The amount was made available to the National Centre for Arts and Culture by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce (GCCI) to support Gambian artists. The GCCI has just completed a fund raising drive for the business sector to support them in this period of Covid-19 pandemic malaise.
Presenting the cash among the 10 Gambian artists, Hassoum Ceesay, director general of NCAC, said in May 2020 NCAC had requested for assistance from GCCI to support Gambian artists as they were hard hit by the pandemic.
“Gambian artists too were hard hit by the pandemic as performance venues have closed and no artistic programmes could happen during the anti Covid-19 emergency measures.”
Among those that were severely affected are writers, dramatists, musicians, cinematographers, filmmakers, dancers, bookshops, performance venues, equipment hirers.
In response to NCAC’s request, “the GCCI gave D50,000 to Gambian artists and NCAC decided to invite 10 of them including writers, dramatists, filmmakers, folklorists to give them D5,000 each to support them in this trying and frightening times,” DG Ceesay confirmed.
With this amount, he said “though small but expresses the fact that NCAC and its Ministry has the interest of artists in mind always and will continue to pursue all other means to ensure that the weight imposed on Gambian artists by Covid-19 is eased,” he assured them.
Hassoum Ceesay therefore thanked the GCCI’s Chairman and Secretary General for their generous donation, while assuring them that his Centre will continue to encourage artists to join the GCCI as fully fledged members.
Sheik Omar Ceesay, director of literature and performing arts was joined by the beneficiaries to thank the GCCI for the support and applauded NCAC and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for the laudable action taken to support Gambian artists.
Meanwhile, this is just one of several interventions by NCAC and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture to address the plight of artists in the pandemic.