. All because of nonstop politics. Vote me in and I’d ban politics until election year, no matter whose ox is gored. So we would be spared the incessant GMC Facebook politics. UDP WhatsApp politics. NPP State House politics. CA retail politics.

PAB’s repeated backtracking continued this week when commercial drivers threatened to strike. The strike didn’t even take place. It was only a threat and the government cowed. Since PAB came to power, even bakers had a strike, because he always gives in. After giving in, the strike still somehow goes ahead, even if it is sometime in the future. PAB, when you say no, mean it and stay true to it. The drivers had ridiculous demands; you should have made that clear to them but you didn’t, as always. You let them toy with you and I can assure you there will be another drivers’ strike before December. Unless, of course, you finally get behind that wheel and drive us, Bus Driver.


A few weeks ago, Gambian journalists were garlanded for their remarkable work in the last year. Everyone won. Even short Mafugi won. God, wish I could just take the trophy from him and hang it on the door. He wouldn’t be able to reach it. But what stole the show wasn’t Mustapha K Darboe’s multiple awards or Mafugi’s shortness on the stage. The show was besmirched by the chair of the panel of judges, Esau Williams. Hope he didn’t take his namesake’s trait who Jacob offered to give a bowl of stew in exchange for his birthright. The right to be recognized as firstborn and inherit Abraham’s status. Esau agreed. He traded all that with a bowl of stew. He must have been very hungry. Smh. Anyway, in a recorded speech played at the awards, Esau (the African one) had more negative words about the submissions than even the most vocal critics of the awards; the Balanced Crew. It’s coldblooded murder of the English tongue. It’s fake accents. It’s plagiarism. It’s lazy editing. Words I never heard any judge of an award say about submissions. Esau, no one gives a f*ck about murdering the English tongue. In fact, we would murder it and go to prison, engraved on our faces happiness of an expectant father.

Madi ‘Westfield’ Jobarteh (borrowed from the most unbalanced Balanced member, Yanks) enjoyed Esau’s needless showmanship. The most heart-breaking part of Madi’s reaction was shortly afterwards, after Esau’s rant about nothing, Madi posted a picture of himself and Mustapha K Darboe, describing him as the best journalist on earth. His reasons were as ridiculous as his head. Don’t get me wrong, I know Mustapha. I named him Eric Blair; the real name of George Orwell who Esau said was a poet. He named me Talib Gibran; coined from the Lebanese word prophet, Khalil Gibran. Mustapha and I, burning with passion and hunger to develop into good journalists, would be editing and writing until fajr at TODAY Newspaper. Hamid Adiamoh, who successfully turned us into HIMSELF: tireless workhorses, is a living witness. So, yes, I know Mustapha. I love him. The point is, if you celebrate a speech that attacked the entire media fraternity, questioned authenticity, integrity and quality, it is hypocritical to then pick one of them and display him like a beyond-reproach prince. Besides, imagine if Ebrima Sillah made that speech about Gambian journalists, I’m sure Madi would write his booklet, pressure GPU to issue a statement and then hold a CSO presser. For Esau Williams, I used to climb a hill at the village just to tune into Focus on Africa. From semi-island Darsilameh in Foni to now bustling Manduar in Kombo, BBC somewhat shaped me. I was shaped by voices and people I never met. I am glad Esau isn’t one of them and, truth be told, the fact that I don’t know enough about his journalism career has been a needed consolation since his speech. You know what, enough of the two or the three, if you include Eric!  


For the greater part of my adulthood, words moved me. In fact, words carried me. As heavy as I was generally observed, words carried me with ease. I loved words; I was a logophile. My idea of knowledge and wisdom was however perverted. I wanted knowledge but craved wisdom. Somewhere in between, I realised a stark difference. I had to add things every day to attain knowledge while I must remove things every day to attain wisdom. A wise man or woman said that. I wasn’t actually removing or adding things. I was removing and adding words. The removal started with words which end with “phile”. Anglophile. Paedophile. Necrophile. The ‘philes’ never stopped coming. The deeper I hated them the more I learned new philes; homophile, cinephile, turophile, logophile, halophile, xenophile and hundred more philes. But, in my wild hatred for such words, out of nowhere, came an even stronger hatred for another word: CLOSURE. A UDP-NPP hatred. I cannot remember when I first stumbled on it but the meaning, the pronunciation, everything about the word is deceptive. I know why. I lost my dad in 2014. Seven years later, it still feels like yesterday. I haven’t gotten over it. I lost my favourite brother in 2016. Nearly six years later, it still grinds me inside. Closure is delusive. I cannot deaden my living grief. I haven’t been able to. So let people grieve; no matter how long it takes. Stop making them believe as if monetary compensation or justice can provide closure. Closure is chimerical. Grieving is a living thing. Don’t kill it. Since Babili Mansa left half a decade ago, Gambians have graciously picked ‘closure’ for violation. Everybody wants closure or wants to use the word. It no longer means what it means. It has now been semantically satiated. But, in actual and painful fact, there is nothing like closure. If you want justice, pursue it with vigour and purpose. If you want compensation, chase it like the rest of us do of the dalasi. But don’t make either of those exclusively dependent on closure. Because if you do, in the end, you gonna be disappointed once you get justice and or compensation but closure remains elusive.  


Last words; before I sign off, not before I die. I was less than 10 years old when myself, together with my twin sister and other siblings were shipped back to The Gambia from Guinea Bissau. It was in 1998. I was delicate and cute; marvelling at trees as the driver sped off and away from danger since General Ansumane Mané and his gang of bandits were sniffing blood in the capital, effortlessly trying to unseat Nino Vieira. I was a refugee; a few cousins still call me REFEGIYEE. In that childish stature; both body and mind, I thought the trees were moving with me, completely oblivious of the speeding vehicle. I still remember that journey back home like it was yesterday. I thought, and hoped, that my next destination would be a happy place. And it was, until it wasn’t. From Foni to Brikama, from Bundung to Latrikunda, from Bakau to Manduar. From TODAY Newspaper to NEA, from GRTS to Standard Newspaper, from Foreign Affairs Ministry to GPU. From Fatou to Maimuna, from Aisha to Favour and now Oumie. I’ve been a victim of destination addiction; the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job or even with the next partner. And like Robert Holden said, until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are. I’ve gone the farthest in search of happiness. It is exactly where I never thought it would be: HOME. No matter how far a man can urinate, the last drop will always land between his feet. Until I have more ramblings to do, nuff said. Mic drop!

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