Jul 8, 2009, 6:17 AM
Music is one of the most important avenues for expression of the African culture. It plays a big role in every African's daily life. Unfortunately, in The Gambia, there are very little possibilities for musicians to commercially exploit their talent.
The main reason for this is that there are only a few musicians in town whose talents are exposed, both locally and internationally.
It is this predicament that inspired an internationally renowned UK-based Gambian music promoter to initiate a TV show in one of UK's leading television stations BEN TV to showcase Gambian culture and a host of others.
The initiative, the first of its kind, is the brainchild of Gambian-born music impresario Waka Jagne.
It is, among others, expected to give the much-needed fillip to Senegambian culture, traditions, people's achievements, as well as music.
The programme, Talk Senegambia, is geared towards filling the void in Europe as far as the promotion of Gambia music, culture and tourism are concerned.
Aired every Wednesday on BEN TV, the first ethnic TV channel in Europe, the show will also give prominence to developments happening in the Gambia, and help musicians by showing their clips.
Waka Jagne, the man behind and in front of the camera presenting the Senegambian Show, told The Point, in an interview yesterday, that "this is a platform for Gambians to showcase our people by showing to the entire world what our musicians can do".
"This will expose them, and people will know more about Gambian music, its producers and organizers. In actual fact, the TV station shows lots of African artists whose videos are been shown, but Gambians never have this chance. So, I think by showcasing them, it helps to promote our musicians," Jagne added.
According to him, the initiative is the first show of its kind on British television representing the art, lifestyle, business and culture of the Senegambian community in Europe.
The idea, he added, is to promote the country, and help our musicians by showing their video clips.
"This is done because our musicians never had such opportunity. So it is a platform that we Gambians now have in Europe.
For example, we do cover events such as the Eid and all activities that do take place in the UK," Waka stated.
Jagne also revealed plans about a documentary on the Gambia to be done by BEN TV starting in December. The documentary, he noted, is geared towards selling the Gambia with a view to attract investors to come and invest in the country.
"Being a Gambian, and just starting with the TV station, I managed to convince them to come and do a documentary geared towards selling our country, so that we can attract investors to come and invest in the Gambia.
"We have worked with the Ministry of Trade and Ministry of Tourism, and we have taken lots of footages just to show how Gambia is."
Jagne said he also wants to get the negativity that certain people have of The Gambia. "We want to show them that the country is OK, it's stable, there are job prospects and a lot of other developments," he said.
Waka stated that the documentary will show all the developments that the government is doing, and how the Gambia is growing.
"Government is doing its part, and as sons and daughters of the Gambia, we need to also contribute our quota towards nation-building, and the Talk Senegambia will inspire Gambians studying abroad to finish their education and come back to work for their country," he concluded.