President Jammeh gives D0.5M to Egalitarian
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji
Dr Yahya Jammeh has given a cash amount of D0.5M to Momodou Lamin Bah alias
Egalitarian, a young and promising Gambian musician.
The money was handed over to the beneficiary on behalf of the Gambian leader by the vice president and minister of Women’s Affairs, Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy at a presentation ceremony held Tuesday at State House. The money is earmarked for the release and launching of Egalitarian’s forthcoming solo album entitled ‘Dinkendoo’,a Mandinka word meaning ‘good son’.
Speaking at the ceremony, VP Njie-Saidypointed out that President Jammeh has done a lot in all sectors of the country’s economy and has empowered the youth of the country in various ways. Her words: “In sports, music, and it is not the first time he is giving monies to Gambian artistes. I can’t even count the number of times that His Excellency has extended his helping hands to the musicians since the transition to date. And why he is doing that is basically to assist them in a bid to motivate them and in turn sell the country’s image.”
The vice president further pointed out that one good thing
about music is that when it is good everyone appreciates it, adding that music
enlivens people especially in these stressful days and age. She reminded
Egalitarian that as a musician, he has a role to play in society as they
[musicians] serve as ambassadors and inspire the youth especially aspiring
musicians. She cited the president’s state-of-the-art musical instruments as
something not just for himself, but a move meant to empower the country’s
musicians in a bid to produce best quality music.
She added: “Yes, we lost glories but I would say that Gambia
was the best when we had bands like the Super Eagles, Guellewarr. We don’t want
to go through that way again and suddenly lose it. But we are regaining that
glory again in the Second Republic because the president has given you the
enabling environment and chance to excel and regain our lost glory.”
VP Njie-Saidy then challenged Gambian artistes to take
advantage of the enabling environment provided by the president,while urging
Egalitarian to see the president’s gesture as a challenge. She informed him
about the copyright laws meant to protect artistes and enable them to be paid
their royalties, adding that it was a move by the government to ensure a smooth
ground for musicians. While advising the young people of the country to take
advantage of the enabling environment created by government, VP Njie-Saidy
further challenged musicians to cooperate and work in unison in order to move
the country’s music industry to another level.
On his part, MomodouLamin Bah said he believes in equality and giving and taking as well as supporting the needy. He described President Jammeh as his source of inspiration in his career. “The president is someone who has really made me proud of being a Gambian and African. Because I have travelled to many countries in Africa and Europe and people come to me not because I am Egalitarian but because of President Jammeh’s leadership qualities,” he said.
He opined that Gambians don’t really know the type of leader
they have, adding that outside the shores of The Gambia, people cherish the
president and admire his leadership styles so much to the extent that they want
to have him as their leader in their various countries.
Egalitarian, who is also SOS Children Village Goodwill
ambassador, described the day as joyful, stressing that he wrote his songs for
the Gambian leader based on his love and admiration for him. While expounding
on the various sectors the president has extended his benevolence to, he
equally used the opportunity to thank all Gambians especially women for the
love they have for him.
The minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Fatou Lamin Faye said the president’s gesture was no surprise, as the presidentis someone who wants the best for every Gambian.“He says it all the time and I keep referring to something that he said in an interview on television, that if he had his own way, nobody residing in this country will go to bed hungry. That’s a very touching statement and he lives by it as he demonstrates what he meant by that all the time. Just yesterday, we are talking about the fund he has established to help poor farmers who as a result of poor rains lost their produce during the last cropping season,” she remarked.
Minister Faye further remarked that President Jammeh is
someone who has made all Gambians proud, and prayed that Allah continues to
give him the resources to continue to help Gambians. She commended Egalitarian for coming up with a masterpiece
song, which she described as quite fitting. She then advised him to work harder
and make sure the money is used as ‘seed’ for greater prospect in his music
Also speaking at the occasion, the minister of Interior, Sheriff Gomez, described the donation as significant not only to Egalitarian but for all especially those in the music industry. While calling on him to put the money into good use, Gomez emphasised that it’s high time for young people in the country to engage in enterprising development initiatives.
Author: Sheriff Janko