Friday, March 19, 2010

Jaliba Kuyateh Salutes Swaebou Conateh

NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)- “I am really proud of the award, Mr. Conateh and his management, and whole the media fraternity”, Jaliba Kuyateh declared, in an interview with News and Report Magazine on his Man of the Year 2009 award. The interview was held at his Brikama residence on 5 January 2010.
Sitting with his wife, Amie Susso-Kuyateh, the Gambian “King of Kora” said he is proud of the award and extended his profound gratitude to the Publisher of News and Report Magazine, Swaebou Konateh, for designating him “Man of the Year 2009”.
“I’m really happy, where I am, I don’t even know the best words to use in expressing my happiness about the award”. He added: “At first, when I read about the award in the print media and heard it over the electronic media, I thought it was a joke, because I was not expecting it at all, as a musician. I am really grateful to Conateh and the management”. Laughing loudly, Jaliba said he initially thought the award was given by one of “the organisations or associations that normally adopted me as their father”, but soon realised that this was not the case. “Honestly, am grateful about the award”, he repeated.
According to the Gambian kora, he was not aware that the news media was keeping track of his records and performance, “on the whole the media is monitoring my affairs, more especially on development issues”.
“I thought nowadays the media is not even aware of Jaliba, but am wrong, as this award proves”.
Commenting on his music career, Jaliba said he has performed in many countries including the USA, Sweden, Germany, France, Norway, Italy, Spain, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, just to name few. He added that in Guinea Bissau, he is received like a head of state whenever he landed there.
In Guinea Bissau, he was awarded a brand new vehicle and a diplomatic passport with his wife Amie Susso-Kuyateh, Jaliba Kuyateh revealed.
He described the News and Report award as a breakthrough for him in The Gambia, but pointed out that he had received many other awards in Africa, USA and Europe, including recognition from UN agencies.
Concerning his relationship with the media, Jaliba described it as “cordial”, adding that his doors are always open for interviews. He called on journalists to see him as “their friend”.
His message to the media is that, “they should report in the interest of the public, and give correct accurate, balance and fair stories in their newspapers and magazines, and ditto for the electronic”. He saluted the efforts of the media in national development, and as the fourth estate.
Journalists, Jaliba said, are the voice of the voiceless. Their primary duty is to inform, educate and entertain the public”. He said his own duty is “to entertain and communicate through music with the public”, adding, “music is my life career”.
Concerning his relationship with fellow musicians, Jaliba said it is cordial, and promised to be giving continuous support to the music industry in the country. “My doors are open to all Gambian and non-Gambian musicians”, announcing that “in recent days the association of female musicians The Gambia has brought colanut” to him to adopt him as “father”, which he accepted.
“So you see how my relationship is with the musicians in this country?” Jaliba added that he has given support to many Gambian musicians, both moral and financial, and prayed for the industry to grow to higher heights.
Regarding his contribution towards the development of the country, Jaliba said this has also been noticed in all corners of the country. He commended his fans clubs, both in the Gambia and outside, wishing them a happy 2010 with peace, joy and Allah’s guidance.

In a vox-pop by our reporter, Njai Bah former chief of Niamina Sambang said he is a longtime friend of Jaliba, since he (Jaliba) was a boy.
According to Bah, Jaliba and his friends had in the past formed many associations in the country including Senegambia Ninkinhaka Kaffo, Wulabasama Kaffo, Mansa Kanta Vous, among others, during their childhood days, and Jaliba headed these associations. “So you can see, it was since childhood days that Jaliba was a leader”.
“Some of them are still functioning, and they have contributed a lot and achieved their goals and objectives, like the Senegambia kafo. One can see the good relationship existing between our two sister countries”.
“For his award from Swaebou Conateh, I’m not surprised, as I have been hearing the name of Swaebou since in the 70s. All what I can say is to pray for his long life and health.
“I an even here to pray for Jaliba on his awards, and for Swaebou, and the management of News and Report Magazine.”
Njie Bah called on others to emulate Swaebou in giving awards to deserving Gambians.
Karamo Ceesay, an Islamic scholar in Brikma also congratulated Jaliba for the award, saying that Jaliba really deserves the award. He described the musician as an “honest and God-fearing person and someone who is good in character”.
“My observation is that all the tribes in the country really like Jaliba, and Jaliba also sings in many local languages”, he added. The songs of Jaliba are all good with sensible messages, Ceesay declared. “He really deserves the award”, he repeated.
“Even yesterday, I was chatting with someone, who also appreciates the award bestowed on Jaliba, and prayed for News and Report for awarding Jaliba”.
Patrick Kargbo, a Sierra Leonean, said it was because of Jaliba’s music that he can now speak Mandinka. “The first day I hear his music, I bought his cassette. I don’t know Jaliba, and have never meet him, but I’m happy with the award”.
Omar Mboob, a Senegalese, and Hawa Jallow, a Guinean, all expressed similar comments.

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