28 June 2010



This post has been submitted by Yankuba SM Ceesay.

On 20th May in year two thousand and ten (20-05-2010) a number of students from IBC (International Business College) had a nation wide tour. This excursion is mainly aimed to meet one of their criteria in one of their modules - there are eight modules taken at IBC, as the lecturers together with the school administration have found it very much vital and essential for the tourism students to know their country well, especially their tourist attractive places and the cultural heritage sites as well their historical places from dates of colonialism until today. Interpretation of the above information is one of the main aims and objectives for conducting this trip in order to achieve a common goal of success.
Basically this is why every year a group of such students goes out for this nation wide tour. We set off from Banjul the capital city, where we took our first crossing to the north bank of the Gambia. From there we droved to Juffreh (Albreda) to the slave house at James Island and we took a wonderful boat trip to the Island, where we found it very interesting and educative about the ways the slave houses were built and also different parts of the slave house. And from the Island we also visited a church and according to the explanation we received it is the oldest church in the sub-African region, and from there we went to a museum too.
After visiting various places in Albreda we headed to Wassu and had a very short visit at the stone circles. It was interesting to see the different types of stones and what they represent, and we were told that some symbolise the graves and houses of ancient chiefs while others represent their worshiping places. This was a very short explanation and we then droved to Janjang Bureh where we spent our first night - we spent it at Armitage SSS which is my former school and I was acting like a tour guide for our team, because I was familiar with all those places including all the tourist attraction sites in Janjang Bureh and the places we visited included the old colonial cemetery, the slave house, the freedom tree and also the old governor's residence. From there we headed towards Bansang and then arrived at Basse, which is regarded as the second capital of the smiling coast of Africa (The Gambia) but it is very far from the capital city Banjul. To visit Basse was very much interesting as most of the students have never been to Basse before, and after the arrival we were directed to take a boat trip towards the Fulladu camp which is an Eco-lodge. Here the river is drinkable water and while on the boat to the camp some of our team members were drinking it and some were washing their faces. Some students along with their lecturer(Mr David Jassey) and me as well took some pictures of people taking shower while some are laundering their clothes and at the same time some are drinking the water – the students find these very much interesting and were very much pleased with the atmosphere at that time of the day . All the students were very much happy to see such a town like Basse with very lovely and friendly people with smiling faces and this part of Basse is something which tourists would not like to miss on their excursions to those parts of the country.
Then, from the Fulladu camp we had a visit to the former colonial masters (British) building of the market and from there to the new market built by the Gambians after gaining their independence from the British in 1965. The market is a place which tourists would like to visit to know the different types of products found in our local markets and they could not afford to miss the market place. While on the market visit we went to visit the immigration department and the police station which are essential to know in case of any emergency.
Furthermore, from the market visit we had a visit to the first Methodist church where the first President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara got married to his wife who is an Aku, and according to the interpreters the wife is a Christian any way at the church is where the marry bride was tight. From the church the student join their vehicle to go to another part of Basse known as Basse Mansajang. At Mansajang we visited a school called Saint George, where we were supposed to spend the night but this was cancelled. due to some miscommunication between our management and the school. We wish to thank Mr Arabatou Badjie who is the principal of the school, who has provided us with accommodation free of charge - he is some one that will always stick in our minds - thank you Mr Badjie for the kind help as we do appreciate so much and our prayers are for you always. And during the night I went with some members of our team went to visit my mum and she was very happy when she saw me and my friends including our lecturer. For me it was the place I enjoyed most in a sense that I met with my family members including those I miss for about 3 years who are my best friends.
The following day we departed from Basse to Tendaba camp via Jarreng, and this was the time when I dropped the PAGEANT letters to one of my friends to distribute them for me. And when we reached Jarreng it was surprising to see the road constructors have reached Jarreng, and that was the time we started experiencing good road. The road from Jarra Soma to Jarreng is now finished and the constructors are fast in their work and I believe before the end of the rainy season they will be very close to Basse.
After our arrival at Tendaba Camp we had a lunch and after the lunch each and every one of us contributed D100 to buy a goat, and during the night time we organised a small party and this was the first place where we had such kind of fun and entertainment and it was very enjoyable. We were not lucky enough to have a boat trip at Tendaba but we have had a long discussion with the camp manager in regard with eco-tourism management, and we really learned a lot from the manager and this will pave our way in improving our educational standard in eco-tourism management.
The second to last place we visited was Kanilai and this was an impromptu visit - it was during the time of the cultural festival in Kanilai and the places were so busy with different types of cultural groups from the different parts of the world who came to attend the festival and due to these occasion other places in Kanilai were restricted including the presidential palace and the animal zoo as well. But the cultural festival was very colourful with lots of entertainment and exhibitions and these last for one month.
Our last visit was to Tumani Tenda eco-tourism camp and this place is unique, differing from other eco-tourism camps we visited in terms of social responsibilities they render to their various communities – see the details below.
Tumani Tenda is a Jolla village with approximately 300 inhabitants living in seven extended families. It is situated 25km east of Brikama and 3km from Kafuta, on a tributary/bolong of the Gambia River. This small village derives its name from a peanut picker, called Tumani, who lived in the area and Tend, which is a Mandinka word meaning riverbank. The founder of the village is called Alhaji Osman, who is a quoranic scholar and he established it about 30 years ago after his immigration from southern Senegal, called Casamance. The community is a religious community and it embraces certain values, notably a sustainable attitude to the natural environment, a socially responsible style of living, respect for the elderly, independence, self-sustainability and a sense of community. The village owns 140 hectares of land, of which 89 are species rich forest that is continually upgraded with seedlings and serves as a pharmacy and natural water reservoir. Plants and other food crops are grown in abundance and include millet, maize, groundnuts, vegetables, herbs and spices, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, mangoes, lemons and many others.
The villagers used local materials to build the accommodation in a sensitive way that suits its environment, the round houses consist of comfortable rooms, decorated and furnished to give an authentic African atmosphere and each hut is designed and built by each of the families. And all the furniture is locally hand made with tie dye materials used as bed sheets, made by the village itself. All the rooms have mosquito nets and lighting facilities, with flush toilets and showers situated behind the accommodation in a separate building. All the waters are clean and fresh and drawn from one of the wells in the village.
The main meeting area consists of a beautifully built hut with a floor of shells and a big mahogany table where everybody sits around for eating and relaxing. And it also includes four hammocks for chilling from the mid day sun as well as a bar where you can request drinks and also where buffet style breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served. The kitchen is located just next to the restaurant area in a separate hut and is where typical delicious dishes are prepared by the women of the village.
According to the explanation from the camp manager regarding ethics and the morals of the village, visitors visiting Tumani Tenda are required to respect the local culture and the following rules are adhered to.
In regard to the Islamic religion visitors are advised not to wear short skirts and short shorts and also swim-wear is not allowed to be worn around the public areas. In other to avoid the bad habit of children begging visitors are requested not to give children sweets, pens, and other gifts. All the gifts or donations should be passed to the village head, the alkalo, or camp manager to be distributed equally within the village.
And also cleaning the environment by avoiding littering on the ground in order to keep the village clean, visitors are encouraged to be respectful of the traditions and hospitality offered by Tumani Tenda and they should act like they are part of the community for the time they spend there.
All the money spent by the visitors at Tumani Tenda goes to the village development fund. And later on the money is used for the development of village facilities, infrastructure and families need within the village. The money derived from the camp is used for the payment of all the village taxes and taking care of any emergency and also buying medicines for the village inhabitants and the other part of the money is used for the payment of children’s school fees and other related issues like projects and the women’s garden too, and it is only village in the Gambia where school fees are free for all the children of the village. I believe this camp is unique from the other eco-tourism camps in the Gambia.
From there we finally drove back home.

13 June 2010


St Mary's College Students meet Banjul Mayor

A group of twenty-eight students from St Mary's College in Maryland, United States, recently made a visit to the Mayor of Banjul City Council, Samba Faal.
In his welcoming remarks, Mayor Samba Faal said that the student exchange programme between the University of the Gambia and St Mary's College in Maryland is one of the best things that has happened to Gambian education.
He stated that many students from the University of the Gambia have been to the United States for studies as part of the programme and have come back to contribute their part to the development of the country.
This, he said, has also immensely helped in fostering a better world view among participants noting that cultural exchange increases tolerance between people and makes them better persons.
The head of the student group Professor Bill Roberts thanked the Mayor for the warm welcome accorded them at such a short notice.
"This is an affirmation of why I have over the years brought students from America to know about the local Gambian culture. They can learn from Gambians how to be more generous. They can learn how to be more friendly" he said.
He added that the visit would not only give the students an opportunity to learn about the Gambian Culture but will also help them to know themselves better.
A Psychology and History student from the college Katelyn McKerlie said that she has had a great experience since she arrived in The Gambia saying "I am grateful for the experience I have had".
For Sam Horrocks, he has been amazed at everybody's willingness to talk to everybody and how less wasteful the citizens are compared to those of his country. He concluded that in the United States people are less friendly and everything is so big and extravagant.
One of the local language instructors of the group Naisatiou Conteh-Jatta said that the group has made tremendous progress in learning to speak the local languages. Learning about other cultures, she continued, will help improve their knowledge about other people and their differences while taking their lives to another level.

11 June 2010



The Nusrat scout association in collaboration with other scout troops in the Kombo St. Mary’s Region recently held an investiture ceremony for ten of its members at the Nusrat school ground. The purpose of the ceremony was to award certificates to their members as well as to officially enlist them in to actual scouting.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr. John Kemokai, director of studies at the Nusrat Management and Accountancy Training Centre, showered praises on the scouts for their hard work, commitment and discipline. He said that scouting is a discipline that plays an enormous role in effecting positive changes in young people. He said that the investiture ceremony will go a long way to inspire more students to join the scouts.

He said that Nusrat School is not only a haven of academic excellence but also champions in terms of other areas like sports, scouting to name a few. He warmly welcomed everyone and said that Nusrat is ever ready to lodge anyone who wants to make progress in his life.

Lamin Ceesay, a representative of the scouts revealed to the gathering that scouting was formed in 1907 by Lord Robert Smith Stevenson Baden Powell. He said that Baden Powell joined the Army when he was 19 and rose to the position of Lieutenant at the age of 26 and by 32 he was already a Major. Ceesay said that the purpose of scouting is to contribute positively to the development of young people. Mr. Ceesay went further to say that a scout is known to be loyal to his community, nation and the world at large and that it is non political but voluntary organization that is open to all without discrimination of colour, origin, race, religion or nationality in accordance with the purpose and principles of the method conceived by the founder.

The invited guest speaker at the ceremony was Lt. Col. Baboucarr Sanyang, commanding officer of Gambia National Guard (GNG) who applauded the efforts of the scouts and advised them to continue working hard and be disciplined. He described discipline as something which is not easy. He urged them to be more tolerant and obedient as it all starts from where you are. Lt. Col. Sanyang told the scouts that he started from where they were and by the grace of God, he is now holding a high rank in the military which is due to hard work, discipline and loyalty. He strongly advised them to work very hard in whatever assignment they are given and, “definitely you will achieve your goals,” he said.

Lt. Col. Sanyang informed the scouts that they have already earned a job for themselves because the army needs such skillful people like them. “So be certificated and whenever we are enrolling people you guys will be duly considered.” He further went on to cite an example in the army that their drum major started his career as a scout. Lt. Col Sanyang reminded them of the President’s promise that the sky is the limit.

Being awarded a certificate means that you have done a very good job and what is most important after all is how to maintain it,” Lt. Col. Sanyang remarked.

Lt. Col. Baboucarr Sanyang finally thanked Nusrat School under the able leadership of Principal Bojang for providing the right education in the most conducive atmosphere to the students for their future. He revealed to the listening audience that Nusrat was the school that he ever wanted to attend but due to conditions beyond his control he could not attend the school, but fortunately his son has attended this great institution and has completed successfully. He thanked the staff for a job well done and urged them to continue the momentum.

Isatou Secka, a former head girl of the school, delivered the vote of thanks and the ceremony was concluded by the singing of the National Anthem by the scout band. It was attended by students of Nusrat and a cross section of the community.


Armitage Senior Secondary School recently held their annual speech and prize giving ceremony at the school grounds in Janjangbureh, CRR. Over two hundred students graduated in the fields of Science, Commerce, Liberal Arts and Basic Technology and prizes were awarded to the deserving students. The prize for the best graduating male student went to Musa Wally and the best female student was Bandeh Bobb.

The guest speaker, Pa Macoumba Njie, managing director of Trust Bank in his eloquent speech noted that Armitage has built an enviable reputation as a citadel of learning, testimony to which is the list of Gambians who have been educated there and gone on to develop great careers in medicine, law, business, politics, banking and the list goes on. He further pointed out that this ‘great bastion of secondary education’ has been able to produce a long list of luminaries who have led exemplary lives and contributed immensely to the development of our great nation.

He said that discipline is paramount in all student activities, by instilling a sense of sacrifice, service above self and a dedication to duty for the benefit of the whole student body. He asserted that every student who has the benefit of attending this great school knows about the unparallel emphasis put on hard work and the pursuit of excellence.

He elucidated that as graduating students, having finished their secondary education, they were now faced with an array of options and the choice they make now may have a lingering impact in their future career direction. He opined that they are facing many challenges, ranging from the difficulty of selecting a career path to sourcing the necessary finances to fund their university education.

The vice principal of Armitage school, Isaac K Koroma in his report said that the 2009 WASSCE results were a great improvement over last year’s results in quality of passes in all subjects and the overall percentage was 74.1 percent. He further revealed that the general school discipline is satisfactory, noting that on striving to reach a desired goal a ‘hold tight’ mechanism which includes guidance and counseling, roll calling and cautionary measures was put in place. He advised the students that now they are stepping outside the gate of Armitage for the turbulent world of bitter sweet with all its attendant trials and tribulations and urged them to bear in mind that it is a different world. “A world that insists on conformity, regular work, new responsibilities and many challenges,” he noted. He commended the ex-students of the school for their humanitarian assistance.



Steve Biko yesterday beat the newly crowned champions of the GFA First Division league Gambia Ports Authority in the final game of the season held at Serekunda West Mini Stadium.

Gambia Ports Authority made a superb start to the game showing why they have been crowned champions as they created numerous chances and camped in their opponent’s goal mouth for sustained spells.

Sulayman Sanyang got a ball over the edge of the penalty box in the 16th minute with little defensive encumbrance to thwart his effort but his shot proved too lame, enabling the goalkeeper to let it peter it out with the minimum of trouble.

Steve Biko got a scare in the 18th minute when Alagie Fatajo released a howitzer that hit the upper frame of the goal post just a little distance out of the penalty yard.

Just before the break in the 34th minute, Sulayman Sanyang managed to get his head to a cross from the midfield which the goal keeper saved.
The second half saw more action from the defending champions as they sought to break the stalemate while their opponents dug deeper into their defense to stave off goals.

Toni Mendy made a successful instinctive move for a cross sent out by Hamza Barry in the 56th minute but a defender came to Steve Biko's rescue and foiled the incursion.

Matarr Ceesay placed a close header over the bar whilst Alagie Fatajo hit the wood work for the second time in the 71st minute. Though Steve Biko Football Club were thoroughly outplayed in both segments of the game a twist of fate helped them to claim the lead when Ports player Bun Gaye inadvertently handled the ball in the penalty box.

Ousman Njie stepped up to the ball in the penalty spot and sent the goal keeper the wrong way, occasioning wild celebrations among Steve Biko fans in the stands.

Steve Biko assistant gaffer Borris Demba noted that he was not surprised at the result achieved by his players because they had trained hard and played the way they have been taught to.

“I am not surprised at the way the team has played. These players have been with us learning how to play football from the academy to the youth team and then the senior team” he said.

He conceded that playing against a team that has won the league is not a rudimentary task but commended his team for concocting a formula to win the encounter. He said that the suspension handed Steve Biko’s Head Coach had not affected them negatively because they all worked together to achieve their aims.

“We all work together to achieve our ambitions. We do not have any differences in the technical group, that is why we are so successful”, he said.
Quizzed on suggestions that his team had favored Bakau United to a one goal win against them to save them from relegation, Demba said that such insinuations were being made by people who do not want his team to go forward.

He said that his team was not favored when they were experiencing difficult times so they will not make favors for any team.


Faye Biran Football Club yesterday thrashed Liverpool Football Club in the Sere Kunda East Nawettan qualifiers staged by the Sere Kunda East Sports Organization.

Faye Biran FC controlled and dictated the pace of play from the very outset coming close to scoring through Kay Kuta Kanyi who shot wide in the 12th minute after a cross.

Alagie Bah came close to helping his team pull ahead in the 16th minute but the goalkeeper made a superb save and quickly dispatched the ball to his players.

The deadlock was broken in the 19th minute when Muhammed Sanyang received a pass at close range and dispatched the ball to the top corner of the net.

Liverpool made efforts to draw themselves level and Modou Touray dribbled his way to the right hand corner of the field near Faye Biram goal post but his cross was intercepted.

Liverpool football club’s efforts finally witnessed fruition in the 55th minute after the resumption of the game in the second half. Ebrima Barrow slotted the ball into the back of the net at close range.

Kay Kuta could have restored the lead for his outfit when he was teed up at a very close distance from the goal but he inexplicably directed the shot at the goal keeper in the 34th minute, causing noise in the crowd.

Armed Forces and former U17 player Buba Sama was sent off for what seemed like a knock on the face of a Liverpool player.

Alagie Bah was on the end of a cross in the 69th minute of the encounter but his effort missed the target but Muhammed Sanyang’s second goal of the game was declared by the referee as off-side seven minutes later.

Liverpool coach Sulayman Badjie said that he was defeated but not disappointed with the score line given the fact that their opponents fielded more experienced players.

He added that some of the players who took to the pitch for Faye Biram FC are plying their trade in the Gambia Football Association first-tier league such as Buba Sama and Alagie Bah.

He added that he was proud of the performance fleshed out by the team despite the obvious advantage against them.

“I am proud of my boys for the way they have played today. We only had a few problems with our defence which allowed our opponents to score goals”.

Faye Biran Football Club gaffer Mbye Camara noted his satisfaction with the way his players have dictated the proceedings of the encounter which handed them a place in the next stage of the qualifiers.

He also weathered questions about their choice of line-up in the game by using first division players. He said that their decision was informed by the fact that Sere Kunda East Zone is one of the toughest when it comes to qualifiers for the Nawettan due to the sheer number of good teams competing.