By Adelaide Sosseh
The Gambia turned yellow Thursday. I bring up this change in colour as it is going to have an impact in our lives whether we are conscious of it or not. Colour is a major part of our lives. Everywhere we look we are surrounded by colours. They can make us happy, sad, angry, frightened and many other emotions. White is associated with peace, black with sombreness or sadness, red with danger and so on. From the beginning of our lives we are tagged with colours. Pink for girls and blue for boys, a colour coding that gender advocates are working hard to eliminate in their drive to eliminate gender stereotypes in society.
So colors do play a significant role in our lives and our society. Corporations know this and have been using colours for their brands so that they influence our consumer patterns. Orange, the large communication corporation, chose the color with the same name because it represents freshness, energy and, above all, communication between people. When we see red we think Coco Cola
Politicians know the significance of colour and have chosen the colours that they think will best represent their party and influence people’s decision to join or vote for the party. Knowing this the APRC chose to portray the yellow colour chosen by the UDP in a negative light from the onset to put people off the party. They labelled the UDP party the Yellow Fever party because of the party colour. They used this to deride, mock at and diminish the party as no one wants to be sick or to be associated with sickness especially a disease with far reaching consequences.
The colour yellow however has a lot of positive things about it. Yellow shines with optimism, enlightenment, happiness and energy and carries the promise of a positive future. It represents sunshine, fun and other happy feelings. It is a cheerful, energetic and youthful color. Although yellow is a bright and cheerful color, it can quickly become dirty and unpleasant, as it approaches the darker shades. This is something that UDP has to be mindful of and always try to stay clean.
Let them not be like the APRC who chose a positive colour for their party. Green is the color of nature and health. It represents growth, nature, money, fertility and safety. Dark green however, is associated with ambition, greed and jealousy according to colour scientists. Maybe this is what influenced them to behave negatively. The green boys and girls are associated with idleness and carrying out evil deeds in society by many. The wearing of the green by public servants portrayed them as partisan, partial and subjective serving only the interests of the APRC and not the public good.
Perhaps what I have said will make you look at colors from a different perspective. The Gambia has changed from green to yellow just as the leaves of a tree change from green to yellow in the autumn months. Soon after turning yellow the leaves drop off. They do this as in the winter, it would take a lot of energy and water for plants to keep their leaves healthy. So, instead of trying to keep their leaves, some plants drop their leaves and seal the spots on their branches where the leaves had been attached. Metaphorically speaking, meaning that many Gambians have sealed off the APRC.
It has taken twenty two years for The Gambia to change from green to yellow. Now that the country has gone yellow I exhort on the predominantly yellow national Assembly not to stain this beautiful radiant colour by selfish and partisan interests. Let them refuse to be rubber stamps and refrain from passing harmful laws and policies. Let them truly represent the interests of the people who voted for change. I call on all public servants to respect the principles of neutrality and impartiality and not wear the party colours or insignia to show their loyalty or support for the party.
Otherwise just as the electorate changed from green to the yellow they will like the trees slow the production of chlorophyll until, eventually, they stop producing it altogether and the yellow leaves will fall off. It has been a long time getting the people to change from green to yellow. I think you will want the yellow to stay in for a long time and not drop off sooner than anticipated because people are tired of them and do not want them to be their leaders anymore.