In a flurry of youth empowerment activities spanning the three-day period, 31 January to 2 February, 2019, former Presidential Affairs Minister and Secretary General Momodou Sabally has addressed scores of young people, inspiring them on the ethics of self-improvement, community service and patriotism.
Speaking alongside National Assembly Member, Halifa Sallah, and other experts in a workshop on the art of writing at Kanifing East Senior Secondary School, Sabally encouraged the audience of aspiring young Gambian writers to inculcate the habit of reading, lifelong learning and effective writing.
He advised the students to avoid the “scourges of laziness and procrastination” in their quest to become writers and educated patriotic citizens.
Addressing graduating students at the ICT tertiary education institute ‘Future Starts Now Gambia,’ Sabally encouraged the graduates to pursue their respective callings “with faith and persistence”.
He exhorted them to eschew undue indulgence into “time-wasting and unproductive activities online” as well as in their daily routines so that they can invest their time in productive self-improvement activities to prepare themselves for effective participation in Nation building.
“We are all blessed with innate talents that need to be chiseled into useful tools,” the ex Jammeh secretary general went on. “But align your talents with your greater sense of purpose. Choose a career, a grand goal and channel your energy and your efforts into that track to turn those talents into useful skills that you can use to provide your own needs, support your family and friends and make significant contributions to national development.”
Addressing the youth of the historic town of Kaur in the Central River Region in a town meeting dubbed “Back to Kaur Congress,” Sabally reminded the youth about the “glorious history” of Kaur which he labelled “the quintessential Gambian as well as Senegambian Town.”
He urged the youths to reclaim the glory of Kaur.
The congress was held on Saturday 2 February, under the theme Youths and Unity.
Sabally said young people should embrace the ethos of oneness enshrined in our national anthem, “that all may live in unity, freedom, and peace each day”.
Quoting from his book “For The Gambia: Living The National Anthem” he stated: “Why should Gambians be divided by politics? Indeed … Barack Obama said in his best seller “The Audacity of Hope” and the same wisdom is amply captured in a Wolof proverb: ‘what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart.’
“Democracy which means majority rule is good. But it is also good to remember a principle which US founding father Thomas Jefferson called sacred: “that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority posses their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”
In conclusion, he asserted “your Imam spoke earlier about leadership. He said that where there are two presidents or two governments, there can never be unity of purpose or progress. Let us then unite as a community; as a nation, and support our government and the leader of our country, His Excellency President Adama Barrow to enable us to make sustainable progress and development as a nation.”
The youth congress was organised by the Kaur Youth Association for Sustainable Development, and it included academic competitions like debates, quiz, and spelling bee for primary, upper basic, and senior secondary school students.