Sep 22, 2008, 5:24 AM
their prowess as writers, Writers’ Association of The Gambia (WAG), Saturday
lit up the capital city of Senegal, Dakar, with their gifted talents through
presentations at The Gambia Day.
The Gambia Day is set aside for Gambian writers to mark the International African Writers Day, organized by the Association of Writers of Senegal (AES).
The Writers’ Association of the Gambia was invited to the 27 edition of the International African Writers Day held in KerBirago Bu Bess, Dakar, from 7th to 11th November, by their Senegalese counterpart as Guest of Honour. The Gambia was fully represented attheevent as the country’s Ambassador and Diplomats to Senegal, alongside the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat N.K. Bah joined members of WAG to make the day a reality.
Among audience who witnessed the event were poets, essayists and novelists of Africa (PEN Africa) – one of the oldest Writers’ Association in the world, founded in 1921. Other dignitaries included Alioune Badara Beye – President AES, MoumarGueye – President the PEN Senegal and line of Diplomats. The theme of this year’s celebration was Literature, Citizenship and the Environment.
Mamadi Dampha, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Gambia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture congratulated AES for successfully organizing and hosting the African writers for the past twenty-seven years without break.
While declaring The Gambia Day opening, he commented on the good relationship between the two countries and congratulated Gambian delegates (WAG) to the event and advised them to keep up the momentum.
Dr Cherno Omar Barry, president of WAG thanked the Association of Writers of Senegal (AES) for the recognising and inviting them to the event and honoring them as guest of honour.
Hassoum Ceesay, Director General of National Centre for Arts and Culture, who is also a member of WAG gave an in-depth background of the WAG and its evolution till date. He thanked the organiser and the sponsor of the event; the Congolese writer, Henri Djombo – President of the Union of Writers of the Democratic Republic of Congo for his support to AES.
He equally thanked Gambian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Tourism and Culture for supporting and sponsoring WAG to the weeklong event.
The Gambian writers took over the podium as they dazzled the occasion with their admirable poems and review of some of their published books that arrested the hearts of the audience at the occasion.
As the Gambia Day at the event drew to an end, a book titled Anthology of Senegalese and Gambian Poetry (Anthologie De PoesieSenegalaise Et Gambienne) written in both French and English languages was launched.
The 142-page book published in Dakar is a first stone of the cultural collaboration between the two associations – WAG and AES. It is a combination of great writers from the two countries.
Launching the book, Alioune Badara Beye stated that the Senegalese Gambian Writers Associations have just sealed the unity of essential mutations and fruitful directions in a symbolic atmosphere, engraved in the bark of the thousand year old trees.