Mar 8, 2011, 2:17 PM
In his speech, Sanneh explained to the audience the procedure that authors needed to follow to have their books reviewed by a panel of book reviewers at the ministry for approval for schools. He commended Mr. Mamburay for painstakingly following the required procedure, which has culminated in the approval of two of his books for senior secondary schools. He noted that the number of Gambian books in Gambian classrooms has increased astronomically, since the year 2003.
Professor Kah expressed his delight in witnessing the launching of two books of one of the university staff. He said he is proud of Mr. Mamburay.
“Anybody who sits through long nights, hunchback, to write and express his thoughts on paper until it becomes a book, should be commended”, he said, and encouraged the audience to develop the culture of using their intellectual creative faculties to write.
Kah noted that in an intellectual institution like the University of The Gambia, writing should be ongoing. He further encouraged all to do one of the three to support the author, Mr. Mamburay, as expressed in the online UTG forum: Buy Mr. Mamburay’s books; Read Mr. Mamburay’s books, and/or Buy and donate Mr. Mamburay’s books.
Next to speak at the launching was Mr. Mbye who informed the crowd that Mr. Mamburay has already donated two of each of his books to the Gambia National Library.
He thanked Mr. Mamburay, and urged all to emulate. He too encouraged a culture of reading in every home, beginning with the early childhood stage. He also urged all to make the library their friend.
Barrister Lamin S. Camara joked that Mr. Kurang, who spoke earlier, told people a lot about Yankuba Mamburay, but that he had forgotten some details here and there. Just like Mr. Kurang, noted Camara, he studied in Malaysia together with Yankuba Mamburay. He told the crowd the kind of Malaysian food called Teluk Bunkus that Yankuba enticed him to try, which he ended up loving dearly. Camara told the crowd that he was not surprised by Yankuba’s successful authoring of three books.
“One day, while sitting under a twelve story building at the university campus in Malaysia, I saw Yankuba suddenly withdrew from the crowd, and saw him in deep thought. I asked what the matter was. Yankuba responded that he thought he could graduate in two more semesters. He did this, and that is why he graduated in three and half years, and left his colleagues behind. Immediately after graduating, he left Malaysia and returned home. That is the kind of character that this author has; a dedicated and hardworking young man”
The event was chaired by Alhaji Mamadi Kurang, the proprietor of Jollof Tutors, who informed the crowd that he met Yankuba in high school, at Saint Augustine’s High School, in 1984. Mr. Kurang noted that he did his GCE O’ and GCE A’ levels with Mr. Mamburay, and the two flew together to pursue their bachelor’s degrees in Kuala Lumpur. While studying in Malaysia, the two traveled to several countries together. After returning from abroad, the two of them taught together at St. Augustine’s High School and subsequently worked together at the Arab Gambian Islamic Bank. If he said all he knew about the author, he would end up writing another book, Kurang told the audience.
When it came to the author’s turn, Mamburay started by thanking Allah the Almighty Lord, his parents, his wife of 15 years, Bintou, his colleagues and all those who have been supporting his efforts from the very beginning; from the Gambia, USA, Asia, Europe and the wider world. He also expressed his gratitude to those who managed to come to the book launching, despite the day being “Yawm Al A’Shura”. He said he has authored three books, but was launching two today. The two books are:
1.The Search for a Lost Brother
This is a true, non-fiction story, narrated by the author, about a brother who traveled before the birth of the author.The family, after several years, came to know that the brother was in the war-torn country, Liberia. During the war, Mr. Mamburay embarked on a journey to look for his brother and was apprehended by Charles Taylor’s troops at gunpoint. It is the story of a Gambian family.
2.The Mysterious Odyssey of a Village Boy
This is a mystery book that spans over four decades of the life of a little boy who mysteriously found himself in a strange world, in a web bigger than himself. He was brought up in the most brutal and inhumane condition which helped build in him the spirit of a great man. The boy had to spend his entire life trying to find out why he was in the situation that he found himself in. He (and readers) would be surprised by the turn of circumstances and what human beings can do to turn things around.
An emotional moment came when Mamburay called Demba the Lost Brother’s family one by one, including Demba’s wife of forty years and six of the children present. Mamburay introduced them by name and told the audience their devastating experience during the Liberian civil war, and how they escaped the war. “That is why what I wrote is a real, non-fiction story,” he concluded.
Dr. Pierre Gomez, the Dean of Arts and Sciences at the UTG, and Abdou Karim Kamara, head of department, read and reviewed excerpts from the two books.
VC Prof Kah pledged on behalf of UTG to buy 30 books (15 of each book) to be spread among the libraries at the Schools of Arts and Science, ICT and Education at Brikama, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Medicine,Law Faculty and Faraba Banta Campus. Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) pledged to purchase 125 books and Takaful Insurance Company Ltd. purchased eight books. The program was closed with prayers.