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Friday, March 1, 2024

Letters to the Editor

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Prostitution in Gambia
Dear editor,
I love your post but you have left some fundamental aspect out. Probably due to a deficit in your understand of the Gambian society and culture. Premising the reason for prostitution to only poverty can be misleading. The two ladies you used as examples may not be good enough, for me, as representing the many ‘poor’ citizens who ply the trade in Gambia. There are many poor Gambian men and women who are living dignified and noble lives outside the prostitution ring.

For example, the mother of Mariama, in your story, seems to be a noble lady. She raised Mariana up without being a prostitute. Did you avert your mind as to how she did it? Mariama had to flee from home to be able to become a prostitute. That means that is not being practiced at her home and was not the way she was raised. It is therefore obvious that she had another choice to make a living, that which her mother was doing, rather than prostitution.

Many of us grew up in homes that are not rich and were trained one way or the other to make a dignified living. Then it behoves on the individual to choose the type of life we want to live as adults.
In many parts of Gambia the land is fertile and good to farm, small or large scale. From Kartong village to Bakau and right down to Kafuta, in the Kombos, women of all ages engage in vegetable gardening from January through May. This is a lucrative exercise and women are known to earn decent amounts of money that enable them to live in dignity.

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In addition, they have healthy food on ‘floor’ for their families daily. During the rainy season they grow rice in the swamps to provide food for their families. Similarly, same applies in the other parts of Gambia. This is honorable abd dignifying. They are poor but not desperate to go down the path of prostitution. Therefore, many young ladies do have an option to live a dignified life albeit hard and difficult.

I wonder what is more hard and difficult; the life of a farmer or that of a prostitute?
On the other hand you talked about the hassle tourist face from the bumsters but failed to mention sex tourists whose purpose is to seek and exploit local folks and to prostitute anyone who is available. The level of prostitution has increased exponentially since the advent of European tourism in the Gambia. The hotel industry has given rise to sexual exploitation and prostitution that is unprecedented in the Gambia. It has given rise to homosexuality which is taboo in Islam.

Many employed-boys and girls frequent and engage in prostitution at the hotels because it pays more than the honorable jobs they have. Many young people do abandon other activities and go to the beach sites to get highly paid ‘jobs’ and also to seek opportunities to attract tourists old enough to be their parents or grandparents in most cases. This is a choice and a means to get ‘easy’ money and or a chance to go to Europe.

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Having lived in Europe, United States and another African country, I came to realize that the Gambia has more dignified and higher standard of morality than many wealthy states. I realized that prostitution is a trade plied openly in these wealthy countries for gain and as a way of living for many in here. Therefore, poverty is not necessarily the reason for prostitution. In many cases, it is a choice that individuals, men and women, make from an array of different opportunities available, to make a living whether in Gambia, a poor country, or in Sweden, Finland or in the United States of America.

Therefore poverty is not and cannot be the biggest factor for prostitution in The Gambia.
I am not in any way justifying or condoning prostitution in Gambia in any way. What I am seeking to do is to aver your readers’ minds and yours to approach this sinister and undignified menace in a realistic way. End of poverty is not going to end prostitution. People who engage in it must be made aware that they, in many instances, are responsible for their choices, so, must not use poverty alone as the cause.

Thank you.
Touray Saidykhan
Settle, Washington USA


Re: ‘It’s only when the truth is known that we can move on’
Dear editor,
There cannot be peace and tranquility when your home village Mangkaman Kunda violated the rights of the APRC campaign entourage. When will Haruna Jatta’s case be heard for the culprits, the Senegalese invading forces, be brought to justice for killing an innocent family man?
When will official looting of our resources come to a halt? When you continue to squander our resources and live luxuriously with your supporters, while the greater number of Gambians remains hungry, there will be NO peace.

The TRRC is a ploy to digress from your INEFFICIENCY, CORRUPTION and CORRUPTIBLE conducts. Who gave you the 57 vehicles you bribed away to the NAMS? What is the use of your wife’s foundations and offices? When will you refund the illicit per diem emoluments paid out to your entourage at the UN G/Assembly in September 2017 and Fatoumata Tambajang’s entourage last month?
Where is the money the Chinese gave free and the monies from the EU?
Why didn’t you halt the expulsion of our Gambian people from the USA and EU?
There will be NO PEACE until you stop your vilifications against the APRC and her great leader Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa.

Babu Soli

Re: Man arrested with gun at Denton Bridge
The arresting of people with guns is a wakeup call to everyone in the country. This signified that the country is not safe and please let this be an eye-opening to all of us, especially we in abroad to stop using social media to instigate violence in the country. We cannot all agree to support this new Government but let’s criticise in a mature way in order to prevent the enemies to take advantage of our negative comments on social media and destabilise the country. I was not against the demonstration the occupied west field group wanted to do but my fear was there are few people still in the country who want to see the country in turmoil because the person they support is not in power. Any demonstration on that day might turn into serious violence in the whole country because there are people with bad intention to cause violence, which was not the aim and interest of the organisers.

The security of the country is our collective responsibility and let us all take it easy and have patient until next election then everyone can vote for the candidate of your choice.
Let’s all safeguard the democracy we have now. Our security men and women are really doing their best to secure the country both day and night and our big thanks to them especially the police intervention unit. Job well done the Police Intervention Unit, may Almighty Allah shower his blessing upon all of you. I am appealing to the Government to equip you fully and improve your condition in order for you to do your job properly. Keep it up, PIU, you are true sons of our mother land.
A concerned citizen

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