I read a story with the above caption in The Standard Newspaper edition of 24th February 2023 on reported destruction of cultural shines at Kamalo, and wonder where is the national center for arts and culture, NCAC?
1. We need an active Commission on Monuments, Heritages and Endangered Traditions to urgently map and help preserve what is left of our pillaged tangible and intangible heritages.
2. Oh Gambia, development does not mean bulldozing everything. Countries like Japan, India, Germany, China, developed without destroying their useful ancestral archives.
3. You don’t necessarily need to be of the same belief system before recognising the rights of minorities to peacefully co-exist in a pluralistic republic.
4. Egypt did not destroy the Pharaonic pyramids that are now generating billions in revenue through religious and heritage tourism.
5. In fact, with the construction of that massive Aswan High Dam, statues were relocated and preserved.
6. For those who don’t know, Saudi Arabia has one of the largest networks of preserved archaeological and traditional sites depicting pre-Abrahamic civilizations.
7. I was in UAE recently and if you go beyond the modern facade of Dubai skyscrapers, you will discover how they preserve their useful traditions that existed before petro-Dollars.
8. Sadly, in The Gambia and some other African countries, people have been indoctrinated to engage in self-hate and inferiority complex.
9. Some historic lessons: Tallinding, Folonko, Yarambamba, Katchikally, to name a few, are cultural shrines.
Prince B.A. Sankanu
Writing as an ordinary citizen who believes in balancing useful traditions and modernity as well as ecology.