In The Gambia new musicians surface almost every day. Some of them are only interested in the fame, travel opportunities and girls; some of them are meant to stay like reggae star, Dr. Olugander a.k.a Abukpapa.
The Faji Kunda - born singer, rose to popularity when his second album Little Gambia hit the top of the local chart. In 2007, he was declared the Best Reggae Musician by the Njawara Youth & Sports Association. Nominated for different awards, Olugander still remains as one of the dominant forces in the Gambian music arena.
Following a successful Welcome Back Home concert at the Serre Kunda East mini-stadium, the Little Gambia singer is now warming up for a nationwide tour that will take him to Barra, Farafeni, Jarra, Bansang, Basse, Sibanor, Kanilai and Bakadaji. Our man, Alieu Khan visited him at his Nema Kunku residence for an exclusive interview:
â€œI recently donated D10, 000 to the Gambian School for the Blind and now Iâ€™m a Goodwill Ambassador for The Gambian Organization for the Visually Impaired (GOVI). Thatâ€™s a big honor and I will do everything possible to continue supporting the blind people of this country,â€ disclosed a delighted Olugander.
The reggae singer, is known for his enormous amounts of philanthropist works. Recently, he launched his own foundation called Ganderâ€™s Production Foundation.
He said: â€œAs the saying goes â€“ who feels it, knows it. I know how poor people feel, because Iâ€™m from the ghetto. I believe in sharing and thatâ€™s why the motto for my foundation is Each One, Support One.â€
Feud with Singateh
In the maiden edition of Whatâ€™s On â€“Gambia, Singateh said this about his feud with Olugander: â€œI personally donâ€™t have any problem with Olugander. We are two different artists with different styles. I know most of the artists feel insecure when it comes to Singateh. They always wonder why people think Iâ€™m the best and why I get the best reception when we meet on shows. I think this is where the misunderstanding started between me and Olugander.
â€œI heard lot of stuffs he said and for me I will never confront him. I will just keep doing my thing and remain a mystery to him.â€
Responding to Singateh, 31- year old Olugander told Whatâ€™s On-Gambia that he harbours no ill-feeling towards his fellow musicians. â€œI see Singateh as a brother and I have nothing against him and itâ€™s the same for all the other Gambian artists.â€
He refused to comment further on the existing feud.
For more than a year, Dr. Olugander is yet to drop a new single. Some music fans have already started speculating that heâ€™s on the verge of retiring from active music. He responded by saying: â€œBefore I returned to The Gambia, I was featured in different compilations in Germany. The two most popular are the Vibes Rhythm and the Rebel Rhythm and both compilations are the brain child of the Cologne Reggae Connection.
â€œMy music is now promoted in Brazil and Argentina and hopefully other Latin American countries will be added to the list.â€
Olugander will soon embark on a nationwide tour. All the ventures are now confirmed and the promotion is in full gear. The tour will start in Barra and according to him part of the money generated from ticket sales will be donated to the Faji Kunda Hospital.
The artists travelling with him are: Jnr. Gander, Shepard, Jimmy Marley and King Pata and few others.
In addition to his nationwide tour, Olugander is also busy working on a new album. According to him, the album will be launched in The Gambia. His message to his fans is. â€œIâ€™m coming soon with something sick. Follow me on Facebook and get all the updates. The album is in the making and youâ€™ll all love it.â€
The Faji Kunda singer always has opinions, but when he was asked about the current situation of the Gambia music industry he surprisingly struggled to provide an answer.
â€œI canâ€™t talk much about it because Iâ€™ve been away. But I think they are trying.â€