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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

Tallinding at 30: A student remembers

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In this soft and solemn night, I hear the cackle of not a hen that has no intrinsic notch in this my finagle, swindle dull evening. The air flanging on my body in the open enclosure under the sparkling blaze of the stars, the mouthy openings of the moon and the grasping spoils the Tallinding mosquitoes entangled my skin with. I was cornered to the pillar of my fence, standing and weakening my waist for an easy twist. Standing on the street surfing on the keys of my two kilo Samsung mobile phone twinkling my eye’s toward a path that erode my ears. Then I sensed to nurse an abnormal night compared to many nights. So I took an inspirational might to abase myself. There I relaxed back and took broken cement block to get myself docked. Close to my nostrils a smell of a Marley was welcomed just to irregularise my breath. 

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Now I am uncomfortable on the seat. I rose up, took few spiral moves as the salsa music at background intrude my bones. This isn’t just a normal night that exact scent of Marley that had blown me off is now nearing me.

”Na ngadeff karim” that was a voice of a queening brat, ”Boy! Are you still here? ” that was a trabeated greeting from a long time friend, appearing from the dark. Then I retorted to him; ” my Gambia says I must pen a dozen before…”

Every day I dwell on the doctrines of my ghetto thoughts that is the only source of inspiration that can elevate me to the echelon of my goals.

Recently I posted on the social media my passion and the elated device I drive from the ghetto; like I am always told, and I will tell  like I am always told, and I will tell you to tell somebody not  to over sell his dignity and pride before he indulges himself in the myriad pith of myth tranchetting bell. You must be yourself and stay to be you to live yourself in you. Rise for yourself together with the rising sun to shy away your steers of any decorous trial. Speak the word of truth. You can be vehement in your discourse. But don’t allow it to be a moron one. Yes! This is how open minded, I am philosophically diseased contracted I am.

However, I am a proud graduate of an institute that had molded me this far to put words together. Tallinding primary school (as its first name during my time) is a school situated at Tallinding Sika, eastern part of Serekunda (a densely populated town in Serekunda, Kanifing municiaplity) some 500 metres away from the main high way. A secondary road connects the school to the Trans-Gambia highway (main road) running through Churchill’s Town. The secondary road divides the school into two, all of which used to be administered by one head.

The school was established in 1984, which later graduated many intellectuals, journalists, writers, thinkers, traders etc. all doing their part in the advancement of their land. I joined the school in the year that Honourable Sulayman Joof passed the baton to Mrs Aji Bin Jagne. Mrs Jagne was in control from then till the time we said bye.

I can remember during my time at the school, the school had always maintained its respect in the educational area. Tallinding Primary School won many quiz, drama, sport and academic trophies in inter-school competitions. Thus, that had always remained as its emblem in   imparting  knowledge to pupils.

Tallinding primary was some lined-house classes spread in the two campuses, with multiple rectangular holes pasted on the buildings sides as windows. The ground was always clean and free from commotion that would distract pupils. It was in Tallinding Primary School that pupils were always asked to be fastidious and enthusiastic about education ”for learning is better than silver and gold ” as the famous poem in primary level puts it.

It was in this school that the teachers served as fathers and mothers to their pupils. It was in their school that the hopes of their students were never upended. It was in this school that nurtures the career of every pupil. It was in this school that grouching problems were on the effect to solvable;

I hate to remember.

But I am ablaze to recover

Blushing in the tabloids of smiling coast.

I can still recall few teachers who left an indelible mark in the history of the school. They will have not made it to where they are now if they had not passed through the school. As I commute the streets, I still see some of them reminiscing in their new celebrant life after divorcing the affectionate they have with the chalk.

My grade 5 teacher, Mr Solo Cham (still loving the coolant), is still instilling those magical vibrations in the minds of the students. With Solo Cham you must reason before you act, I like his style of teaching. Mrs  Binta Ceesay, a grade 4 teacher during our time. Ceesay always assented, active and punctual. Walking with a strong stride, the sound of her foot on the ground will always ring the bell in us to be doomed.

Mrs Binta Jarra, Grade 5 Brown. Mrs Jarra was the sophisticated characle, yet cheerful ebullient and servile praiser. Jarra was a very instrumental teacher in the school. I can’t forget the drama club she pioneered.

The soft spoken-man. Abdoulie Bojang dusted his hands with the chalk in that school before he became Speaker of the National Assembly. A very kind man who would not hurt even an ant. He deserves his position. He is one person that every pupil smiles when he show up.

Mr Karaboulie Conteh, ‘Safla Conteh’, taking it from his naming karaoke is his days, full of live and earthy. But he was not a smiling type, especially in class.

Mr Burama Badjie (maybe he was Ebrima during his naming day) ah njoll dou bon. The genius teacher he was. Badjie was among the youngest at that time, but he was one of the finest at that time as well. One teacher I can throw jibes at when on drama rehearsals. 0nly he knew how to awaken the slumber in his students and can substantiate the humour and qualities he possessed during his lessons. I still hear his beautiful song he sang to me during one of my chilly days. ‘Enimbaara Baaji Basen’. Now you are a banker, a manager for that matter which does not surprise me. I am happy for you my good friend-teacher. I call him the suavely comported man.

No justice will be me if I did not mention Mrs Elizabeth Ndow in this episolatory.  Any time I think of putting words together, her name always comes first. She was one teacher who cares little on how much earns monthly. I for one will confer her a national award if the chance be. Mrs Ndow will spend almost her salary on the welfare of her pupils. She is the teacher that made me what I am today. She is the teacher whose smile was the emblem of the school. She is the teacher that has never use a cane on a student during our time, yet she produces one of the best students during our batch. She was the teacher who called every student ”my baby” all preceded by a smile. She is the teacher whose tears I saw when she learnt about my defection. She is a gold to all.  Ndow of two-red-two, now working at Jolly Phoenix under the Ministry Of Education and if ”Lord English” will permit me use succulent on her; I will shout and sing n’jaarama songs to succulent Elizabeth Ndow. ”You are the succulent tree of education”. I acknowledge her support during my realm less days at Tallinding Primary.

Concluding words accompany me to dwindle on this essay by thanking the people and community of Tallinding for their support. The former and current teachers of the school especially the religious teachers for their mountain payers for the school.  Bravo to the ex-pupils of the school.  Thanks to the state for the immense transformation of the school, foresting it with multiple storey buildings flanked all over. Thank you The Gambia. Tallinding at 30, may the good birds continue to flap their wings with your name.

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