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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

If this isn’t The Gambia you live in…

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By Mariam Sankanu

The Gambia’s story has changed four times.

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After every transition, her story becomes scarier for the reader.

She started off as a very beautiful young girl.

Then her ancestors indirectly sold her to strangers.

She struggled until she won back a little bit of her pride and became this quiet girl who did not care much about her rights, but she was happy.

When she started to care about her rights, her voice was muted.

She struggled again until she transformed in to this fierce woman whose voice is loud enough to be heard; but fierce to what extend? Her political scene is quite confusing and somewhat funny because you aren’t really sure who is talking or who to even listen to.

Is it the man who is referred to as “clueless”, given less respect than he probably deserves but always comes back desperately hoping his words will sink in an ear or two.

Or is it the “Elites” who have all the right ideas hands down and think they have more to say, but who really knows half the stuff running through their minds? Or is it the lot that makes so much noise because we live in a “democracy” but sometimes listening to them is as good as not listening at all.

In my opinion, after twenty two years of hardship, I doubt Gambians will find a president that is likely to satisfy them.

We all want one person to take care of problems we have had for over twenty two years at the same time which makes me wonder if we would be changing presidents or governments like clothes.

Truth be told, whether a person is clueless or has all the knowledge in the world, holds a PhD degree or “illiterate”, rich or poor, a politician will always be a politician.

If an honest politician is what you are looking for, you will probably have better luck finding your lost coin in the desert.

If this country had a third name, it would be called the “Land of Workshops.”

The number of workshops organized in a day is more than the number of times the normal person breathes, but the only thing that comes out of them is more problems rather than solutions.

I mean, the only time someone truly listens in such gatherings is when food is being mentioned or probably when you are trying to make out the details of how much you will be feeding your pocket.

Morally, we have completely lost it.

Parents used to think girls needed more protection, but nowadays, when your boy gets on the street, the least of your worries is that he would become a drug addict because the worst that could happen is his corpse being sent to your house or the next place you would be visiting him is prison.

Boys at 14 sometimes know how to hold a cigar than a man who has spent his entire life smoking. Violence is no news in the country. The crime rate is on a constant increase.

Gambians killing Gambians! Politics and greedy politicians continue to divide us to meet their selfish needs.

Just when people think our biggest problems right now are tribalism and land disputes, caste war got back in to the picture.

The country has birthed more journalists, but after listening to testimonies of journalists on the TRRC and stories of those who didn’t have the chance to tell their own stories, I really doubt the country has or will have journalists who truly love the profession like they did.

People that preach against corruption and injustice are sometimes the pioneers of such gruesome acts.

The truth is falsified and lies are promoted.

Things aren’t what they seem.

People like me think writing or saying things out loud is the only way to go. Like me, all we mention are the problems and not provide solutions because we believe the government should solve the problems while we be the judges.

We ignore the fact that there are good things happening in the country too that the world should see.

But in all honesty, sometimes it feels like these solutions are hijacked somewhere by someone.

Is it hijacked by the politicians? Religious leaders? Elites? Or is everyone to blame? These are questions that apparently have no answers because sometimes answering them means someone losing the little comfort they have. Such is The Gambia.

A place where everyone thinks they are right and all the answers seem to be on a hide-out. Excuse me if I am wrong.

I might be looking too much in to things or live in a different world.

This might not be The Gambia you live in, but this is The Gambia I see.

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