Gambian Teacher Authors Poetry Book For Children


By Momodou Jarju

A Gambian primary school teacher, Momodou S. Jallow, has authored a poetry book for children themed on many life issues that he hopes will inspire as well as educate the targeted audience.  

The Gambia College School of Education graduate disclosed to this medium in an interview, that the book – “I’m A Star” – addresses issues like rape, drug abuse and related social misconducts which bedevil our society, with lines and/or verses hinting on how “to redirect our society for the good of all.”

The teacher cum poet noted that the poetry book is also not short of inspirational poems, while assuring that if the book is well studied and utilised, it will catapult every reader to great self-esteem.

“The title of the book is developed from the first poem – “I’m a star”. This poem will ginger up the minds of every learner, especially primary school pupils who would love to develop their skills in reading, recitation, spelling and mastering of rhymes,” he indicated.

“The poems are well structured and proofread by well-diverse scholars of the English language; and the language is put in a way that even a seven year old child can read and comprehend. There is no regret in purchasing this anthology because its importance can go far beyond our expectations.”

When quizzed about the motivation behind his debut book, Mr Jallow said he is surrounded by children at school and at home and as such, he came to understand that they easily learn when they are entertained and encouraged to recite poems. Jallow writes poems and gives them to his pupils. And sometimes, he said they come to him and complain that they lost the poems written on paper. So he has to rewrite them, that is the ones he is able to remember.  

“There was this student named Kumba Gaye, who happened to tell me: ‘Mr Jallow, why not write down your poems and keep them in case when we lose our paper, you can write it again for us with ease,” he said.

Mr Jallow heeded to his pupil’s proposition and started compiling the poems, bearing in mind his targeted audience – as he uses straightforward language which helped children to recite his poems in competition, at home and at assembly.

Meanwhile, Mr Jallow’s “I’m A Star”, will be launched on December 24th 2022, at Tanji Youth Centre. The book cost D200.