By Momodou Jarju
Two Gambian writers on Saturday November 2nd, launched their books.
Thus adding up to more than two hundred books that Gambians have published since 2016. Their publications have added to the proliferation of writing in the country recently, especially since the dawn of the new Gambia.
Essa Bah authored the book titled: “Dynamic Cultures and the African Child” while Ms. Mariam Khan authored the book: “The Gambia-Senegal Border, Issues in Regional Integration.”
Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, reviewer of the book ‘Dynamic Cultures and the African Child’ said the author revealed the degeneration of African culture as a result of the arrival of the white man who decided to convince the people that they have a better way of life for them.
“Naturally what happens, there is a conflict between societies. There are those who are against and those who are for. And naturally since these people have what it takes to create division, they decided to capitalize on it to create the division among us. Essa actually gave us an episode of how the white man brought things that would seduce the powerful and create the weaker to be sidelined and pushed away,” he said.
Dr. Barry who is the president of the Writers Association of The Gambia (WAG), commended Essa for portraying in his stories that there is a position that every person has to take when it comes to the context of their environment and their societies.
Lala Mariama Camara, Commissioner of Banjul Region, speaking on behalf of the Inspector General of police (IGP), said the Gambia Police Force is proud of having an officer, who is anauthor. She also launched the book on behalf of the IGP and congratulated the author for his work.
Author Essa Bah said the book depicts the pain, suffering, punishment and trauma that African girls experience when they are circumcised.
He added: “And how women and children suffer during the period of war and how some women are maltreated in their matrimonial homes.” The young Police Sergeant cum author said he found writing as a way to share his understanding with people around him, for the purpose of enlightenment, entertainment and giving hope to those who have none.
“As a novice, this was a huge challenge but then challenges make life interesting. And to overcome them, makes life more meaningful,” he said.
He thanked his parents, family and friends for the encouragement and support.
This is Essa Bah’s second book. His first book titled “Mission Accomplished”, has been approved by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as a supplementary reading material for Upper Basic Schools.
The second author Ms. Mariama Khan could not attend the book launch, but her book was launched as well.
Khan is a Gambian scholar, poet, filmmaker and cultural activist currently teaching courses on West African Cinema and African Civilizations as an adjunct lecturer at the Africana Studies Department at Lehman College, City University of New York.
Her book ‘‘The Gambia-Senegal Border, Issues in Regional Integration’’, explores how the border between these two countries affect their relationship from 1960 to 2015.
A cross section of writers in The Gambia and people from various works of life, graced the book launch. Poetry performance was also part of the event’s highlights.
The joint book launch was held at the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute in Kanifing.