Marrbantang Festival launched

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Dankunku Marrbantang Development Association – DAMDA in collaboration with the National Center for Arts and Culture on Friday launched the 10th Edition of the Marrbantang Festival, Dankunku slated for 7th to 9th December 2018 in Dankunku village.

Marrbantang Festival is organised by the DAMDA – a non-profitable youth organisation of Dankunku village with the aim of fostering socio-economic development in the Niamina Dankunku District and its surrounding communities.

Prior to the launch of the 10th edition of the festival, Baba Ceesay, director general of the National Centre for Arts and Culture stated that the support to various festivals by the ministry and the center is espoused in the cultural policy of the country due to the importance of festivals which serve as unifying force in society irrespective of ethnic, religious or other sectional affiliations.

As a custodian of heritages, DG Ceesay expressed the center’s delight to associate with the Dankunku’s popular and successful Marrbantang festival as it is not only meant for singing and dancing alone, but visiting heritage sites among other activities.

He therefore urged the general public, philanthropists, government and private institutions to support this and other Gambia festivals as they unfold.

Launching the festival on behalf of the Dankunku Development Association at the NCAC premises in Banjul, the King of Kora and Gambia Tourism Goodwill Ambassador, Jaliba Kuyateh gave an in-depth background of Dankunku and its people. He said the village in the good olden days was known for its rice production, hunting and traditional music in which people like late Abdou Saidykhan had his name engrained in the history of hunting in The Gambia; the mysterious Maye Mboge who is widely believed to be at Mbulumanoto Island and Wandifeng Jobarteh, a Kora legend who taught Lalo Kebba Drammeh kora and also the illustrious son of Dankunku, Jaliba Kuyateh whose contribution to cultural revival cannot be overemphasised.

Among other things, he said Dankunku and its surroundings also have a lot of tourist attractions with its wonderful islands, landscape and bird species. He noted that since the inception of DAMDA, the association recognises culture as an important unifier of its people and thus continues to accord high priority to it by organising cultural festivals in Dankunku in partnership with the people of Niamina.

He thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and its allied institutions for their financial and technical contributions towards the festival. He disclosed some of the outlined activities for this year’s edition, which will include wonderful display of masquerades – four types of ‘Kankurang,’ ‘Maamo,’ traditional dancing and wrestling, a six hours birth place performance by Jaliba Kuyateh and Kumareh Band.

Author: Yunus S Saliu