By Momodou Torp
The National Council for Arts and Culture has recently given out D 50,000 to Gambian artists as part of funds donated by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic at the Center in Banjul.
The beneficiaries are 10 registered artists from every sector of the industry ranging from writers, dramatists, film makers, folklorists who have received D5000 each to support them in this Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, the director general of the NCAC, Hassoum Ceesay said the pandemic has seriously affected all sectors in the artistic industry which prompted government to give them the responsibility and the NCAC write to the GCCI who considered them and donated 50,000 which is now being shared among few artists as a token of solidarity.
According to him, it is a small amount but it expresses the fact that NCAC and its Ministry have the interest of artists in mind always and will continue to pursue all other means to ensure that the load on Gambian artists is ease.
Mr. Ceesay went on thanking the GCCI for what he described as a generous donation and assured them that NCAC will continue to encourage artists to join the GCCI as fully fledged members.
He assures Gambian artists that in this hard time they will continue to have them in mind and will continue to partner with them to bring about relief and a new start for Gambian artists and culture.
“This ceremony is just one of several interventions by NCAC and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to address the plight of artists in the pandemic, ” he told journalists.
He added that government is working on something bigger for the artistic industry through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture but for now, they thought that they can start with this small amount to ease the problem as they are always remembered.
Big Faa, a Gambian artist also a beneficiary said they really appreciate the efforts of the NCAC and the GCCI but government should also act on this to help Gambian artists because they are part and parcel of national development and are also affected in this hard time of the Covid-19. “Left to me, government will donate a lot of mony to the music industry like other countries are doing to help ease the problem because we are really suffering and we cannot voice it. There are lots of shows that are cancelled and a lot of funds were spent on those shows and we cannot recover those monies since all our activities are halted. So from the minister to the president himself Adama Barrow, we are saying your help is really needed,” he said.