US Embassy awards Black History Month essay competition winners
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The United States embassy in Banjul, yesterday awarded the winners of the just concluded black history month essay competition.
The award ceremony was held at the embassy complex along Kairaba Avenue in Kanifing. The competition, the second of its kind in The Gambia, was designed to expose young students, mainly from senior secondary schools, to African-American history, and achievements made by African-American.
Twenty-one students participated in this year's competition and the best three essays where selected. Alasan Darboe, a student of Nusrat Senior Secondary School, emerged winner, while Foday Jawo, a student of the Gambia Senior Secondary School and Seedy Njie of Glory Baptist Senior Secondary School booked second and third places respectively.
Speaking at the award ceremony, the US ambassador to the Gambia, Barry L Wells, recalled that in February of this year, the US embassy announced the organisation of a national essay competition for all senior secondary school students in The Gambia in celebration of the US national African-American month - the Black History Month. The objective of the competition, he noted, was to encourage senior secondary school students to read and write about African-American history, with a particular focus on how that history relates to the history of The Gambia. "Each February," ambassador wells went on, "the US celebrates black history month.
This period of the year provides an opportunity to acknowledge the historical, political, social and economic contributions of people of African origin throughout the world." Ambassador also spoke about the history of month with reference to historian Carter G Woodson as the founder. Speaking to journalists shortly after the programme, Momodou Jeng, director of Standard and Quality for Lower Education, described the competition as a better way of exposing the talents and skills of the students. He seized the opportunity to advise students to be committed to education and to always read.
For his part, Alsana Darboe expressed delight over the award. He called on his fellow students to continue reading hard and "one day they may also be lucky."
Author: by Gibairu Janneh