Serrekunda: Home for everybody
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
One of the oldest towns in The Gambia that has vastly become a big city to reckon with in the country and in the sub region today is Serrekunda, a city of great history that serves as the capital of Kanifing Municipality Council.
It is a popular city that wherever you are in The Gambia when you mention the name to anybody you will be taken there without qualm. If you like spell the name as Serrekunda and also if you wish spell it Serekunda, all things been equal it is the commercial city of The Gambia.
Banjul, the City of the Light, is the capital city of The Gambia but the development, activities and events ongoing in this city of about half a million inhabitants, Serrekunda, has made it supersedes the rest of the cities in the Gambia. This is because by African standards it is admitted a city hence it is considered the biggest metropolitan in the country; as also as a city that harbours the poor and the rich people with large number of visitors from foreign countries.
As a visitor or tourist to the country, if you have not been to or browse Serrekunda your journey to the Gambia is incomplete because of the historical value, activities and the development in this city situated in one of almost the smallest country in Africa. This vibrant city suburbs are Sukuta, Tallinding, Latrikunda, Dippakunda, Jeshwang, and it expansion is not limited as it smoothly extend to Fajara, Bakoteh, Kololi, Kotu, Kerr Serign amongst other places.
Serrekunda is by no accident the commercial city of The Gambia because it is fast developing. It is in Serrekunda you will find the biggest market in the Gambia which was initially started by few market women selling their horticultural products and sea food like peppers, tomatoes, vegetable, fish, and oyster. There is no other good name for this market than to name it Serrekunda Market. On daily basis people come from different parts of the Gambia to buy and sell; as well neighbouring countrises like Guinea Conakry and Bissau, Senegal, Cape Verde amongst other nations.
When looking for home of activities you have no other place
to go than this heavily overcrowded and bubbling city. There are some numbers
of clubs, hotels, restaurants and bars to enjoy. It is in Serrekunda you will
see different activities and cultural entertainments. Although some of the
events that are constant in the past are not very much constant as they are now
on quarterly or periodical basis.
It is obvious that all government and some private head offices are situated in Banjul but almost all the private businesses and offices, NGOs, merchandises, dealers, local shops and warehouses, are everywhere in Serrekunda. After close of works in other parts of the country the streets are deserted but in Serrekunda it is enjoyment galore till daybreak as the streets are always jam packed 24/7.
Serrekunda is a good sightseeing city as it is early days settlement’s story is very fascinating. In succinct according to Tourisphere fact finding, the origin of this wonderful town now a big city was linked to a brave religious and man of honour known to be Serr Jobe. Following his history, he was an aborigine of a royal family in Kingdom of Wallo in Senegal. S
err Jobe who was believed, according to history, to be the next heir to the helm of Kingdom of Wallo should his father is infirm in body; mind or die migrated far away from thesss Kingdom in Senegal. This is because of one reason or the other as his elder brothers connived to betray the norms and tradition of Wallo land on the concept and pretext that he, Serr Jobe then was too young to handle the affairs of the Kingdom of Wallo after the demised of their father.
His migration from Wallo and far away the borders of his father’s Kingdom was as a result of an advised from his soothsayers. After spending some days and nights he reached a river and that river he reached was said to be River Gambia that he and his followers walked along as they moved from West to East, the river became wider and wider as they got closer to its mouth where it linked the Atlantic Ocean.
History confirmed it that among his followers then are the
mother, sister, and, slaves known to be Bambara and Serahule origins among
others. He has a brief stay in Banjul as he got to meet know people of Sabiji
and Sukuta that promised him more palatial area to settle. As history made us to understand, some ceded areas were
offered Serr Jobe and his followers to settle. Serr Jobe who later passed away
in 1896 after some events and activities was interned at the Serrekunda
cemetery near the primary school as a remembrance by his offspring.
However, before his death he turned to be a big marabou while the original settlement of Serrekunda remains at the centre until the upsurge of people with the rural urban migration after colonial rule. Since then the farmland change to village, and from village town and now a big city that accommodates everyone with irrespective of your background, tribe and ethnic. Today there are lot of popular areas in Serrekunda among them are West Field, Kairaba Avenue, Saffidin, Tipper Garage, Dippakunda, Ebo Town, Serrekunda, Bundung to mention but few.
The environment and the people of Serrekunda are wonderful. Some important places to visit in this city is unlimited as we have the Serrekunda Market itself, different taxi parks, Kairaba Avenue, KMC office, the clubs and different bantabas - meeting places, video clubs, different institutions and embassies, Fajara cementary, craft markets. Cultural activities in Serrekunda include wrestling, egungu – masquerade, christening, kassemboyo – male circumcision, political rally, Islam and Christian feasts.
In Serrekunda, there are lots of social amenities that the inhabitants are enjoying such as good roads, good portable water, electricity power supply, and parks for children, good health facilities.
Author: Yunus Saliu