By Ndey Sowe
The Family of Kunta Kinteh has implored the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to help them improve and revive the once vibrant tourist attraction compound of their great grandfather Kunta Kinteh at Jufereh in the North Bank Region of the Gambia, which is currently in a dilapidated condition.
The family made the call during the ongoing nationwide tour of the tourism minister, Hamat Bah, to visit tourism and culture facilities across the country.
The tour aims to assess the state of progress and standard in all tourism and cultural establishments and facilities so as to help carve out a strategy for the development of tourism and culture, most especially in the upcountry.
Kaddy Taal, who is among the 8th generation of the Kinteh family, said the Kinteh house is the worst compound today in Jufureh when it comes to history. She therefore urged minister Hamat Bah to help them in improving the once vibrant tourist attraction site.
“The place is in a very poor state and the structures are dilapidated that is why tourists are no more interested in visiting the place,” she said.
Kunta Kinteh was captured, tortured, chained, and restrained by white slave captors, before he was taken to James Island where he awaited passage to the New World. Hailed from Jufereh, North of the Coast, the severe inhumane treatment followed him up to the plantation, thousands of miles away from home, where he was forced to work for his masters as a slave.
Aja Mariama Fofana, also among the 8th generation of the family, expressed gratitude for the minister’s visit to the house and appealed to Minister Bah and all tourism stakeholders to help in reviving the house to its origin.
“There are no more tourists coming in to see the house as it is one of the most important sites for tourists’ attraction,” she said.
In responding to the Kinteh family’s call, Minster Bah said they will do their best to revive the house.
“There is intension for us to see how best we can improve the place, I will do my best on what to contribute to improve the place,” Bah said.
Momodou Chaty Cham, the Chief of Upper Nuimi, shared his optimism that the minster will fulfill his promise in improving the place.
“We are sure that we will see the development of tourism and culture we want in the leadership of President Adama Barrow”, he added.
On day two of the tour, Minister Bah visited the Jufureh Guest House where he expressed dissatisfaction of the site and tasked the authorities responsible to immediately restructure the place.
In a similar visit at the Jufureh Craft Market, Minister Bah assured the sellers of his full support and as well as register the place and give the sellers a package for the revival of the aforesaid market.
Minister Bah expressed his satisfaction to Morgan Kunda Camp at Jajari Village in NBR for keeping the place clean and tidy.
The only concern he raised was for the management not to allow the students to visit the site when guests are around, because the camp is adjacent to the school.