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Detroit City Council awards Jaliba Kuyateh

Jun 22, 2012, 3:21 PM

The Detroit City Council in the US state of Michigan recently awarded the king of Gambian Kora Jaliba Kuyateh a Testimonial Resolution during the Detroit leg of his US tour organised by the Gambian Association of Michigan (GAM).

“It is with great pleasure,” states the testimonial, “that we, the members of the Detroit City Council, recognize and bestow homage upon Jaliba Kuyateh, a highly respected Gambian musician.”

The testimonial further states that Jaliba had developed exceptional talent as a child and by using his natural and trained skills early on, he was able to develop mastery of the Kora, a twenty-one stringed African musical tool.

“He eventually gained recognition for his astounding ability to handle the instrument while delivering an equally amazing performance.”

The Detroit City Council also recognizes Jaliba’s contribution to civil society: “Through a career that expanded decades and earned him the great honour of being named Gambia’s UNICEF Ambassador for children of The Gambia, Jaliba Kuyateh has reached a level of phenomenal achievement. Now therefore be it resolved that: Jaliba be awarded this Testimonial Resolution from the Detroit City Council, office of Council member Kwame Kenyatta, in recognition of his many musical accomplishments.”

The City Council President Charles Pugh and the rest of the council members also signed on the award.

 In receiving the award on stage during an interlude in his Detroit show, Jaliba said he was pleased and lost for words about the recognition.

“I am surprised about this; nobody told me this was coming.” He thanked the Detroit City Council for its testimonial on his musical career and the executive committee of the Gambian Association of Michigan for facilitating the award.

“Obviously, Jaliba is our cultural ambassador and any award given in recognition of him should be celebrated,” said Adama Saidy-Ndiaye, vice president of the Gambian Association of Michigan, who presented the award to Jaliba.

Jaliba and his Kumareh band have just finished the first part of their 2012 US tour and will be returning in two weeks from the UK.

Jaliba and his band spent five days in Detroit during which time they mingled with the Gambian community.

At a barbeque organised for them, on the eve of their departure, Jaliba and his band members could be seen mingling with the crowd and taking pictures.