Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Allow me space in your widely read newspaper to express my views on this relevant issue. Ever since Vinasha went to England, The Gambian movie industry has not been doing well at all. We were told that they went to England for business. We don’t know if that is true or not, but we, The Gambian artists, would love to see them back.
We started knowing who we are, our worth, when Vinasha came. What we’ll like the Department of State for Tourism and Culture and the NCAC to do, is to try and contact them, to know what their problem is and try to convince them to come back home and to give them the maximum support they need this time around.
Vinasha were the first serious film producers in The Gambia. They knew the rights of the artists and paid us well. We should realize that it was because of Vinasha that international TV channels all over the world are now playing Gambian movies. They were the ones who first organized a first class award ceremony, where I happened to win an award for the best supporting actor. I remember that when the company that was assigned to give me D5000 tried to play tricks with me, Nana herself took firm action and I was given the D5000, after much pushing and pulling.
The Gambian people miss the sweet voice of Nana Ofori-Atta, the strong voice of Segun Oguntola and the friendly voice of Amadou Sillah. We know that you were not given the support you needed by the Gambian people, especially the private sector, but we think Gambians are mature enough now to know what the arts can bring to our country. As you may know, we have just formed an Association of Gambian Theater (GAMAT), so things will be much easier. Some things might not be easily changed though. The lack of love some Gambians have for their country, and radio stations playing foreign music, can be tackled.
Gambians should also develop the habit of listening and watching films and music from our own country, and business men and women should try to go into producing films. If we don’t do this, we’ll spend so much time crawling in every aspect.
We have said this over and over again, Gambians should stop going out for foreign artists when they have even better artists at home. All that we need is the same support you are rendering to those foreign artists who come here and praise and take everything from us. Sometimes it breaks my heart to see people playing foreign music in venues where we celebrate our national days like Independence Day, etc.
I think the Gambian radio stations are the most unpatriotic institutions in this country. How can you broadcast 24hrs and just take 2hrs to play Gambian music; it is an insult. Is hard to say but if you employ more foreign DJs in your radio station, they’ll surely play music from their own countries because they love their countries and so I don’t blame them.
Sometimes it gets so sorrowful, and I just can’t imagine why the majority of the Gambian people hate the Smiling Coast of Africa, when some non- Gambians are dying to be Gambians. But by the grace of the Almighty Allah, we’ll make it together. Vinasha just come back home and let’s try once more.
Author: Bai Abdou Mbye, Fajikunda