#Article (Archive)

The "Backway" Syndrome

Oct 1, 2009, 5:57 AM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

John couldn't wait for dawn to overcome the night with its morning dew caressing the place like a mother caressing her baby to sleep. He was waiting all night for the wet earthy smell of the dawn with its ever eminent promise of rain. John was a natural predictor of rain though he never attended school, no geographer or weather forecaster could outsmart him no mistake and all.

Hard knocks raining on his door already found him awake. It was his father, he told himself. He said his prayers and bundled his little belongings and left for outside. His mother was in the kitchen preparing breakfast when he came out.

Being the observant mother she was, she immediately sensed that something was amiss. She carefully placed the "baku" she was stirring the porridge with on the handle of the cooking pot and said, "Dom where are you going?"

John was set for a journey he believed would turn his life for the better. A life full of dreams he had envisaged in his countless dreams. John had planted the seed of the retarded belief that he couldn't make it in the Gambia, not only him, but many of his friends as well.

It was one day at the ghetto when Kebba came flashing his car around. Just like any other Gambian boy who enjoys admiration, he pulled the car over and gave the boys a heart breaking grin. John and the rest were dazzled to see Kebba after all those years wearing bling-blings and smooth snickers. Of course he fed them with the usual story "I made it in Europe" and they answered admiringly with "oohs" and "aahs" all the while yearning for more stories from the white man's land.

Some of them including John later met him at his mansion where he told them the route to the "land of Gold", but little did they know that the streets of Europe weren't paved with gold. He revealed the name of a trafficker who they later paid money to. They were to meet today to embark on a perilous journey to the canary island. How could he begin to explain to his mother that he was about to embark on a journey thousands of aspiring youths like his very self had embarked on?

How could he begin to explain that his intent was to bring back change and development into his family?

Or better still he wants to live independently, free from the shackles of being fed everyday?

Depending on his parents to feed him and his wife to be and of course their grandchildren in the future would entrap him. Beginning to realize that Kebba himself was a ghetto boy like him made him to think twice. Kebba must have sold his manhood to a white woman in the name of Europe. He didn't want to risk his independence for that and besides he had heard many frightening stories about that. He thought twice and told his mother that he was going to wash his clothes. He went back to his house and erased all thoughts of illegal migration from his mind, even if it meant that he had to lose all his hard earned money to the trafficker.

I only wrote this to show to the readers that as youths, we always dream and dream we would till the day of our demise. Bring it on, does not try to judge people. Maybe if we got to lay our problems together on the table and try to sort it out amicably like the dynamic youths we are.  

We all have our personal problems and we all dream and have dreams. We can sometimes solve them, but due to lack of appropriate thinking and weak decisions we take at a later day haunts us very seriously.

I am very much inspired by National Youth Council's program I attended on Illegal migration, and illegal migration is always carried out by youths in Africa.

They believe that they could brave the winds, scary nights, sea sickness, and even cannibalism. One thing that we should all understand is that not all that glitters is gold.