Jul 26, 2013, 10:32 AM
(Issue, Friday 27 March 2015)
The University of The Gambia in collaboration with the Gambia College Thursday commemorated the 7th Gambia Literature Day, an occasion which also saw the awarding of two Gambian women for their achievements in literature in the country.
The event, which took place at the university’s Law Faculty building, brought together academics, students and Gambian writers under the theme: “Literature for Sustainable Development: Pioneering Women Playwrights”.
The day was set aside to look into and celebrate the work of Gambian writers, both at home and abroad.
This year witnessed the honouring of two Gambian women, who had made an immense contribution to Gambian Literature, Janet Badjan-Young, and the late Hannah Augusta Jawara.
In his keynote address, UTG Vice Chancellor Muhammadou O. Kah said literature is indeed a tool in which development could be realised.
Literature has contributed greatly in the development of the university, he said, encouraging young people to take up literature as a tool for development.
He said everyone has a part to play in literature, hence young people should try to adopt the habit of reading widely, which would greatly help.
He also encouraged people to give support to upcoming writers, as they need resources to grow their talents, adding that he is optimistic about the future of Gambian literature.
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology, Omar Barry, also highlighted the importance of literature and how women have contributed to producing works of literature.
He commended those honoured, and declared his ministry’s support to future book publication by the university.
The president of the Association of Gambian Writers, Almami Taal, also expressed the importance of literature, and expressed the hope that in the near future literature would be done in the country’s local languages.
He said literature could be used to portray the real image of Africa, and not the rear scenes of war, crimes and many evils which the continent had suffered.
Expressing heartfelt thanks for being honoured, Mrs Janet Badjan-Young said she was indeed grateful for receiving such an award.
She added that literature has played many important roles in society, and it has also started off many activisms, which are today achieved through hard work.
She said The Gambia could also use literature to change so many things in society.
Dawda Kairaba Jawara Jr, representing his mother, the late Hannah Augusta Jawara, also exphasised the important role literature plays in society. He as well declared his readiness to support the university in its future engagements in literature.
The occasion also included an exhibition of books written by Gambians, as the University of the Gambia joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Theatre Day and Gambian and international drama on UNESCO’s World Theatre Day.
Dramatic performances also took place by playwrights from six countries.