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City of Banjul
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The proverbial: Average Gambians and their plight

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If you are currently living in this country, but you are not aware of her current affairs, or her present widespread striking hardship, then you must be very cavalier. If you do not know how costly the prices of commodities are, essentially foodstuffs, or even how high the utility bills are, then someone must be under the sun for you, or you’re simply being an inconsiderately ruthless person of no compassion. And if you aren’t worried about all these, then you must be very cold in the heart.

Implied ultimatum is a hooker. Ulterior motive is a poker. Who’s a joker? Let them carve you a comparative for nyaka. The hodgepodge – shove it. I can compose it, but I don’t sing. EsTee knows. Oh, ST. I went to Niumi, Buniadou. But I didn’t see the alleged bunya they give to their Jarranka fathers. So I had to go back home. Jarra all the way. Jambai deh. And when they asked me, I told them, Ntelemu batuwo leng. No more comedy.

Dear average Gambians, I know the hardship you’re enduring. We don’t need to wait until we are directly affected to realise that. In fact, if we aren’t directly affected, there are people within our family circles or neighbourhoods who boil and toil under the sun, from dawn to dusk, just to make ends meet.

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I am evenly aware of the under par quality of the service you seek, from health to education. Also, I have realised how much you struggle to send your children and wards to schools, considering the dismal salary within and across Banjul, via the countryside, all the way to Bung-Kiling. And this isn’t what you have wished for. I understand that through and through. It’s true. I know that it’s a duress. So you cannot rest.

Dear average Gambians, I know it’s you whose wives and sisters die of post- partum hemorrhage at our health facilities. It’s you whose children struggle to ply to Gambia and Muslim High, and all the faraway schools across the country, especially during this time of anarchy where drivers impose their own tariffs and decide the places they wish to alight those on board, depending on the time of the day and service demand. Gambia College students can also corroborate this.

You pay all the tax. They evade all the tax. Yet, they pay their tasks with the money from your taxes. They chill all the chill whilst they bill you all the bills. Hodgepodge – shove it. They take loan in the name of The Gambia and siphon it to the bus that’s driven by the bus driver. Who is the conductor? Oops, call the founder of the nouveau riche foundation for me. Bari kumo fele. Teasing sarcasm a bit, the nguru gi cares about you. They would prefer death to shame for not driving The Bus well.

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Dear average Gambians, this is a conspiracy against you. On concern grounds, we cannot downplay it, but if you want us to simplify it, we’d say it’s a neglect, a sheer politics-y neglect . The should-not is overpowered by the shall-be through the connivance of the leeches and economic bloodsuckers of The Gambia. If they party in solitude, that’s not a national puntung pantang. Those whose fate you’ve decided some nearly five years ago are now deciding how you’re going to live. Politics must be a love-child.

If a certain village in suburb CRR can have streetlights at the neglect of the very Brikama per se, just because a certain Bus Driver comes from there, and you still want to call that equality, then shove your equality. If you also want to equate the hardship that an average Gambian is enduring to the lifestyle those people carved for themselves, then also shove your equation.

Tell me what equity is. If it cannot empower equality, and doesn’t provide equal opportunities for every Gambian, irrespective of race, complexion, religion, connection and suchlike; then shove that, too. And if someone can job without even needing their high school certificate at the expense of those with degree, and you still want to call that equality or equity whatsoever, then shove that as well. Shove it south. What do you make of a Director whose highest educational level was ninth grade? They deserved the position, said the system. Here is Jollof.

Dear average Gambians, this isn’t what you deserve. If they cannot give you anything, or at least improve your lives, they shouldn’t take from you or subject you to abject hardship. Honestly, if they cannot add anything to the little water in the jug, then they shouldn’t also empty the jug. If they cannot build factories for you, they shouldn’t build prisons for you. If they cannot create jobs for you, they shouldn’t deport your people from Europe. I told you this is a conspiracy against you. It is the shall-be that is winning. The should-not is a political lie. Oops, they said politics is a game – a game where you can lie to deceive and succeed – a game where you can do anything to succeed. If politics were a religion, lies would be the doctrines. Hodgepodge.

They said education is better than gold and silver. Hmm, really? Well, no worries. This is what I’m asking for: in just three sentences, one for each, convince a certain Basiru Jawara that education is better gold and silver.

Amid the insecurity, protection is what you need. If they cannot protect you, they shouldn’t also allow intruders to kill you. And whenever the undesirable happens, it gets sad that they don’t even trace the culprits for apprehension. They formed Anti-crime, which is good. But don’t you also need anti-corruption? Weed isn’t good but drugs are good? You’re apprehended for the former but it’s okay to drink alcohol – because the latter pays tax? What’s that? Poetic justice or egalitarian justice? Prolly Jollof justice. Oops, they said justice is a justice. Haha. Waagi – ditch the hodgepodge – the politically inspired Jollof hodgepodge of  concentric neglect. Whenever you vote, vote wisely.

In a nutshell, things are they way they are. Your struggles and tribulations are apparent. And this is the reason you barely have sang-froid.

Having nice elders is a nicety. If you have a Sulayman, a Balagie and a Seedy, then visit Mass and Bass for a jazz. Put Baake in the mix. It’ll be okay. Haha, go to Farambulu if you like. Evenly, having good ndokes is a goodie. Lang Laibo and Sumaila Domanding. There can be only one Lang Laibo. Njie B is the last man standing from the Musa Balla crew. Ask Mustapha. Prime Jambai.

Batou Saidy holds a degree in Public and Environmental Health. His writing extends to current affairs, contemporary life issues, politics, sports, and health. 

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