By Momodou Jarju
The Writers Association of The Gambia (WAG) has appointed three honorary WAG Literary Ambassadors for the Africa Region, United States of America and the United Kingdom (UK) on 16th May.
Acting according to the Constitution of the association, the honorary WAG Literary Ambassadors are appointed by the Executive of WAG to legally serve as literary agents for the community of Gambian writers and scholars in the United States of America, Europe and across Africa.
The duration of the appointments is three years and the literary Ambassadors are expected to present their credentials to the Gambian Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria; the Gambian Embassy in Washington DC and the Gambian Consulate in the UK and the presentations must be made on or before the 16th of June 2020.
Speaking to Foroyaa, award-winning author and current Secretary General of WAG Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe disclosed that the Literary Ambassadors will serve as literary agents to promote Gambian authors and their works to various members of the media and the arts industries across the world, including theatre managers, book publishers and radio, television and film producers.
‘‘They will be responsible for identifying literary talents and work on behalf of Gambian authors to seal book deals and promote their works within the media. They will not receive a percentage of the profits from book sales and the position is entirely voluntary,’’ he said.
Mr. Sowe said they want to provide international markets for Gambian books and sell out Gambia’s beautiful culture to the outside world; that they used a rigid yardstick for the appointments. He said the appointees must have at least one publication in English that can provide a route into the industry; be a paid-member of WAG and must have registered with the association for the past three years.
“The literary scene is highly competitive making any experience valuable particularly in publishing. WAG under the able leadership of Dr. Cherno Omar Barry, made these appointments ahead of the Kunta Kinteh International Book Festival that the association is bracing up for in September 2020. It should have been held in April 2020, but due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the event was postponed,’’ Sowe said.
For the UK Ambassador:
Dr. Momodou Sallah, a senior lecturer at De Montfort University is the UK Ambassador for the association. Dr. Sallah has over 20 years of experience working with young people at the local, national and international levels. He has published extensively on topics such as globalization and intercultural competence especially in the fields of work with young Black people; young Muslims; participatory research methodologies and Global Youth Work. These publications have greatly contributed to a field where there is a dearth of literature and has enhanced students’ learning experience.
Ambassador for the Africa Region:
Ebrima B. Sawaneh, a young Gambian chartered accountant, banker and international bestselling author, is the Ambassador for the Africa Region. Mr. Sawaneh currently works in the finance department of an African focused Financial Institution based in Lagos. He previously worked at GTBank and Ecobank Gambia Ltd.
Ambassador for the US:
Wuyeh Drammeh who lives in Seattle with his family, is the US Ambassador for the Association. Drammeh works at the Washington State Department of Health and Social Services. He is an avid member of Epic Writers Group of Edmonds and Pacific Northwest Writers Association of America and has just published his second book: ‘THIS WAY FROM AMERICA’.