I have never been more hopeful and confident about the future of my country, and believe me this isn't wishful optimism. It’s about something more substantial.
I am hopeful not because a political party leader said to President Barrow, “borrow me Gambia for like 90 days, I will do a proper effective impact the whole world will talk about.” nor is it because a sitting president claims to be the "bus driver" and whoever doesn’t support his agenda shall be dropped off the bus..
The true source of my optimism came when I saw a young, energised and hardworking, but also selfless migrant returnee participating in an anti-deportation protest, not because he wants to be given the chance to return back to Europe, but because he doesn’t want thousands more like him to suffer the same ordeal he’s been through. Our government has a solemn obligation not just to protect our rights, but also to safeguard our interest as Gambians both at home and abroad.
I became sad but at the same time hopeful for the future of my country the other day, when an ex-army corporal testified and voluntarily admitted to several gruesome acts of torture and killings, and apologised to the whole country but most importantly to his victim’s families. We expect the government to swiftly act on the recommendations of the TRRC, once their findings are done.
My optimism grows further when I heard a young, eloquent and intelligent female National Assembly Member, whose nomination was purportedly revoked by the president, stood up and took the case to the supreme court and said “this fight isn’t just about me, it’s about moulding our new found democracy to stay here forever." she when further, “the president is testing his powers. We are going to test our democracy and this is the test for all of us”. Indeed, it is!
It grows when I heard a young and dynamic journalist from Brikama who said “Gambia doesn’t need celebrity journalists. What we need now more than ever are investigative but also truthful journalists who will be the voice of the masses".
These selfless people and many more like them should be given the necessary platforms to inspire the nation. Hence, the leadership and those seeking their endorsement and recognition for their selfish interest fail to stand by the truth. Let's remember that our lives truly begin the moment we think more about others than we do about ourselves.