DA Jawo Hints Many Gambian Writers Will Publish Books After COVID-19


By Momodou Jarju

Former Information Minister and Gambian writer, Demba Ali Jawo, has hinted that many Gambian writers are going to produce and publish a lot of books after the COVID-19 pandemic is defeated in the country.

DA Jawo said Gambians should not be surprised to see a proliferation of book publishing by Gambian writers after the pandemic because amid the lockdown, many writers are busy writing and some even could be documenting the coronavirus pandemic.

“A lot of writing activities will happen in post-Covid-19 pandemic,” he said on Sunday via Zoom meeting where he was the special guest to lecture on the topic, “Writing in Time of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case for Gambian Writers.”

Lecturing further, DA Jawo said the pandemic, like many sectors in the country, has hit hard the literary industry of The Gambia, forcing writers to do their activities online.

The veteran journalist also informed the participants on the virtual meeting that while writers can write books amid the pandemic, it would be difficult to organize a launch ceremony due to the prohibition of public gathering.

Nonetheless, Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe, the secretary general of the Writers Association of The Gambia (WAG) revealed that the virtual lecture came at the right time, saying hardly many Gambian writers published books amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Foroyaa can confirm reporting only one book launch that took place since March when the deadly virus was recorded for the first time in the country. The virtual ceremony was the book launch of Mod A.K. Secka, the current Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology.

Secka’s book is titled “The Demise, Alternatives and Rebirth of Planning; The Gambian Experience”, a virtual launch of the bookwas held on Friday, September 11th, 2020; and since then, Foroyaa has also learned one online publication by a Gambian author.

Authored by the SG of WAG abovementioned, the chapbook entitled Afrika Not Africa, is an anthology of poems published by Ukiyoto Publishing, an African publisher in Canada.

Meanwhile, WAG SG Sowe used Sunday’s virtual meeting to implore Gambian writers to use the online platforms to publish their work.

In the same vein, DA Jawo also emphasized the need for Gambian writers to take serious attention on the quality of books they produce. He said it should be a concern for all of them by ensuring their books are well edited and proofread before they are pushed out for public consumption.