By Aminata S. Kuyateh
Timbooktoo on Saturday celebrated 25 years of business. The institution has worked with ministry of education and many schools and institutions on developing and furthering the education standard in the Gambia. The ceremony was held at the Timbooktoo premises on Garba Jahumpa road in Bakau.
Speaking, Proprietor Timbooktoo, Ousainou Jagne, said it was first opened in 1998 located in modest shop on the corner of Garba Jahumpa road. “From the humble beginnings we can look back over 25 years of growth and now I feel proud of the service we provide from the purpose-built shop behind us, stocked with thousands of latest books including educational books, fiction, non-fiction and plenty materials for younger generation.”
Mr. Jagne disclosed that for the past 25 years, Timbooktoo takes great pride in not just stocking, but championing well over 100 local authors, of whom over 25 are female. “Notably, a significant number of these authors find their publications through the three esteemed local publishing houses namely; Baobab, Educational Service and Fulladu.”
Mr. Jagne added that Timbooktoo aspires to foster more local interest titles, such as our legal system, indigenous trees and medicinal plants, aquatic life, environmental concerns and captivating tales of our oral histories.
He expressed gratitude to MoBSE, MoHERST, whose advocacy for education and knowledge has been encouraging. However, he urged the authors to continue to support those that love reading, for those yearning to learn and for those eager to embark on new adventures. He reaffirmed their commitment to keep the magic of books alive for generations to come.
Dr. Cherno Barry, president of WAG, said Timbooktoo is much more symbolic to the writer than just a bookshop. He hailed Timbooktoo for selling books to support the country’s education sector, to encourage creativity, by providing space for stories to come alive and to forge connection between authors and readers.
Musa Bah, author and teacher, hailed Timbooktoo management for their commitment in creating that space of learning and storytelling for the Gambian students and authors. He said knowledge cannot be produced without learning, however he encouraged students and young persons to take up reading seriously. He urged the management of Timbooktoo to open many branches across the country particularly in rural Gambia.