By Saidou S Jallow
A book entitled Jibbe He Pulaar (Poems in Fula) written by Ebrima Baldeh of GRTS was launched during the fifth anniversary of Fulbe Africa, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Sunday. The programme also featured the launch of two other books written in Fula by Amadou Sowe.
In his brief speech at the programme attended by hundreds of cultural enthusiasts, Ebrima Baldeh, a manager at the news and programmes department of the national television, said his motivation to write in his native Fula was informed by his “ardent desire to explore a new genre in local language literature”.
He said unless the emerging African writers liberated themselves from the shackles of colonialism, everything they do will be designed in a way that suits only Western standards. “I think we have to change the trend, the challenge is for us to write in our native languages so that we can communicate effectively. I know that I’m trying to conduct an experiment with myself on something that is completely new and unadventurous but I’m ready to learn,” said Ebrima Baldeh.
In her review of the book, Mariama Baldeh, a lower basic cycle teacher said the book will be useful for primary school pupils. She describes the book as simple and straightforward, which should help teachers explain basic concepts and ideas in Fula. The book basically talks about the cultural orientation of the writer’s formative years in his native community, in Fula Bantang in the Central River Region of The Gambia.
The 40-page book captures and chronicles poems about the culture, lifestyle, philosophical orientation and mysticisms in indigenous Fula societies in provincial Gambia. The book is structured in a way that the poems highlight some didactic lessons in life and issues that are prevalent in rural communities.
Speaking earlier, the president of Fulbe Africa, Ousman Sowe and the permanent secretary, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, spoke at length about the significance of the Fulbe Africa 5th anniversary celebrations. They said the publication of the two books in Fula was a big achievement for the organisation.