Kanilai international festival will be a success - Organising committee
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
It is barely eight weeks before the much awaited biennial cultural festival, the Kanilai International Festival, a programme initiated by the Gambian leader, Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh.
Conceived and formed in 2001, the idea behind it is to revive and promote the rich culture of Africa. Members of the organising committee of the said festival have expressed total commitment to ensuring a resounding and successful festival this year. The eleven-member committee, headed by Alhagi Momodou Sanyang, director general of The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS), yesterday convened its first meeting at the GRTS building on MDI Road, Kanifing. According to the committee, preparations have begun in earnest in Kanilai, the host village of the festival. Construction works are on the way, aimed at providing conducive accommodation for participants.
In an interview with the Daily Observer, Alhagi Momodou Sanyang said that preparations for the festival are in high gear, promising that this year's festival will register tremendous success. According to him, the committee intends to embark on a massive campaign in all the regions of the country with the aim of sensitising regional governors and other stakeholders about the festival. He revealed that registration for the festival will start on the 27th of May, but that the date for accreditation will be made known in due course.
Sanyang then went on to underscore the significance of reviving and promoting the diverse cultures of the continent, saying that cultural exchanges through such festivals are necessary in the quest to promote unity and understanding amongst the different people of the region.
Momodou Lamin Gibba, managing director of the Gambia Ports Authority, a member of the organising committee, agreed that the upcoming cultural jamboree will register success as the brainchild behind the initiative, President Jammeh, has already taken the lead in supervising the ground work. "We are expecting more people to attend this year's event, and that is why we are working on improving accommodation," he said.
For Honorable Sheriff Abba Sanyang, NAM for Foni Kansala and a member of the committee, the Kanilai International Festival greatly symbolises African unity, as it provides an avenue for cultural exchange amongst Africans. Buttressing Honourable Sanyang's statement, Cornelius Gomez, director of Literature, Performing and Fine Arts at the National Council for Arts and Culture, said that no nation can move forward without putting culture at the forefront of its development agenda. He noted that the president is aware of this, thus the initiation of this brilliant festival.
The creation of such a cultural platform, according to him, only goes to add to the level of tolerance, understanding and peacefulness of not only Gambians, but the entire globe. Gomez further noted that such initiatives also go a long way in boosting the tourism sector.
He urged the masses to view the Kanilai International Festival as not only a national issue, but a sub-regional and global issue, as it attracts people in the diaspora. Ansumana Jammeh, executive director of the Jammeh Foundation for Peace; Sulayman Gassama, and Dominic Jammeh, all described this initiative by the president as a means of not only promoting and enriching our diverse cultural heritage, but also uniting the people of the world.
Author: by Hatab Fadera