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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

What is your price?

What is your price?

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In these times of presidential election, I think this is a relevant question: what is your price? Can you be bought? Tell me your price and we will make a deal. I know that there is always a lot of ”monkey business” going on when it comes to an election, but I have never watched it as close as I have been able to do this time. I have heard that the independent candidates who got rejected by the IEC have gone to join Barrow. Were they serious from the first time, or has this been planned from the very beginning? I don’t know, I can only ask the questions, but I am suspicious.

Power and money go hand-in-hand, and a lot of money goes from one hand to another. Some of the presidential candidates have declared their assets, including President Barrow, but he didn’t indicate the years they were purchased. Why? Was he forgetful, or doesn’t he want to answer for the ways the vehicles were received? Only Barrow can answer that question, but I wouldn’t trust that guy to even hold my dog’s leash because I would fear that he would sell my dog to make a buck. President Barrow is first of all a businessman, he is not a statesman, he is not interested in anything else but remaining in power at any cost.

The problem with this cost, is that it is the citizens of The Gambia who are forced to pay it. The country is in deep debt already, and it will only become worse if Barrow is re-elected. He and his cocky minions will only become more sure of themselves and you will have five more years of misery ahead. Don’t you deserve better? Don’t your children deserve better? Ask yourself: What has Barrow achieved so far? Be questioning the so-called investments that have been done so far, and ask yourself why they didn’t turn up until it is time for the presidential election. This presidential election is a game, my people, and you are the losers! Can’t you see that? Are you not worried? Of course you are worried, but your living conditions are so poor, so you are fully occupied with your survival and don’t have the time or energy for anything else.

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Your masters, who are your own people, are keeping you in control by letting you fight for every bit of food you can possibly get. They know that your worries about how to get food for the day are larger than any other worry. I have told you before that I am teaching my pupils about the African-American music history and that it all began with the slave trade. I have taught my pupils that when the slaves were kept on Kunta Kinteh Island, they were only fed once a day. Why? Because the slave traders wanted to break down the slaves so they became too weak to resist. Can’t you see the similarities in the situation you all live in? The slave trade was supposed to end around 1850, but the mental slave trade still exists.

You can’t keep on blaming white people for what you actually are doing to yourselves. It is so easy to look at something that is far away from you and find the blame there. I can’t defend what the slave traders did to your ancestors a long time ago, but how can you defend that your own people are treating you the same way? Haven’t you learned anything from your history, or haven’t you been taught your history? I know that in some states in the US they don’t allow school kids to celebrate Black History Month. February marks the start of Black History Month, a federally recognised celebration of the contributions African-Americans have made to the country and a time to reflect on the continued struggle for racial justice.

It is like the embarrassment of how black people have been treated, since the slave trade began in the 16th century, is covered with a coat of silence to pretend it will disappear that way. Black children in the US are not allowed to learn the truth about their history. What they will learn is what they can pick up through social media, through their ancestors and through prejudice. History books are always teaching the historical events through the winner’s perspective. Kings were hailed for the battles they won, explorers were hailed for the ”new” worlds they found. Not enough has been said about all the lives that were sacrificed in the name of a king, or a god, or to satisfy someone’s curiosity.

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People died as soldiers, they were forced to fight in a war they didn’t understand the purpose of. Women and children died because of starvation and they were easy victims for weapons and men aroused by power. Power has many faces, in war power can be to have food and through that force someone to submission. If people are hungry enough they will be prepared to sacrifice their dignity for a piece of bread. You don’t live in war in The Gambia, and thank God for that, but still your life is a battle. Every day is a struggle to get to work in time, as the roads are in a terrible condition and not enough has been done to maintain them.

You live in constant stress to get from Point A to Point B without losing too much time on the roads or on the ferry. This stress is causing psychosomatic diseases. This means that when the mind is sick, because of stress or depression and so forth, it will cause problems in your body. Body and mind are connected, and everything that affects your mind will also affect your body. There are several examples of that; headaches, gastric catarrh, stroke, heart attack, diabetes and so on. Adding on that, the fear of hospital costs, medication, lack of good healthcare and to lose perhaps the only one in the family who is the bread winner.

Why don’t you have good and affordable healthcare in The Gambia? Why don’t you have enough food? Why are you not growing enough rice so you don’t need to import that from China? You can grow food all year round there, and still so many are without! For what reason? The only reason I can see is that those who are in power don’t want your lives to improve. They keep you hungry, because you are easier to control then. Doesn’t that make you angry, because it is making me furious?!

Look at some of the candidates that are approved by the IEC: Barrow and his NPP who are looking for approval of the former dictator Jammeh. Mamma Kandeh and his GDC who are approved by Jammeh. Can you trust these guys? If the answer is yes, you might just as well invite Yahya Jammeh to come back to The Gambia and ask for his forgiveness. All was a misunderstanding, Jammeh and his minions didn’t kill anyone, or rape, or accuse them of witchcraft, and so forth. No, Jammeh must have been a great guy as so many are now prepared to collaborate with his party. Please learn from your history and don’t do the same mistakes once again!

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