What they didn’t know was that he was referring to a particular newspaper, The Standard newspaper. I give fifty five dalasi to one of my students, Ansumana Jobarteh, who notwithstanding being a science student likes reading anything he can lay his hands on, to buy a copy of The Standard newspaper when coming to school. You see, for me, the only paper I buy is The Standard, well, because it is the standard. So when he found that it was not out on that particular day he simply reported that there was no paper. It is said that the role of newspapers is to educate, entertain and inform (I am not sure if that is the right order) and The Standard newspaper does all these in an excellent manner. I enjoy reading The Standard newspaper very much especially the Friday issues.
On Fridays, I devour the wonderful and educative essays of Mr Sheriff Bojang (which for some reason are far between nowadays) like a starving wolf. Mr Bojang’s pieces are just wow! I learn a lot from these both in terms of vocabulary and content. His essays are full of lessons for the youth and I cherish buying the paper and sitting at a quiet corner to read the essays slowly so as to absorb every word, every sentence and every point made! What pleasure I gain from Sheriff’s essays! I use this opportunity to request Mr Bojang to write more often.
Then there are the interesting interviews of my friend, Sainey Darboe, who, I am proud to say, was once my student and is now a venerable editor at The Standard newspaper. I admire his work and relish the interviews he conducts as he asks pertinent questions which are beneficial to society, particularly to the youth of this country. Then there is Binta A Bah who writes beautiful pieces on women’s affairs and reports on legal matters. She informs us of what goes on in the courts in a wonderful manner. There are of course others like Lamin Njie, Lamin Cham and a host of other very good reporters.
The resident essayist, Alieu Bah, Immortal X, with his beautiful and well-researched write-ups on religious sects and their founders which serve as food for thought and shining stars from which we learn to mould our lives as pious people. His writing style reminds one of Sheriff Bojang (now minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure) and that tells a great deal about him, doesn’t it?
The Red Black Nonsense of Mr Latirr Carr (whom I have not met personally, though I will relish such an occurrence) is another portion of The Standard newspaper that I cannot have enough of. Mr Carr is a very good writer whose work I really enjoy reading and I await it weekly, like a person who has not eaten for days! It is always educative but also entertaining as he chips in a lot of funny stuff which spices it up for readers to enjoy.
The stories of Amran Gaye with titles like The Anj are very interesting and educative. As a writer (or should I say a scribbler) I enjoy reading fiction and I understand how important it is for the progress of a society. That is why I find Amran Gaye’s stories very interesting and educative and I hope our young people will make good use of it.
The Standard newspaper satisfies that need to read that so much burns in my heart and fulfils my hopes and expectations like no other. If I were ever to work for a newspaper, it will be The Standard (don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for a job. I am a full-time teacher at Nusrat Senior Secondary School) balaa nyoo wah ne mungee uut ligey di!
Reading is one habit which, we, as Gambians, should work harder to inculcate in our young ones. To this end, newspapers have an important role to play and that is by making reading interesting. That can be found in The Standard newspaper as it has all facets of writing which are truly worthy to be read and understood.
Mr Musa Bah who writes under the nom de plume Tha Scribbler is the author of several books. He teaches English at Nusrat Senior Secondary School.]]>