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UK couple denounce western media Ebola reports on West Africa

Nov 13, 2014, 10:46 AM | Article By: Abdou Rahman Sallah

Kenneth and Jacynth Ivey, UK couple who came to The Gambia purposely to do their wedding, have denounced western media reports of stigmatizing West Africa and tarring the whole continent with the same brush of being epicenter of the Ebola disease.

The couple made these remarks at a press briefing held at Senegambia Beach Hotel in Kololi after successfully conducting their wedding ceremony in The Gambia.

The bridegroom said:“I give you my personal view and views that is shared by a lot of my friends that we sat down trying to evaluate all these news about Ebola disease in West Africa by western media. We wonder where it came from; it was sudden just like the Aids virus but we cameto the conclusion that surely something could not emerge fromnowhere, it must have origin and we believe that it is man-made thing.

“We surely believe that the Ebola crisis was a man-made thing, from who or what country is from I am not sure but surely not from Africa and it is here to destroy the image yet again of our African heritage,” he added.

“We came to Gambia, which is in West Africa, and we have seen no sickness or disease contrary to what the western media is portraying.

The Gambia is very welcoming country; it reminds me of Jamaica in so many ways. The people are friendly and when they hug you they say welcome home. This is an experience that I would never forget and I will encourage people to visit The Gambia - Smiling Coast of Africa.

“My message is this: if you are wondering where to spend your holiday please visit The Gambia land of peace with nice people, beautiful sandy beaches and sunlight. Come to The Gambia; it is the only place to be and is an Ebola-free country.”

For her part, Jacynth Ivey said one of the reasons they chose to come The Gambia to do their wedding is because they feel they are Gambian and African, and coming to The Gambia means coming back home.

She said: “We want a country that represents our background, our roots united. I was born in England and my husband was born in Jamaica; we visit Jamaica frequently we want something with more special connection because it’s such a special event.

The Gambia has surpassed our expectations and dreams, it was fantastic when we touched down from the plane and when people say welcome home and we have a warm feeling in our hearts. The people are warm and friendly, the country is beautiful; we have had everything we needed. All our guests say they are coming back next year.

Boubacarr Cham, General Manager of City Limits Radio, in his remarks, said the event attracted a lot of delegates from the UK who have spent at least a week in The Gambia, which means they invested a lot of money during their stay in the country.

He said he was optimistic that the delegate would encourage others to come to The Gambia to see for themselves the beauty of the country.

He opined that such good things about The Gambia or African continent have never been shown out by western media to the wider world.

“This is about giving the other side of Africa that has not been shown out by western media,” he said.

He challenges African media practitioners to see Africa as theirs and fight against western stigmatization of the continent as a sick, poor, conflict and underdeveloped continent; by portraying our beautiful continent and all the good things in it negatively.