Road to July 4 Intensifies as Media Run Against Discrimination Looms


By Momodou Jarju

Amid budding hype on social media ahead of a media-run-challenge, some journalists are hitting the roads, jogging to cover kilometers.

Preparations are afoot. Anticipation grows in a quotidian basis with some journalists showing their exercises on social media, while others keep it low and warn to surprise their colleagues on the faithful day forthcoming.

There are several onlookers too who are looking forward to witnessing history in the making.

Themed ‘Run Against Discrimination’, the July 4th challenge is one of several runs to be organized monthly ahead of the maiden December run.

Three issues have been outlined as the objectives for the maiden event.

One of them is raising funds to establish a Scholarship Trust Fund to support deserving journalism students and conduct capacity building for women, young and rural journalists.

Another one is to encourage media personnel to develop high level of fitness, maintain their weight and keep a healthy body mass through daily or weekly exercise.

While the third aims to enable media workers to gather, walk, run, exchange ideas, and network among themselves.

QTV journalist, Baboucar Sey, is leaving no stone unturned. Sey says he is well prepared for the D-day and he has been having regular afternoon sessions- exercising five times a week, trying to cover at least 4 kilometers to 8 kilometers.

“Still short of my fitness but am pretty sure I will be at least 85% {fit} before the day,” Sey says. “I am challenging Alieu Ceesay, Ansumana S. O Nyassi, Mariama Bojang, Sally Jeng and Dodou Bojang to come out and join us on this very important day and I am also urging them to each challenge five people.”

Sey, also known as Nani- not related to the famous footballer, is not the only one bracing up for the challenge.

Journalist Paul Steven Prierra is ever ready. The editor for Star FM/TV who is banking on the slogan ‘Train Hard, Fight Easy,’ says he is taking cover at his home town, Lamin, training hard for the July 4th challenge.

Prierra says the challenge is important for his health as it will create a “little time to keep myself fit.”

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I jog, says Omar Faye, a young promising journalist who reports for Choice FM and freelances for Chronicle- a Gambian online-based newspaper.

Faye is sure of his fitness already. He is challenging anyone who tries to prove an athlete on July 4th.

“Am doing my things underground,” he says. “My challenge was Landing Jallow Sonko but the dude doesn’t get what it takes to challenge me. I am all-ready and out to challenge anyone. I got what it takes.”

Kebba Jeffang, senior journalist reporting for the Chronicle online newspaper, says the challenge is a good initiative that should be taken with all seriousness.

The award-winning journalist, who apparently did not say whether he will partake in the run or otherwise, says he is in full support of the initiative and urged every journalist to participate.

“It’s a matter of health and a matter of strengthening cordial relationship amongst journalists,” says Jeffang, who is also the president of the Young Journalist Association of The Gambia (YJAG).

Sey cannot agree more with Jeffang. He says journalists find it difficult to exercise due to tiring work, but an event like the media-run-challenge could keep them fit.

“Who wins is not important, but participating and burning the fats in your body and most importantly keeping fit is very important in one’s body,” the experienced broadcaster says.

Sey went on to say that bringing journalists to interact, have fun, train, and socialize is a perfect opportunity for them to yoke together like a family.

Another journalist who is sure of taking center stage fully prepared is Mustapha Ceesay, president of MAJaC- Students Union.

Like others taking part, Mustapha Ceesay says the challenge gives him the opportunity to keep fit, improve his health, meet and network with colleagues in other media organisations or institutes.

“I challenge Kebba Jeffang of the Chronicle online newspaper and Modou Lamin Joof of Taranga FM,” he says.

Sulyaman Waan, a freelance journalist, also shared similar remarks. He is also challenging every media personnel on July 4th.

Meanwhile, the media run is initiated by Sang Mendy, the managing director of Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJaC).

But to make the event more productive, Mendy who is a veteran broadcaster and journalism trainer, says he needed a team and as such, he engaged his-led school to organize the maiden event.

“I initiated it but it is a MAJaC product now,” Mendy told Foroyaa in a telephone conversation.