PLO Lumumba, a Kenyan law professor and anti-corruption crusader who is considered one of the continent’s best inspirational speakers, will be in Banjul for lectures on the 9th and 10th February.
The professor’s trip is organized by Citizenship Engagement Group whose member Baka Jata said Lumumba will hold lectures at the University of The Gambia Auditorium and QCity in Bijilo.
According to Baka, the lectures are not free as CEG spent huge amounts of money in the professor’s honorarium, plane tickets, fees for hire of halls etc.
However, the fee of D1500 for tickets has been criticized by a cross section of Gambians.
Amat Jeng, a Gambian living in Sweden, wrote: “It is absurd. D1500 can send a kid to school for three months.”
Thomas De Beule, a Belgian businessman who frequents Gambia, also responded: “If this is about African Consciousness then why is the entrance fee 1500? I understand it cannot be free because the speakers need to be paid of course but I would imagine a fee between 100 – 200 dalasi to be enough.”
Musa Bah, a teacher and author, said: “I think D1500 is too much to charge for such a lecture. PLO is speaking to enlighten the masses in Africa but if the charge is that much the purpose will be defeated. Only the elite can afford to go to such a function thus where will the masses be in that?”
Modou Joof, a Gambian journalist and blogger, said: “His coming and the purpose of the event isn’t clear to me. It appears it’s a fundraiser.
If it’s an event to impart knowledge and raise awareness of the youth and Gambians on issues of importance to national development, then it would have been better for the organisers to have the event funded and have those interested attend and participate without fees. But we can’t complain, no one is forced to attend. If one can’t pay and is badly in need of knowledge on the topics to be discussed, he or she can simply Google them and gather as much information and knowledge as possible.”