The Gambian music industry needs more encouragement financially and morally now more than ever to achieve more global recognition. This sector is growing and almost all young children in the country are exposed, on a daily basis, to entertainment and education delivered through other media besides print and television. Most of the developments are geared towards ensuring that only music that enhances human sense is produce and marketed for human consumption. Our present day musicians for example, are trying to promote the industry by themselves developing from where they found it. They are trying enough in the music using talent that will hit and touch heart of people within and outside The Gambia. We must all admit that music can be used to fight things like poverty and bad governance. Also, it is important for us all to realise the importance of this industry and whatever it does is for the public. The entire entertainment industry has a tremendous influence on our society. Our women can be greatly empowered through this sector alone. We can also use it to create employment for many young people. We have big brother countries like Nigeria who have succeeded in making the sector reputable. In fact, it is reputed to be the second highest employer in that country after agriculture. While it is true that the country’s shortcomings in youth management are by no means resolved, the entertainment industry, if promoted, can see young Gambians emerge from disadvantaged backgrounds and working themselves into higher income brackets. This industry if properly tapped and supported would create entrepreneurs, cultural ambassadors, and global brands, whose exploits can internationalised the sector. It will therefore take a lot of work to achieve this. We have to put our best efforts together and with more attention from government, in terms of regulation and investments, The Gambia’s entertainment industry could drive the youth employment effort, not only in distribution but also in domestic and regional tourism. We should therefore to appreciate and encourage the likes of Jaliba Kuyateh and other young Gambian musicians who are representing The Gambia well in the international music circle. I am really proud of them. I want the government to recognise the entertainment industry, and can even take a big step by appropriating funds for it in the budget. There are abundant fortunes in the industry if fully exploited. Gambians love music and we have many talented artistes who can represent our country.
Gambians’ appetite for land in towns is getting out of control
Please allow me to use your medium to share my view on the growing appetite for the purchase of land in Gambian towns. In the past decade, this appetite has degenerated into a frightening situation in which land dealers constantly play smart in enriching themselves at the expense of those trying to purchase land. The Greater Banjul Area features prominently in this state-of-affairs. The situation is now running out of control. I have seen instances where town or village heads have been dragged to court because they were involved in varying degrees of dishonest land deals. However, land is getting expensive and this fact is based on the huge demand for land. It is running into millions of dalasi each year especially in the Kombos. Many Gambians use it to build nice houses while others use it to deliver a commercial venture. Whichever way, I must say that many of us are puzzled by the way land matters are handled these days. There have been clear instances where a single plot of land is sold to four different buyers at different times. Most of these buyers often find themselves in a long legal battle after they had found out that the land that was sold to them was in fact sold to other buyers. Some even run the risk of losing their money. This is why the government needs to step in to check illegalities that exist in most land cases. Our land laws need serious reforms that satisfy the very process of acquiring land. These land laws should protect the interests of everyone and clampdown on those unscrupulous individuals who are bent on pillaging other people’s land. Some of these laws remain loose and that is why these individuals including Alkalos manoeuvre through them by producing fake documents that are often taken to be real by the ever hungry buyers. It is true that land is precious and given that fact that land in towns comes with it all the features of a good life including electricity and good pipe-borne water make this fact even more grounded. For those who suffer from the fever of acquiring land in the Kombos, let them have it at the back of their mind that this fix asset will become even more costly.