How many Gambian children in the Diaspora know about the Kankurang or Kumpo? Not many!
With the migration of Gambians shooting up comes the tendency of those that are born of Gambian parents abroad not knowing little about their culture.
However, Sulayman Ceesay, a traditional musician and Kankurang performer, is doing his best to introduce Gambian culture and tradition to children in Scandinavia.
Born and raised in Bakoteh, he lives in Sweden.
“I am doing my best to keep the culture alive among our children. They need it!” Sulayman told What’s On-Gambia.
Since his arrival in Sweden, he has taken a strong position to protect Gambian culture from extinction in Gambian communities in Europe.
The Bakoteh-born added: “This summer I was in Stockholm and Oslo to participate in Gambian cultural events. It was amazing! I sang and danced for the children and they were amazed by the beauty and richness of our culture. Most of them took photos with me.”
According to Sulayman, it is important for Gambian communities in the Diaspora to help children learn about and maintain a connection to their culture.
“These connection helps them understand where they come from and to develop a sense of belonging and identity.”
He thanked fellow musician, Gibou Ngum in Norway for encouraging him and supporting his passionate crusade to keep the Gambian culture alive.