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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Letters: Re: PPP tells Barrow to prioritise reconciliation

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Dear editor,

PPP Chairman, Kebba Jallow, should realize that the TRRC investigation and subsequent report isn’t a matter for Adama Barrow alone to decide. This is a national matter that affects every Gambian, whether they lost a loved one or not. In the end, it’s about dispensation of justice to injured families and the Gambian people in so far as it relates to the nation’s justice and rule of law. The citizens have interest in the case as its a determination of the environment they live in; peace and security or lawlessness. As a party leader, the most useful thing Mr Jallow can do is visit families and individuals affected by Yahya Jammeh’s the disastrous rule; meet them, comfort them, and reassure them that PPP will be different.

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Matthew Jallow

USA

Identifying oneself with a tribe

Dear editor,

Folks, you can identify yourself as a Mansuanka or Mandinka, Wolof or Jola, be proud of your tribe, and still be a proud African as well. Being African does not take anything away from you being Balanta or Fula (however you define those social constructs). Being African is just another larger and beautiful circle within which you see yourself in, just as you see yourself in a circle of your tribe or region of origin. You don’t have to identify yourself within a single circle. You are diverse within yourself; you may identify yourself as a Black woman or man, you may see yourself as an African, you may also see yourself as a Manjaggo.

Identifying yourself as a Manjaggo does not mean that you cannot be a proud African, or that you cannot also be a proud Black woman. Embrace the diversity within you, and embrace the diversity that others identify with. They are all social constructs but they are not meaningless. They only make the various culture richer.

Nothing you identify yourself with should take away from any others you identify with. But importantly, nothing you identify with should be seen as that’s all there is to you. Even more importantly, nothing you identify with should be seen in competition with what others identify with. When it is all said and done, you will see that we all fit in one big circle as Africans or Blacks.

Identifying yourself within a tribe is not bad, especially if you are able to appreciate the beauty of other tribes. Don’t let any politician box you in by telling you they share your interests by virtue of being your tribesman. Since you share this colonial space call Gambia and it has various groups or tribes within it, listen only to that politician that has plans for Gambia as a whole. If you think any politician shares your ethnic interest, either you are ignorant, or the politician is a liar or both. When it’s all said and done, they care more about power and wealth than your welfare as an individual, or interest as a tribe.

Alagie Saidy-Barrow

USA

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