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Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Growing signs of lack of tolerance in The Gambia

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Dear editor,

The last political cycle in the Gambia example the presidential and National Assembly elections have been characterised by dangerous and poisonous exchange of words that encouraged and could even lead to violence. Political violence should be a thing of the past in any civilise society and Gambia is no exception. The maturity level and awareness of our political elites and their supporters are way above the current happenings in the country.

Society and individual diversity must be encouraged, and the fundamental human rights of individual and ethnic groups should be respected as enshrined our national constitution. If the happenings are anything to go by our government and politicians and their followers need a lot of sensitisation and awareness campaigns to bring them to the level of a civil and modest society where all are free and encouraged to exercise their rights.

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 I know of an incident where one Sampierre Gomez family in the West Coast Region were attacked and intimidated to the point of threatening to harm the head of the family who was involved in setting up the Balanta Association Group, by empowering them on their rights and responsibility as citizens and the role of government to protect them as minority ethnic group. Our Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in collaboration with the Civic Education Unit of the Government of the Gambia should work hand in glove with the Interparty Committee to quell this menace out of our communities. Our ethnic divergence is normal but our inter-relationship within our country is permanent for generations to come. Anything negative would be passed from generation to generation and would hinder societal tolerance and good neighborliness.

Ousman Ceesay

Brikama

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Inside the mind of a rapist (archives)

Dear editor,

I sat there staring at the screen at my laptop screen. She looked so beautiful. And she is so intelligent. I kept staring at her picture wondering how I could get to her. I had been on her Facebook page for two hours, reading her posts and looking at her pictures. I sent her a “hi” on messenger but she never responded. I continued to look at her pictures, reading her posts and comments on other posts, I feel as if I already know her. I know where she lives, what she does for a living and what her desires are. I know her friends and her relationship status.

Gosh, she looked so beautiful in her pics. She must be mine, I told myself. No one else deserves her. I want her. No, I need her. An overwhelming sense of urge permeates my very being and I felt myself hardening. I looked at her picture and subconsciously licked my lips. I imagined my lips on hers. I imagined her looking up at me as I forcefully thrust myself in her. A feeling of sensation washes over me. I need her. I deserve her. She must be mine, I insisted to myself!

She didn’t respond to my message and so I decided to call her on messenger. I don’t want to be one of those guys that call random women on Facebook. I am much more sophisticated for that. So I let the call go through but hang up immediately. That did the trick. I saw her typing and my heart raced faster. I was expectant, hopeful and excited. I felt a bead of sweat on my forehead. I waited for her to finish typing.

Just then, another girl I have been chatting with over the last few days responded to my message. I had invited her to come and visit me. She agreed to come down on Saturday. But I need to be with someone before Saturday and it’s only Wednesday today. I cajoled and begged. I promised to buy her an iPhone 14. She relented.

I continued to sit there waiting for the message from this new girl. Surely the two hours I spent staring at her picture will not be in vain. She reminds me of Olly. Olly is my cousin-sister’s daughter who thought so highly of me. She was 16 when I met her. I took her under my wing as a mentor. My cousin sister, Bintou, was elated when I took Olly under my wing. I’m highly accomplished after all. Very religious and my kindness is known to all and sundry.

I grew closer to Olly and fell in love with her. I could see she was very shy and would not reciprocate my sexual overtures. She was 16 but I had strong urges for her. I remember the day I took her. She was drowsy from all the meds she took but she was conscious. She came to pick up her school fees for the year and I took her. I knew she would never tell anyone because no one would believe her anyway. She still calls me Uncle Alieu but for some reason, she will never come to see me when I asked. I was very offended by this. I complained to her mother and she promised to talk to her. I gave Olly her first phone, bought her clothes and paid her school fees. I did so much for her. How could she deny me her young body! I was so furious.

This girl I have been staring at for the past two hours reminds me so much of Olly. If I can get this girl, I will not need Olly anymore. For some reason, she seems to be still typing. I want the conversation to be over by the time this other girl gets to my house. After what seems like an eternity, her message delivered and it only said “hi”… I told her I mistakenly called her and offered my apologies. I told her I do follow her posts and I think she is very smart and intelligent. That I agree with most of what she posits but given my position as a respected member of society, I am not able to comment on most issues. She asked me what I do and I replied that I am senior police officer. That I studied in the UK and hold a masters degree and several diplomas. She only typed “I see..”. I told her that I admire her and would like to be friends with her. I advised her to be careful because she could be targeted by those that don’t agree with her views. I advised her to be mindful of men. I told her to let me know if she has any issues with regards to her security. I wished her goodnight and told her I have a murder case I was investigating I needed to go. She responded that I have an interesting job and wished me good luck.

I logged off and went to my bedroom to prepare for the new girl who is supposed to be visiting. She goes by Sai Beauty Jallow. She too is beautiful but I sensed some desperation from her end and I have offered a helping hand a few times. This was the first time she was visiting me. I made my bed, sprayed it with perfume, lit some candles in the bedroom, started to cook pasta and mixed it with my special concoction. I kept a bit of the concoction to add to her drink in case she refused to eat. I gave her so much. I did so many favors for her. I deserve a return on my investment.

Alagie Saidy-Barrow

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