Sabally Leadership Academy (SLA) Cultural Choir, held its maiden Concert, Saturday December 16, 2017, Coco Ocean Resort.
The event which brought together young people who are members and supporters of SLA, also attracted patrons and leading artistes in The Gambia Music scene.
The concert entailed 17 traditional songs by the choir including such gems of domestic culture like “Miniang Baa”, “Baye ma Lamin Daara”, “Sonaa Mariama”; and the hit song about Mental health “Tanta Marie”. The event was hailed as a trailblazers by experts like veteran broadcaster Saul Jagne of the Ministry of Education.
Award-winning star ST Brikama Boyo also attended the event as a Special Guest of Honour and performed at the concert. He later touted the founder and members of SLA on social media.
“Shout out to Mr Momodou Sabally , you doing wonders with the SLA CHOIR , Y’all are on some next level thing …. The #TANTAMARIE play was so emotional that I was almost lost in tears, it was definitely eye catching…. Too much positive energy, we need more of these for the youths… Am honoured being invited to such a meaningful event…”
Fellow SLA Academician, Kerr Family’s lead vocalist Barahama Cham whose sister is a member of the SLA Cultural Choir also performed at the concert and asserted his support for the new initiative.
In his opening remarks at the event, SLA founder and President, Momodou Sabally, said: “Today’s event comes after months of research about our traditional songs and the rich stories that bore them. In the words of our indefatigable choir manager Jainaba Teeda Sarr ‘SLA Choir is set to mine our rich heritage, using traditional songs to foster patriotism, peaceful coexistence and cultural competence amongst young people.'”
Mr Sabally further asserted “At a time, in New Gambia, when our diversity is becoming our problem, we are determined to use our very rich ethno-linguistic diversity as a source of strength, a veritable tool, to foster mutual understanding, peaceful coexistence and harmony in our communities. We have armed ourselves with our rich cultural heritage to embark on this sacred adventure. We are ready to sing notes of unity, peace, love and harmony anchored on our own tradition. We believe in what our forebears bequeathed to us; and we know that there is no heritage better than ours! We shall approach the world, respecting other traditions and learning from them without any anxiety in displaying our own cultural trophies in the global theater of art and culture.”
He further thanked the sponsors of the SLA Cultural Choir, “Africell is our main sponsor and we thank them for investing in youth empowerment programmes we have been running for the past year. We truly appreciate the support of Colours House of Waxx and Madeya’s Hair and Beauty complex for sponsoring and designing the outfits of the SLA Choir.”
Established in 2015 by former Presidential Affairs Minister and Youth Empowerment Expert, Momodou Sabally, Sabally Leadership Academy is a youth mentorship foundation aimed at educating, instructing and inspiring youths for self-fulfillment and positive contribution towards community development and national progress.
SLA is built upon the founder’s philosophy as expounded in his self-help book “Instant Success: Ten Keys to Personal Achievement” and other books on positive thinking, self-fulfillment and patriotism authored by Sabally. SLA has conducted lectures and seminars on leadership and youth empowerment for thousands of young people in The Gambia and abroad.