Jaliba Kuyateh of Brikama, the well-known kora player and leader of the Kumareh Band of Brikama has been designated "Man of the Year 2009" by the Gambia News and Report weekly magazine, the first musician to receive the award.
In a letter conveying the news to Jaliba Kuyateh, Swaebou Conateh of the Dippakunda-based Gambia Communication Agency and Baroueli Enterprises, the publishers of "The News and Report" weekly magazine stated that his selection was because of the way he has, with a modern education background, developed his own brand of the music of the kora to a level never known for this brand of music, standing out as the most innovative, the most creative and fascinating for this instrument in today's
Been known to perform the rare feat of signing and playing the kora simultaneously, and can be acrobatic while playing the instrument, sometimes even using his teeth or leaning all the way down as he plays it, and that watching him in action is a spectacle one cannot easily forget: “with your overwhelming stage presence, you flawless swing around, jump up and down and dance rhythmically while at all times in full control of the kora as you play it.'
Put his prolific output as a musician towards espousing, cultural values through populst songs reprete with words of wisdom and guidance as well as progressive causes - for national unity and development, such as women's affairs, education, health, gender empowerment and the environment.
Attained high regard in both official, non-and international circles; "andwe believe you have become the nation's musical voice and now first in national terms. Over the years, you have also endeared yourself to audience in various parts of the sub-region, as well as in Europe, Asia and
Despite his crowned schedule and the popular demand for him and the Kumareh Band, he still remains the most available player in The Gambia today, continuing to support many worthy causes as he plays to audiences in school halls, cinema halls, village gatherings, stadiums, playgrounds and wrestling arenas, and charging very minimal fee or virtually nothing for a performance.
Consequently, the management of "The Gambia News and Report" is satisfied that he has met the following criteria for selecting "Man of the Year" -
1 - The person selected must be someone who, throughhis/her work, profession or personal endeavour, is judged to have contributed the most to the public welfare and to advancing the country's development in the interest of all Gambians
2 - He or she must have contributed significantly in enhancing in a direct and tangible form, the social and economic status of Gambians as a whole.
3 - He or she would have put in place for posterity facilities and or infrastructures and other achievements that can serve as lasting memorial of his/ her contributions to national development.
The letter further states that the managementof "The Gambia News and Report" istherefore satisfied that Jaliba Kuyateh has met the criteria set out have already:
1. won many awards and honours including the UNICEF Ambassador for children, and the Panafest (Pan African Festival) Award as well asthe award received from the Senegalese First Lady, Madam Vivian Wade, as Musical Ambassador.
2. Through the years, you have travelled far and wide to meet your many fans in the
On your choice as Gambia's UNICEF Ambassador for Children, you stated that you felt "very proud and glad to be UNICEF Ambassador,“ and promised that you would continue to fulfill your "obligations to the children of the Gambia and the entire world."
The letter adds that, in view of that fact:
1. Your case also illustrates possibilities for individualcitizens who care enough about their country and points to the importance of individual strength of character and high principles.
2. You have shown, by conduct and example, a high level of personal sacrifice, scholarly discipline, management and other skills,
3. By so doing, you have reserved to yourself to high regard and admiration which won to your side the unreserved applause of many Gambians.
And since we believe that, like some other prominent leaders of the past, your story will remain for Gambians an important example of good leadership, to serve as a point of reference in terms of services to the nation, we take this opportunity to salute you for what you have been able to achieve in the annals of our country's history. We know your courage, sacrifice, steadfastness and highly commendable contribution are bound to remain a source of inspiration and exemplary conduct to our citizens now and generations unborn. "The management of "The News And Report" weekly magazine being thus satisfied that you have met the requirements to designated and magazine's Man of the Year 2009, now congratulate you most heartly on your selection and designation. Congratulations on your well merited recognition.