By: Aja Musu Bah-Daffeh
The Gambia Association of Professional Photographers (GAPP) has recently organised a fundraising Kora Show to establish a photojournalism school in order to enable young Gambians to take up the field as a career.
The event, which was held at Besco Garden in Bakoteh, was graced by the King of Kora, Jaliba Kuyateh and the Kumareh Band.
In establishing photojournalism school, GAPP aims to engage youth in photography, editing and videography, which they believe, will create self-employment for many Gambians, especially the youth.
Silaba Samateh, the Brother of the Night, called on Gambians to support their own, adding that the majority of GAPP members are youth who are playing their bit towards national development.
“The role of GAPP in the country is vital as they serve in maintaining the history of the nation through photography and videography,” Mr. Samateh disclosed.
The brother of the night urged all Gambians to support the plights of GAPP, calling on young people to venture into photography, saying that it is a noble profession.
Abdoulie Fatty, the current president of the association, outlined some of the challenges they are facing, saying with the advent of smart phones, it has seriously affected many photographers as the customers themselves use their smartphones to snap instead of hiring the services of photographers.
Fatty, who also works with Foroyaa newspaper as a journalist, said most of the veteran photographers are illiterate or semi-literate, who find it challenging to cope with the new norm of using computers to work.
Also, he said few technicians are able to work on digital cameras compared to manual and automatic, noting that this means that once a camera has a problem, the tendency of buying another camera is higher than repairing the one with a problem.
“Under my leadership, we are currently engaged in various fundraising activities to raise funds to establish a school of photography, where we can teach young and prospective photographers in graphics design which include Photoshop, photo shoot and video graphic,” he said.
On the importance of photojournalism, Fatty stressed that it plays a vital role in the reporting of events in print and multimedia.
Brief History of GAPP
Photographers association was first registered in 1988 at AG Chambers in Banjul, to look after the welfare of professional photographers with around over hundred members compared to over 1000 today across the country.
The first photo lab Flash photo was established in 1987. The first President was late Modou Mbenga 1988 to 1993. The second President of GAPP was Manson Dambelleh from 1993 to 1995. Third President of GAPP was the late Mamunderry 1994 to 1995. The fourth President was also the late Alpha Omar 1995 to 2002. The fifth President of GAPP is Baboucarr Trawalley (BT.Express) from 2002 to 2006.
Sixth president of GAPP is Lamin Jallow from 2006 to 2012. Seventh President of GAPP is Dawda Bayo 2012 to 2020. The eighth elected President of GAPP was Matarrr Jersey between November 2020 and February 2021. Abdoulie Fatty was unanimously elected as the new President at an extraordinary congress in March 2021 up to date.