Gambians in Minnesota Celebrate the Gambia’s 52nd Independence Anniversary in grand Minnesota style.

Gambians in Minnesota have turned out in their large numbers last Saturday March 4th to mark the country’s 52ND Independence Anniversary celebrations. Organized by the Leadership of the Gambian Association in Minnesota, the event was also attended by Presidents and executive members of sister West African Organizations in Minnesota and among them were, the Presidents of Ghana Association, Edmund Ocansey, Nigerian Association, Grace Mobosi, Mali Association, Musa Diawarra, Senegalese Association, Haddy Haidara accompanied by their executive members and families and representatives of the Minnesota Mandigo Liberian Association and friends of the Gambia. Also in attendance were members and the President of West African Collaborative in Minnesota- WAC-  Lawyer Kwao Amegashie, which is s made up of the leadership of West African national organizations in Minnesota.  Its mission is to bring West African communities and organizations in Minnesota together to collaborate, build capacity, and address shared needs and visions.

The colorful and fun-packed event presented selected children from the community who posed as President, Vice President, cabinet ministers and security services to exactly mimic how official independence anniversaries are celebrated in the Gambia.

In welcoming the guests, Master  of Ceremony, Lamin Gibba, who is also the Secretary General of the Gambia Association in Minnesota encouraged all Gambians to be fully engaged in the political discussions of the Gambia and be prepared to put our leaders to account at all times. New Gambia cannot afford another type of dictatorship; he emphasized, and called for participatory democracy in the new political dispensation.

Speaking to the jubilating crowd immediately after inspecting the guards of honor mounted by children soldiers, Muhammed Fatty who posed as junior president of the Gambia reechoed President Adama Barrow’s independence message that his government will embark on programs that will lead to sustainable development, good governance and fix the issue of youth unemployment. He said crime against Gambians committed in the last twenty-two years will be investigated and people found guilty of crimes will be dealt according to the law. Gambia has changed for good.  Junior President Fatty noted that the people are fully conscious that they can put government in office as well as remove it. No government will ever be able to entrench itself against the will of the Gambian people. This is the lesson we must draw from the change that has been brought by the people.

Lamin Sabally, the President of the Gambian Association in Minnesota called for unity among all Gambians irrespective of their political affiliations and urged the community to continue to support the Association in order for it to fully realize its goals of promoting unity and cohesion. Sabally acknowledged the high-level presence of the presidents of the sister west African organizations in Minnesota  and described it as show of their solidarity with the Gambia as demonstrated by the AU & ECOWAS leaders through their direct effective involvement with the peaceful resolution of the political impasse.

The guest speaker on the event Papa Faal, an author and renowned Civil Rights activist  influentially appealed to Gambians to make their political leaders accountable at all times to prevent them from possessing  absolute political powers that  he said is a recipe of  corruption and dictatorship. Faal, who was part of the botched December 30th attack on State House in an attempt forcibly dislodge former President Jammeh, implored Gambian electorate to elect leaders with three fundamental leadership core values in mind, Integrity, service before self and accountability.  In a moving speech characterized by intermittent rapturous applause from his attentive audience, Faal, who is a US Navy veteran, said the Gambia’s peaceful political resolution, which included regional bodies like AU, and ECOWAS at the forefront of negotiations, with support from the UN and powerful western democracies is an indication that Africans are capable of solving their own problems without having to rely exclusively on western intervention. He suggested that the Gambia module should be replicated in all parts of Africa as an exemplary module to solve any political problem on the continent.

 Assortment of Senegambia musical entertainment was supplied by Minnesota top DJ, Bless Jagne. 

Minnesota Gambian Community Welcomes 2016 In Spectacular Style

By Lamin Sabally

2016 new year celebrations in Minnesota will assuredly go down the memorable lane as one of the most successful events both in terms of attendance, exhibition of women gorgeous dresses, musical entertainment and donations generated, going by testaments given by community members both during and after the annual new year’s eve party.

Organized by the Leadership of the Gambian Association, the annual party was part of grandiose efforts to promote unity through socialization in our community.Both the DJ Bless Jagne and MC Tuta Fatu Jome did a wonderful job of providing high quality assortment of music and galvanizing patty attendees to dance respectively.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.mingam.org/#sigFreeId508b487eaa

In welcoming the quests, Secretary General Lamin Gibba implored all to continue to support the leadership in charge of the Association in the realization of its goals including promting unity and cohesion among Gambians in Minnesota. Reiterating that the Association is non-religious entity and has no political affiliations, but in togetherness and unity of purpose, it was able to send two 40ft containers full of books and medical items to Gambia for distribution to various schools, hospitals and clinics.

Alkali Yaffa, who is the outgoing President, encouraged commumity members who have not yet served in community voluntarism to consider giving it a trial. It takes heart to serve your community and the sacrifice is absolutely necessary, he emphasized.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://www.mingam.org/#sigFreeId4574a5ed4d

Incoming president Lamin Sabally gave a quick summation of some project accomplishments made by the association recently, and included the exclusive funding of 4 burials in MN and intervention in bailing out a community member who was in immigration detention and now facing immigration law violation charges. Last summer, sabally went on; the association also organized a very successful grand community picnic interspersed with kids’ soccer game. Sabally recognized the proliferation of different sub associations in Minnesota as evidence of diversity and noted that despite our minor differences, all can work well with the Gambian Association in pursuance o our shared goals and objectives to promote unity and cohesion as Gambians.

New Elected Executive Members To Take Charge Of The Gambian Association In Minnesota From January 2016 To December 2017

By Lamin Sabally

 

On Saturday November 28, 2015, community of Gambians in Minnesota have congregated at the community mosque to elect new executive members of their association that will take charge of its affairs for another two year term beginning in January 2016. The election was a fulfillment of the Association’s constitutional requirement which mandate the election of a new member every two years. It was managed and supervised by some highly respected members of the Gambian community in Minnesota and included Ebrima Touray, a distinguished corporate Accountant and graduate of the prestigious University of MN Carlson School of Management and also CPA and CMA certified, Seedia Jaiteh, a Master’s degree holder in Criminal Justice Leadership from St. Thomas University and Kawsu Touray, a former English teacher at a famous high school in the Gambia, Nusrat high school and now teaches at the community’s Islamic Education Center. Beside, Kawsu was the main man behind Radio Gambia’s microphones for the Literary Corner program that was successively hosted by some of the Gambia’s most popular broadcasters, including Saul Njie, Bora Mboge and Malick Jeng.

After the election that showed most of the positions unopposed, the incoming executive members are:

Lamin Sabally as President

Karim Dibba as Vice President

Lamin Gibba as Secretary General

Seedia Jaiteh as Assistant Secretary General

Ousman Fanding Dibba as Program Coordinator

Ansumana Jadama as Auditor

Yankuba Fadera as Treasurer

Abdoulie Gassama as Technology and Internet expert

Palamin Jatta as Social Secretary

Bubacarr Bah as Assistant Social Secretary

Awa Wuyeh Sanneh as Community Relations Coordinator

Abdou Wahab Manjang as Assistant Community Relations Coordinator

Fatou Trawalley as Chairwoman

Ramatoulie Ebrima Touray as Assistant Chairwoman

In the subsequent updates, we will provide the pictures of the new leaders and some brief background information on each  elected person's professional experiances, expertise, and skill set that each is uniquely bringing on board to promote cohesion amongst the growing numbers of Gambians in Minnesota. The unyielding pursuit of unity is based on shared objectives and goals as enshrined in the mission and vision of the not-for profit organization and 501c (3) registered entity that has no political and religious affiliations and is absolutely devoid of tribalism, regionalism or any other parochial predispositions.

Gambian Association Ushers In 2015 With a New Year Party

BY: Lamin Sabally- Interim President

On Wednesday,  December 31, 2014, while defying the mildly cold winter weather, Gambians in Minnesota turned out in a fairly good number at the Minnesota National Guard Amory in Bloomington for the Annual New Year Party. The Party was organized and exclusively funded by the Leadership of the Gambian Association as part of its mandate to promote Gambian culture and tradition.

Reigning top DJ Bless Jagne was the magnetic source of a mix of reverberating Senegambian music. The combination of musical choice did attract most of the attendees to showcase their dancing ability. The Master of Ceremony (MC) was Gambia’s renowned actor, Momodou Musa who excellently exhibited his mastery of the microphone by energizing everyone, especially the women to dance to their satisfaction.

The New Year was traditionally welcome at Midnight with toss of non-alcoholic champagne amid slow jammed relaxing and love musical background. Attendees were later treated to assortment of delicious and mouth- watering Senegambian food and beverages.

Jaliba in Minnesota

On November 20th, 2014, Gambia’s Kora maestro and the newly crowned King of Kora, Jaliba Kuyateh made another unforgettable live musical performance in Minnesota at the same venue. This was the 2nd live stage appearance by the Kumareh band in Minnesota, the first one being in 2012 and it was Jaliba’s 4th visit in the cold mid-western state. Sponsored by the Gambian Association, the event was attended by Senegambians and friends of the Gambia, including Americans, Sierra Leoneans, Ghanaians and Liberians, to name just a few.

In a brief remark, the Vice President of the Gambian Association, Lamin Sabally recognized and praised Jaliba and his band’s contribution in promoting Gambia in the world musical map. He thanked Jaliba on his recent crowing as the King of Kora. Alkali Yaffa, the Association’s president thanked everyone for coming out to support the Gambia Association in its promotion of Gambian culture in the diaspora.