Who Are We….?
Mr President, I sometimes wonder about our identity. It is hard to differentiate between us and the westerners on the one side, or the Arabs on the other. We have assimilated so much that sometimes we are even more European than the Europeans themselves. It seems that we despise what we are.
We do not value our culture and heritage and as such we have almost lost our sense of identity. One is hailed for looking like a European or an Arab. This is manifested in the way we speak, the way we dress, the way we associate with others and so on and so forth.
Every nation on Earth is trying to work on its indigenization of its culture, heritage and language. India and Turkey are good examples of this. They spend millions of Dollars to sell the image of their countries. We have seen Turkey inviting journalists from different parts of the world, paying their airfares just to sell their image. We on the other hand are trying to adopt; whatever it is that will make us look in vogue.
Mr President… I think it’s time we also endeavor to entrench Gambianness in our youth, be proud of our culture and heritage. Let us teach and learn our culture, heritage and languages. Let us celebrate our heroes of yesterday and show the world what we are, where we are coming from and what is it that makes us unique as a people. Certainly, we also have a lot to be proud of, a lot to celebrate. We indeed have a lot to offer the world. But if we don’t let our young ones know what is our own; then they will not appreciate it.
Mr President, this in my opinion has to start with our school system. The previous government made efforts in starting the teaching and learning of our indigenous languages but it seemed rushed and as such left a lot to be deaired. Proper research should be conducted to come up with suggestions and recommendations which will take everything into account so that once it is started, will progress into phasing out the colonial language. This is important because the learning of a second language is surely a hindrance to understanding certain things.
I’ve written before that had we been learning maths and science in our languages, the massive failure would have been reduced. If we want to make a mark in the international stage, we must pay particular attention to maths and science – in our languages.
Mr President, my advice is that your government should engage the University of the Gambia to conduct the necessary research into this so that we find out all the pros and cons of this.
Already, there are NGOs who are doing great work on this front. We can tap into the great works they have already started. Let us learn, teach, promote, spread and entrench our culture, heritage, language and identity in the world.
Mr President, Gambian sons and daughters are excelling in every field and in every part of the world. We do not lack the expertise and knowhow to transform this land into a great nation in the world. Let us tap into our human resource base, this is our greatest asset.
Have a Good Day Mr President…
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen