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City of Banjul
Sunday, October 24, 2021

The ‘back way’ menace has intensified

The issue of the perilous irregular migration by sea to Europe by Africans and by many Gambians, now even preteens, at the age of as young as eight is a great cause for concern not only for parents and the government but the county’s future as well. Children as young as eight are embarking on this life-threatening journey which saw the lives of many Gambian youths perish in the wild seas. An urgent and extreme reply is needed to curb this menace. 

In a story I recently read in Front Page International, Bakary Sanyang, 27, a city driver in Banjul said his salary of D5,000 per month could not sustain him in The Gambia. “I will go to Europe because in The Gambia everything is expensive. It is difficult for a family man to survive,” he was reported as saying. He argued: “There are no jobs in The Gambia so we have nothing to do here, we must go the ‘back way’. The jobs available to us cannot even earn us a decent living condition.”

 The government should have a greater focus on the youth and address unemployment, says Sanyang, adding: “Honestly, I will go the ‘back way’ if I have the chance and the money”.

If this issue is not addressed and drastic efforts put in place by the government as soon as possible, the pain in the neck would reach another level many don’t expect it to. Who would ever have thought that there would come a time when kids as young as 8 would embark on this perilous sea journey? The only people we thought to be embarking on the ‘back way’ are youths and not preteens. But even preteens today, specifically and especially according to those trio who attempted the life threatening voyage recently, told The Standard they are experiencing a bit of a hardship here in The Gambia and thus wanted to travel overseas in search of greener pastures and better living conditions. 

One of the little three children said: “I have seen a lot of people who embarked on the journey and reached Europe successfully and are now building some nice houses for their families here. I want to do the same for my mother,” who is a local farmer in Bakau, he said.

These are serious issues that are leading to serious repercussions both on our lives and that of our societies. We must stand together as one people and eradicate what I call the   ‘evil of society’. 

To conclude, we must remember the great Marcus Garvey when he said: “The past may be past, the present we grapple with but the future we can attempt to change”.

Together we can shape the future of what is to be a beautiful Gambia. Up you mighty people, you can accomplish what you will.   

Nyima Lena Dibba

Katchikally, Bakau


Government, parents must put more emphasis on education


Dear editor,

Education?  According to the Wikipedia, in its general sense is a form of learning in which the knowledge, skills and habits of a group of people are transferred from one generation to the next through teaching, training, or research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of others, but it may also be autodidactic. 

Well, for others it is the building block of life, the only way to a successful, comfortable and respectable life. So without it in your life people would rate you as a nothing. Therefore education is all that one must strive and endeavour for. 

We go to school to learn even though just going to a school or a university does not make you an intelligent person. However, you can be sure of a better life; a life full of opportunites when you are educated.

As a little boy, I grew up in a community where farming and fishing, looting, fighting and smoking weed is the order of the day. Once, I thought to myself, why do people go to school to learn? I said to myself that it was meaningless and useless. I said going to school was a waste of time, money and energy. But as I mature from boyhood to adulthood I came to realise the importance of education. I came to realise that without education life in itself bears no meaning . I realised that it was only through education that one can find or comprehend his own abilities or powers. Therefore, education is the ultimate key to a successful life.

However, even with education, one must have patience and tolerance. For without these two, you can never achieve what you want. Perhaps that explains why today, for instance, we have quite a good number of school drop-outs in town doing nothing except for loitering and wandering in the streets. To many of those, education seems a very long process and a waste of time. Nothing comes easy in life. You got to fight to survive in order to make it in life. You cannot let your mind become the devil’s workshop. Be serious in whatever you do. Respect others. Be the change you want to see in life and then, only then can you achieve what you will. Remember Martin Luther King Jr, when he said: “Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education.”  And remember, you are here to fulfill a mission. So don’t mess up your life brother, and end up dead as nothing. May we all leave a worthy legacy .  



By Muhammed Saidykhan

West Coast Radio 


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