After five years, Sona Jobarteh will return to The Gambia for one night only. Friday night, March 4 Jobarteh will be hosting a gala fundraiser at Coco Ocean Resort and Spa for The Gambia Academy. Jobarteh and students at GA will perform under the stars. This event is sponsored by Africell and The Coco Ocean Resort. For ticket information, call 222 2000.
Sona Jobarteh is a pioneering musical icon for her time whose music is listened to globally. With over 48 million views on Youtube and over 50 million streams on all major music platforms, Sona continues to be one of Gambia’s most famous artists. Born into a Griot family in The Gambia with a long-standing tradition that dates back seven hundred years, Sona is the first female within this tradition to become a professional virtuoso on the Kora. Her music is uniquely poised between the preservation of her rich cultural heritage and an accessible, modern style that relates to the current era and to audiences from all over the world.
At the heart of her success as an artist, Sona is dedicated to being a humanitarian activist. She works on social development and educational reform around the continent of Africa and in 2015 she created The Gambia Academy.
Sona has said, “Inspiring the leaders of tomorrow, that is my dream, and although music is my passion – education is my purpose.”
“We need to critically address the extent to which the current education framework dictates life choices and encourages our young people to think a better future will be found elsewhere.” She added.
Jobarteh believes that current policies set students on a trajectory away from Africa and towards Europe, consequently stunting the growth of African societies. Reforming education will directly address the bigger issue of sustainable development, not just in The Gambia but across the continent.
“Education is the key to changing mindsets and enabling the journey to self-determination and economic self-sustainability,” Jobarteh added.
Jobarteh believes The Gambia Academy is paving the way for a new generation of institutions that harness tradition and culture for social change. While providing the requisite skills, self-confidence, and pride of place that young Africans need to become our leaders of tomorrow.
Initially funded with proceeds from her international tour and album sales, The Gambia Academy is now expanding. Jobarteh is inspired by the success of this pilot program and by students’ quest to effect positive change in our young democracy.
Doors will open at Coco Ocean at 7:00 pm and the performance will start at 8:00 pm. Tickets are GMD 3,500 for an individual ticket (section D), GMD 6,000 for two tickets (section C), GMD 70,000 for a gold table sponsorship which seats 10 (section B) and GMD 80,000 for a platinum table sponsorship which also seats 10 (section A).
All proceeds from ticket sales will be used to support The Gambia Academy, where one-third of all current students are orphans.
“Everything that I do as a musician doesn’t count for anything if I am not able to effect change in the world,” said Jobarteh.