SIDIA RETURNS HOME

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By Demba Bah

Hon. Sidia Jatta, on Sunday April 7 2024 came back from the United States. 

He was awarded the African Hero of the Year 2024 by African Students Union at Ohio University on Saturday March 30 2024. He was met upon arrival by a jubilant crowd in a welcoming mood. 

He said the award came with his name, but it is for The Gambia and the continent. Asked how he felt, he said it is an award which has energized him, made him younger, stronger and even more committed to the work he has been doing for the continent. 

“This should compel all of us to working for the liberation of the continent once and for all”, he said.

He was asked further, what does it take to win such an award? He replied that as actors on the world stage, there are people who monitor and take interest in what you are doing and that determines whether you will win it.

According to him, there were many competitors and it came down to voting. He added there are over eight hundred Nigerian students and less than thirty Gambian students. Jatta said Gambia won because of what Gambia has been doing, adding the award is given to those whose work has been somewhat much bigger in the continent. He continued to say it is the quality and extent of work that one does which determines the winner. He was further asked what his message is to young people especially to those looking up to them as role models? Sidia said the award has indicated to him that what he has been doing has been followed and appreciated by people outside. Therefore, if one is doing something, he or she should know that people who have interest are monitoring. They should do it to the best of their ability and in the interest of the people, he said. He said what happened in Ohio is a culmination of a series of monitoring since from London to The Gambia. 

“I am advocating for the languages to be promoted to become languages of work in the continent and schools. That there will be a link to what is happening in the school system and what is at home,” he reiterated. 

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