Balanta Association ‘‘Bijaa Balusna Gijaama” Representatives Meet President Barrow
State House, Banjul, 10th April 2021: The Balanta community in the Gambia Saturday met H.E. President Adama Barrow at State House to seek his support for the advancement of the Balanta culture and heritage in The Gambia. They also declared their support for his government’s development agenda that aims to transform the socio-economic life of all Gambians.
Sulay Jatta, an adviser to the Bijaa Balusna Gijaama Association, said people rely on their language to advance their culture. Speaking in the Balanta language, Jatta said they would want Balanta to be spoken among the other national languages in national issues.
Samba Sarjo, Kemo Sarjo, Mamjarra Jatta, and Yankuba Manneh, the organisation’s president, all expressed similar views, also calling on the President to help in the recognition and advancement of Balanta culture in the country.
President Barrow advised the association and the Balanta community in general to be proud of their culture and promote their language by speaking it to ensure its survival. The President said while it is good to form organizations to promote one’s culture and heritage, the most important is our shared national identity as Gambians. He called on the members to promote citizenship and “Gambianism” for the Gambia’s collective development.
H.E. President Barrow extolled the hard work and honesty of the Balanta people. He cited the example of Sitafa Camara of Mankamang Kunda, who was once appointed Alkalo of the village due to his honesty and hard work. President Barrow told the group that his objective is to build a diverse and inclusive government that represents all Gambians.