Politics is intriguing for the simple reason that people disagree on it. They dissent because politics is a dialogue, never a monologue. Sometimes, uncomplicated disagreements can make us feel mental discomfort and bumpy, but it is absolutely alright to disagree on politics. The heated debates and diverse opinions can help you gain a sound understanding of other peoples’ political beliefs and the core of political issues in general. This can only be acquired if you keep an open mind and respectfully listen to the political views of others. However, in The Gambia, it is hard to get people to engage in substantive political dialogue. We often address our points and beliefs in narrow, partisan terms which often befog and obscure rather than clarify our opinions. Our conduct of politics is often accompanied by profanity, lack of clarity, and partisanship. This could be attributed to a lack of exposure and poor reading habits amongst Gambians.

We easily lose our logic and mental strength to control our emotions. Hence leading us to behave in an oddball way. We also lack the emotional intelligence to withstand any kind of heat that might come from the political kitchen. It is not lost on me that sometimes people feel emotions that are triggered by tense conditions and disagreements, but these things should go with civility, even scientists have differing views about politics. Aristotle argues that man is by nature a political animal. Have you ever paused and mulled over something as little and impactful as someone saying “ah man wahuma dara cii politics.”? Folks, you see, man becomes a man by living in a society governed by laws and customs, living in that society is what makes us human. We can only live a good life within a political community, politics determines the environment within which every person will organize his life, and it influences all aspects of human life.

What we can do, what we can say, where we can live, what we can eat and all branches of human activity depend on politics. That is why Aristotle calls political science “The master of science.” With all of that said, do you need further explanation to understand why politics matter to you? Absolutely not!

Political figures like Chancellor Bismarck maintain that politics is not a science but an art, and David Easton contends that politics is an authoritative allocation of values. Machiavelli went on to say in his book, “The Prince”, that politics is about deception and manipulation. Bernard Crick further describes politics as the solution to the problem of order which chooses conciliation rather than violence and coercion.

Some scholars will tell you that politics is, in essence, power. Others will postulate that politics is the activity through which people make, preserve, and amend the general laws under which they live. If you look at politics as an art, government figures like David Easton and Bismarck come to mind. In this context, politics is understood as that which concerns the state. That is to study government and the exercise of authority. However, this offers a highly restrictive view of politics, mostly institutions and activities (business, schools, families) are seen as non-political.

When you see politics as a compromise and consensus you tend to have a more positive attitude towards it. Here politics is seen as a means of resolving conflict by compromise and negotiation rather than using force. It is pillared on the fact that society is characterized by consensus rather than irreconcilable conflict. When you regard politics as public affairs then you tend to provide a distinction between the “Political” and the “Non-Political”, which coincides with the division between an essentially public sphere of life and what can be thought of as a private sphere. The traditional division between the public and private realms conforms to a division between state and civil society. An alternative divide distinguishes between the political and the personal.

The feminist approach advocates that politics should not infringe on personal affairs (family and domestic life). Interesting right? But there is a problem here; where should we cut the red line between the personal and the political? Oh, wait a minute! I just recalled I wanted to talk about The Gambia, so let’s leave that for another day.

Let me put it straight, The Gambian is wicked and Gambian politics is toxic. There is a poisonous political atmosphere in that small country. They hardly debate with remarkable clarity, and they don’t meticulously select detailed examples that would help enhance our understanding. Our politics is marred with personal attacks and besmirching peoples’ images to score cheap political points. Do you need to be reminded of the scandal that revolved around the neck of the former GAP leader? That scandal almost ruined his political career. These folks are now not only targeting political figures but hard-working Gambians as well. Baylen sen hel, aduna amut solo deh. All the Gambian does is bring his fellow Gambians down instead of supporting or uplifting them.

In other countries, they celebrate their brilliant men and women despite their differences. We can agree to disagree with people instead of stooping as low as besmirching their image. Why the cyberbullying? This inhumane activity won’t lead us anywhere. When someone is in the right lane, some envious and impish people will try with all their might to pull him down. This happens in all places in The Gambia, even in our very homes. When you are a rising star at your workplace, your seniors will see you as a threat and want to bring you down. When you try to rectify and educate them with facts, they expose their ignorance and misjudge you. This is a result of a lack of proper “education”. The word education is put in inverted commas because some people are just degree holders but lack the intellectual wisdom to be called educated. Some people are not even degree holders yet they are educated.

The Gambian is lazy. At workplaces, instead of discussing ideas, we will be discussing people. A considerable amount of time is wasted on useless topics, and at the end of the day, no productive work is done to uplift the country in any way. You see, we need attitudinal change because that is the only way forward. How do we expect the country to develop when all we find pleasure in doing is destroying the careers of people who hold the pillars of the nation?

The malicious attack on Fatu Camara is a cowardly act meant to silence her. Fatu camara is a mother who placed her life on the line during Jammeh’s era in the hopes of saving The Gambia. She has sons! Do you understand the damage this could have caused them and her beloved ones? Belie Gambian mor bon rek! Some people know the ones behind these horrendous acts but won’t expose them in the name of friendship or family. There is so much negative energy in our society. We have absolutely nothing to focus on other than destroying our fellow Gambians.

When they say “Gambia du dem” walie it’s true. This country needs prayers and healing. When you want to work in The Gambia it’s always about who you know. Many of our finest brains are wasted because of mediocrity. Those true sons and daughters of The Gambia who want to bring change into the country are not given the chance, and the few who are already in the system and want change are fought against. Gambian bi bugut lu bakh, people who have reached their retirement age are the ones controlling most sectors. They don’t want to leave or give chances to young minds.

The Gambia is not only a sad country but also a country that needs desperate healing. Her soul is broken to pieces by selfish and greedy people. We have different camps in that country. We have the Facebook camp; the intellectual prostitutes; the political opportunists and, so forth. I will just touch on the intellectual prostitutes. The rest will be broken down in part two of this article.

The intellectual prostitutes, as I called them, claim they are educated but exhibit no knowledge whatsoever during national discourses. These are folks who join in political parties to secure jobs. They are frustrated semesters from Cambodia. They have no shame and lack every track record of honesty and integrity. The moment they secure jobs in the government they become ass kissers and when they are fired they harbour hatred against the very government they were supporting. The Gambia is a country where state ministers assault people during rallies and campaigns, a country where votes are cast for mediocrity instead of excellence and people support parties based on tribal line or family line instead of looking into policies and programs.

The Gambia is a country where the clueless people lead and opponents are seen as enemies. A country where those appointed to serve us don’t even know the descriptions of their jobs and the responsibilities it carries. All they care about is their pockets and personal interests. It is indeed a country where thieves in suits are celebrated and the poor masses pay for their crimes. In the end, this is what I have to tell you; Gambia is in the verge of drowning and it is high time we rescued it. Are you ready?

Tha Mastermind is a final year student of International Studies


  • Masanneh FATTY says:

    “The Gambia is not only a sad country but also a country that needs desperate healing. Her soul is broken to pieces by selfish and greedy people. We have different camps in that country.”

    A concerned wordsmith is a lighthouse for humanity! A beacon of hope… I couldn’t be grateful enough for reading this rich, didactic piece that elucidates the status quo of The Gambia.

    This piece is a proposal for the mind, which boldly relates, “let the chips fall where they may”.

    Indeed, the image heinous, and attitudinal change is of paramount importance…

    “Truth is bitter, which is sweet”

    Thank you, Pamz!


    Thank you prof. It gives me pleasure to read such an academically and intellectually grounded comment!

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