By Muhammed Hassan Loum
Asalamu alaikum. Perhaps you have seen the video being talked about. How did you feel as a father watching such a vulgar video suspecting that perhaps those students could be friends, or friend of friends of our daughters and sons? Punitive disciplinary actions are also good corrective measures. Sometimes we spare the rod only to spoil the child. Certain wrongs should definitely not go unpunished.
All 11 students deserve to be publicly named and shamed. I concur with the GSSS head girl that they should be severely punished (flogged) before expulsion! The recommendation taken by the school board for expulsion which “will serve as a deterrent so that others will not copy” is a good one. Should few rotten potatoes be allowed to spoil the whole lot? Should the righteous suffer for the wicked? To allow them to remain in their current schools could seriously affect the other remaining students. The head girl’s shame is tangible and rippling. In fact, MoBSE should take several steps further.
Dancing competitions or shows should be completely banned from schools. The primary business of schools is the provision of educational services which should go alongside the inculcation of good etiquettes and morals! I remember school shaving clubs which encourage students to participate in peer health education, debates, quizzes, chess, Scrabble, and gymnastics and others, which contribute to the intellectual, spiritual and physical well-being of students. A new club should be introduced called Youth Crime Watch, which should report youth criminal activities before they actually happen.
The semi-nudity of these students, their coming together to dance dirty, the act of capturing it on video and posting it on the social media was nothing short of premeditated criminal activity. Such are the precursors to rape and other such related social vices. I am very surprised that the organisers – the Banjul Red Cross link – could have witnessed such a thing and did nothing to immediately stop it!
Have you heard the songs our youths sing today, replete with swear-words, nudity, sex, rape, and total disrespect of women? There are certain dance videos in circulation which are reported to be far worse than what we have just witnessed, and all of these are slowly creeping into our Gambian society uncensored.
The first time I saw dirty dirty dancing was some two years ago in the streets of Bakoteh, during the Sierra Leone independence day and certain Sierra Leonean youths with some of their young Gambian friends were celebrating in the streets dancing semi-naked to very loud music booming from a hired sound system mounted at the back of a mini truck, and carrying bottles of hard liquor. That day I was seriously flabbergasted! Traffic came to a standstill, and imagine if there was an emergency to facilitate the timely rescue of lives and properties and that road was the only one accessible? There was serious noise pollution from their sound system playing very loud and lewd music. Should their right to celebrate infringe upon my own right to protect my eyes and ears from unhealthy sight and sound? The line between right and wrong, moral and immoral should be clearly drawn. This pasa-pasa dance is wrong, immoral and goes against our religion and culture. It should not be allowed in our society.
The police should not give licences for the public organisation of such events. In The Gambia today, all we hear from our youth are ‘open mic’ fests, beauty pageants, dance competitions, musical jamborees and so forth. This should stop. We need more of youth skills trainings and creation of sustainable employment opportunities. We need more meaningful youth summer camps for the revival of good but dead religious and cultural practices. Our youths today are the future leaders and developers of our country tomorrow. So if we leave them to pasa-pasa now and waste their lives, what future are guaranteeing ourselves today? May Allah SWT bless and guide you and us to be able to stand up for what is right no matter the circumstance.
Mohammed Hassan Loum
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