By Tabora Bojang
The minister of Tourism and Culture Hamat NK Bah has accused ex-President Jammeh of promoting ethnic patronage during his 22-year leadership, adding that such policies made it impossible to revive the national troupe reflecting the diverse tradition of all the people in The Gambia.
Speaking at the formal signing ceremony of the copyright regulations which coincided with the inauguration of an advisory board for the establishment of a The Gambia National Troupe, Hamat said the new government finds it crucial to promote and showcase the peaceful co-existence of the country’s diverse cultural identities to serve as motivation in this ”politically polarized time.”
Hamat continued: ”The Government of the new Gambia under the leadership of President Adama Barrow deems it necessary to re-establish a national troupe that brings together our diverse ethnicities to showcase the rich performance of the traditions of our people and serve as much needed inspiration for togetherness.
”In unity lies our strength, as was demonstrated in the coalition of political parties that finally rid us of the dictatorial regime of the ex-President, which thrived on ethnic patronage whilst proclaiming otherwise,” he said.
According to the tourism and culture minister the establishment of a national troupe with diverse collection of all ethnic groups of the country can serve as a means for preserving our performance traditions and inspire youths who dip into the arts industry to take pride in what is genuinely ours and minimize the infusion of foreign elements in their creative productions.
”We all know that we ceased to have a national troupe in the early days of the AFPRC regime which used the re-establishment of the troupe as part of efforts to gain legitimacy. Unfortunately this was done without adequate reflection and planning,” he stated.