“Let the youth prepare for the future so that you will not be blaming anybody tomorrow. You can live a dignified and an honorable life. That’s what we wish our youth and I think they gona make it from what I’m seeing." Echoed Mr Faye.
Every year, Gambians around the world join their families and loved ones in the Washington DC, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland area to celebrate the African liberation day. Annually organized by the Gambian American Association (G.A.A) on the Memorial Day weekend, this event usually attracts thousands of Gambians and friends of The Gambia from around the world. Gambian companies targeting the Gambians in the diaspora normally serve as sponsors to the event and often send a delegation to attend the weekend long festivities.
In an interview with the Social Secretary of G.A.A Alhagie Saihou Jagne a.k.a Alhagie Nyohor on the Gambian Talents Radio Show, Nyohorr said “this year’s ALD is one with a difference. As usual, it started with a cultural night on Friday May 23rd 2014. Both men and women dressed in their colorful “wax Asubi”. Entertainment was provided by different cultural groups representing the different tribes in The Gambia. There was hunting, “Sewruba” and “manyi bito”, “sabarr” and “sambasoho” and “Ndawrabin” lead by the Gambian “ndanan” Ajie Chuch Njie all the way from Gambia. It was attended by representatives of the Gambian Embassy in the US on behalf of the Gambian Ambassador and other high ranking personalities including the marketing manager of Trust Bank Gambia limited Mr. Dodou Nyang and other businesses and the media.
Saturday started with a knockout of soccer games (The 2014 Saul Samba Memorial Tournament) and the teams that participated were Washington DC, North Carolina, Atlanta, Ohio, Dallas and the other West African nations Senegal, Cameroon and Sierra Leone. Saturday night went down with a red and black affair and everyone was dressed fly and had a lot of fun.
Sunday was the last day and it started with the soccer games in the morning and the finals were played in the evening at the grand picnic. The Atlanta Gambian team and North Carolina team went to the finals but Atlanta won as the champions of the 2014 Saul Samba Memorial Tournament. This was the family get together and a lot of entertainment was provided by the traditional groups that performed at the cultural night on Friday. The Sunday picnic is usually everyone’s favorite as it was attended by the Deputy Ambassador of The Gambian to the US Mr. Omar Faye who did the kick off for the soccer finals.
In an interview with our reporter after the events, Mr faye took the opportunity to congratulate the ALD committee for a job well done. “ I wish them well. They are young people and they are doing fabulous jobs.” When asked how he felt as the man in charge of the Affairs of Gambians in the US seeing his people come together in such an event, Mr. Faye said he was proud and touched “when I saw young Gambians male and female converge and thinking about the future for Gambia. “ I was touched and I prayed in my heart and I prayed for all of them that this is what the Gambia deserves and we have to move forward in unison. We have to be together for the Gambia, for our children, for their children.” When asked which of the events he enjoyed the most”. Mr. Faye said “I took the kickoff, you know I played soccer also in the past, I was touched seeing all the former St Augustine’s stars, Gambia High School, Muslim High School, Nusrat, all high schools, Armitage. These are the old folks we used to play with in the 70s and the 80s and these are the same people I found at the field. He added that “When I also went in the evening, I saw some young Gambians rapping like Sizzla and Mutabaruka or Bob Marley or Peter Toss. I don’t know men; everything was good they are very talented. With little fine tuning, The Gambia will still be high up there. I think I enjoyed both of them.” He closed with a solidarity statement urging Gambians to come together as one and develop our nation as dignified honorable Gambians. “Let the youth prepare for the future so that you will not be blaming anybody tomorrow. You can live a dignified and an honorable life. That’s what we wish our youth and I think they gona make it from what I’m seeing. Echoed Mr Faye.
Also in attendance were grandmas/grandpas, young and old couples, middle age men and women and kids who could not go to the night parties. A lot of food that the Gambians in the US rarely have access to were available for sale such as ebbeh, nyambeh nyebeh and fried fish, olele, fish pie, neny ngunja, pange etc. The best part was when people walked around meeting and interacting with old time family and friends they have not seen for years and buying their favorite food which they might not have also eaten for years. The Atlanta Scorpions were crowned as the winners of the 2014 ALD Soccer tournament.
By the end of the picnic, everyone got really tired but a good number of the audience just went home or to their hotels just to change their clothes and headed back out to the farewell party which was the last activity and closing ceremony for the 2014 ALD Celebrations. There was a fashion show and performance by The US base Gambian Rapper Ooz who according to Fatou Camara of the Fatu Show did an “Excellent performance”. According to Alhagie Nyohor, “this year’s ALD is pre-celebrated because of the Ramadan. It is usually celebrated on the Memorial Day weekend and since today is Memorial Day, it should have been next weekend. We thank everybody who came to the events, especially our sponsors. We could not have done it without them. Bravo to the ALD committee for a job well done.” Concluded Nyohorr.
The next big event for the Gambians in the US is July 4th in Atlanta which will also be pre-celebrated 2 weekends before the July 4th. It is scheduled for June 20th to the 22nd 2014 and we hope to bring you a full coverage of the July 4th.
Click on this link below to listen to our full interview with the Deputy Ambassador of The Gambia to the US Mr Sheikh Omar Faye.