Gambia Serahules showcase beauty contest, rich culture


The night dubbed ‘cultural night’ was held at the French cultural centre along Kairaba Avenue and it brought together 10 young dynamic Serahule ladies as participants to showcase the beautiful culture and tradition of Serahule community in The Gambia.

It was described by many cultural enthusiasts as thrilling night full of spectacular cultural performances and ambience. Speaking shortly after the event, the president of the organisation, Essa Conteh, commended participants and said it was a platform created for girls to display their skills, and the beauty of their culture.  

“The culture and traditions can only be revisited if such programmes are organised. I am really impressed seeing these young girls portraying the Serahule culture and speaking the language fluently which has shown that SYDO is moving faster and positively to make sure that our Serahule culture does not fade  away,” he said. 


The SYDO president challenged all Serahules to get back to their culture and roots to avoid being carried away by western civilisation and influence. Conteh promised that their organisation will stand firm to complement the efforts of the government to preserve, promote and revitalise culture, tradition and language of the Serahule community in The Gambia.  “Young people are the cream of any society and constitute 60 percent of the populace so if they are left behind, there will be no sustainable development,” the SYDO prexy added.

According to him “Unesco estimates that in the next 50 years, 50 languages could go extinct completely… SYDO will try its utmost to make sure the Serahule tribe does not fall in that trap.”

Ba-Kawru Sillah, former national coordinator now based in France, spoke on behalf of SYDO members in in the Diaspora and thanked Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu, for offering the winner with a scholarship package all geared fostering girl’s education.

Sillah disclosed that the organisation is working closely with the ministries of education, youth and sports, tourism and culture respectively because SYDO’s major activities are educational, cultural and sports-centered. “They are all geared towards youth empowerment and development of entrepreneurial skills in the country,” he said.

“Language is very important when we are talking about cultural enhancement and diversity because it is the carrier of culture and it is essential for us to understand and appreciate our ancestor’s culture, literature and arts,” he said.

The winner of the beauty contest, Hawa Sillah thanked her parents for the understanding and support rendered to her which enabled her to contest this ‘soninkara yaxaraxe’.

She said: “I didn’t participate in this night because of the prizes but because of the love I have for soninkara and through this I can set a positive example for my fellow young girls to emulate.” 

The winner of the cultural night Hawa Sillah went home with a scholarship package, a traditional Serahule crown “demba dialla”, cash prize of D4,000 while the first runner-up got D3, 000. The second runner-up received D2,000 and the rest of contestants each received D500 as token of appreciation for their participation.


By Sise Sawaneh