a long hiatus, The Gambia is now ready for a National Troupe, with the recent
inauguration of a technical committee to advice on the formation of a new
Gambia National Troupe.
The news was greeted with euphoria, as national band de ensemble as also known plays, a crucial role in promoting national cultures and traditions.
The Gambia, according to sources, has had two previous national troupes; the first was established in 1974 during the then PPP government. The troupe boosts of best the brightest talents in The Gambian music and song at the time. In their songs, they portray emerging issues and composed rich cultural melodies, some of which are still national archives.
This troupe exhibited the best and brightest aspects of Gambian dance and music here and overseas.
The advent of the Second Republic in 1994 also saw the formation in the AFPRC regime, but could not survive the taste of time due to one reasons or the other.
Coming at a crucial time of the country’s reconciliation era, many are of the view that the formation of a National Troupe would help a great deal in healing old wounds accumulated over the 22 years under the former regime, thereby promoting diversity through unity.
For Hamat NK BAH, the minister of Tourism and Culture, the move could not have come at a better time than now. He described the formation of a national troupe as important in promoting the country’s cultural image and identity.
The Tourism Minister accused the previous government of what he called “ethnic patronage” and challenged the technical advisory committee to look after the national troupe that current government deems necessary for many reasons.
“There is no doubt that a national troupe that brings together our diverse ethnicities to showcase the rich cultural heritage of our people, could serve as a much-needed inspiration for the country to come together in this politically polarized time,” he said.
He enjoined member of the Technical Advisory Committee to do more consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, and the need to have a national troupe that takes into account talents from all the ethnic groups of the country.