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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Meaning of the Gambian National Anthem

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For The Gambia Our Homeland….
Yes, regardless of how far we have travelled or the number of years we have been away, Gambia is and will always be our homeland. Therefore, we should always stay loyal to our families, friends, country, and countrymen. Furthermore, we should explore and take advantage of every opportunity to give back and make a difference in the lives of those who have directly or indirectly contributed to our upbringing and perhaps our success. This includes the poor farmers that harvest the fruits and vegetables, and raise the livestock that nourish our starved bodies thus keeping us strong and healthy. It also includes the low-earning teachers, police officers, and other civil servants, who continue to pay their taxes to enable the government to subsidise our education and health departments. Whatever we choose to do, let’s do it for The Gambia our homeland.

We Strive and Work and Pray……..
I concur that persistence, dedication, and hard work always pay off in the long run. But, even though we are predominantly a country of believers, I firmly believe that the word “pray” should have been replaced with the word “play.” If you have been following our dreadful Scorpions, you will get the gist of what I am insinuating. We approach our competitive matches exactly as dictated by our national anthem- we strive, work, and pray in abundance, but we fail to play when the game starts. What was the saying again? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” I also believe that religion, cultural beliefs, and our mindsets are the biggest hindrance to our progress and prosperity as a people and as a nation. Perhaps we will make it to the World Cup the moment we start to strive, work really hard, and play.

That all may live in Unity,
Freedom, and Peace each Day
I doubt we will ever live in unity, but we can always treat each other with dignity and respect, and strive to live in tranquility with our fellow countrymen. I also believe that freedom and peace are intertwined- that is, you can’t have one for a long time in the absence of the other. There can’t be perpetual peace in the absence of freedom and justice for all and sundry. Martin Luther King Jr. articulated, “Peace is not only the absence of tensions, but the presence of justice.” Therefore, we can’t stay quiet or look the other way in the midst of gross violations of individual liberties and basic human rights. Every Gambian citizen has the right to live his/her life without fear and to be accorded equal opportunity to acquire public goods and services. We can’t sleep peacefully at night when our neighbors are being oppressed, unlawfully detained, and denied their constitutional rights to live in unity, freedom and peace each day.

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Let Justice guide our actions,
towards the common good…
This is one of the most profound verses in the national anthem. It speaks volumes about our responsibilities toward one another and to our country. Let’s desist from judging others, but if it is our duty to judge, let’s judge with impartiality. It is very important that we have a major overhaul in our judicial system. Furthermore, we should all strive to do good to our fellow Gambians and our country as a whole. We usually can’t control what other people do, but we surely can control what we do. But, no matter what we choose to do, we should always do it to the best of our ability. As civil servants, we should perform our duties with honor, fairness, excellence, and due diligence. Regardless of our role or position in society, we should always let justice guide our actions towards the common good.

And join our diverse peoples…
To prove man’s brotherhood….
History has demonstrated that diversity is strength for every nation. When people of different backgrounds come together, the result is a diverse and dynamic force to be reckon with until the end of time. We are a nation of immigrants and we have one of the most diverse communities in West Africa. When people engage in “global biological homogeneity”, which is the act of changing their environment to make it look familiar, they tend to forgo traits that don’t add value to their lives and adopt those that will improve their quality of lives, the outcome is always positive and progressive. We must never forget that the Senegalese, Somalian. Nigerian, Malian, are our brothers and sisters. We should celebrate our diversity and embrace our differences, and work amicably for a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. Nonetheless, we should join our diverse peoples to prove man’s brotherhood.

We pledge our firm allegiance,
our promise we renew;
Yes, the Gambian promise is to be true to our country and fellow countrymen whether in good or bad times. We are renowned for our hospitality and we should extend that to those we know and the ones we do not know. The nickname “Smiling Coast of West Africa” is a fitting one that suits us as a nation. Also, we have a shared responsibility to do our best for our people and country. We may never be united as one, but we can always seek a common ground based on mutual interest and mutual respect. Our success as a nation is inextricably linked; therefore, we can’t live in peace and comfort while our neighbor lives in total discomfort or undergoes unending trials and tribulations. Remember, “Sharing is caring.”

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Keep Us Great God of Nations,
To The Gambia Ever True.
“Presidents come and go, but the country and her people shall remain. Therefore, we can bicker and fight all we want during election cycles, but as soon as a winner is declared, we should all reunite, reconcile, reorganize, and work hand-in-hand towards our national goal of taking Gambia to higher heights and to places unimagined. We should strive to create new avenues that will enhance the potential of every Gambian to access economic resources. A system that is just, impartial, scrupulous, and provides the tools required to effectively and efficiently perform our duties without fear, favor, nepotism, tribalism, or under duress. A system that encourages hard work and rewards all those who excel in all types of trade. A Gambia every Gambian will be proud to call home and be willing to serve and defend her with every fiber of their being. A Gambia where every generation will do their part to advance the country to the next level and make it a better place than they found it. So keep us great God of nations to the Gambia ever true.

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