Why they call us Toubab? Spanish girl, Manuela writes

Written by Manuela Bojang

Is curious to see how a child who is still learning to talk, the first thing he says when he sees a white person is toubab. Imagine what would happen in the opposite situation?

If in Europe, a child says to a black personblack – it is frowned upon by society and most of the parents would call his attention. However, when this happens in The Gambia, parents don´t say anything to their children. Most of them laugh because they think it´s funny. Clearly, it´s all a matter of education.

The other problem is when these children ask for money from tourists. We must be aware that we are not doing a favor to them- we are encouraging them to beg.

As I said previously, it´s all a matter of education. Parents have to play their role. Teach the children that toubabs can’t solve their problems; they have to work very hard to create a good future for themselves.  In this way, we can get rid of thebumbsters and the tourists will not be overwhelmed by their presence.

During one of my visits, almost two years ago, I witnessed a group of Gambians calling a white boytoubab and it was done with contempt. His guide, a Gambian, was forced to intervene and asked the group:

“Would you like if you go to Europe somebody call you black in that way?”

The white boy was so embarrassed. 

We hope this will change. Some of us, tourists are not comfortable with it.

Manuela Bojang