By Assan Bah
IsmailaTouray, a young Gambian writer passionate about youth empowerment, is appealing for support to launch his book titled: “Ray of Hope”, which means finding peace and strength on the path to recovery.
Touray, who started his writing journey in 2019 upon completing his Secondary School Education in 2017, made this appeal on Wednesday, February 8th 2023.
He said he believes the best way to invest in young people is by changing their mindset, thus becoming the best versions of themselves and the best way to achieve this is by feeding them the right type of messages.
According to him, he documents real life situations that everyone can draw lessons from and be inspired. “The storyline is that of an orphan and I believe so many orphans are silently hurting when nobody realizes which ends up to many youths taking drugs because they think it is a remedy to their sadness but for what they do not know is that path ends up destroying them. This book is filled with motivational quotations. To rejuvenate your faith, enliven your spirit and boost your confidence, simply grab a copy, and read through for some inspiration.”
Speaking on his motivations on his writing journey, Touray said: “I grew up seeing the negative effects social media, drugs and loss of parents at a young age had on my friends and many other young people in my surrounding and how that had to change their lives to what was not meant for them.”
He said: “drug usage is rampant in today’s societies and most youths use drugs because they think it can remedy their situations but the consequences end up destroying their lives.”
He said he believed good companionship can help people and he wanted to raise awareness on the issue of drug use in society, “because one bad advice can turn a person’s life into a miserable life.”
He explained that he wanted to be a medical doctor after school because he studied science but could not because of financial challenges and it was those obstacles that lead him to writing to inspire and change people’s lives.
Touray said his plan is to move into film making to visualise his writings, adding: “I want to be a filmmaker to influence the lives of youths and be an ambassador for youths to change lives as my writings are just like a therapy.”
He called for support from both government and philanthropies to help him have a youth centre. “I want to have a youth centre which will serve as a therapy for youths. The centres if secured will be of benefit to society, particularly young people; adding that it will also serve as an employment centre for youths in the film making industry.
Touray, however, lamented on financial challenges which he said is the only reason preventing him from launching his book. “I plan to launch the book when I have the financial means,” he explained.
He advised youths to pursue their dreams and work hard to overcome their challenges and also advised his fellow youths to have good companionship and focus on their dreams.