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More People Descend On McCarthy Island For Its Bicentenary Commemoration

By Yunus S Saliu

Lots of people have descended on McCarthy Island for the Janjanbureh Bicentenary commemoration kicking off today, Friday, 5th January 2024 on this beautiful and historic in the Central River Region of The Gambia.

The Janjanbureh Bicentenary commemoration under the theme – Celebrating Homecoming and Our Heritage will kick start with a trade fair titled Senegambia Lumo and this will follow by a Symposium that will feature eminent Gambian professors and erudite scholars such as Nana Grey Johnson, erudite historian of The Gambian Krio; Professor Assan Sarr of Ohio University; Professor Pape Bassene of University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar; and Professor Bala Saho of Oklahoma University, this blockbuster session will be chaired by Ms. Binta Jammeh Sidibe, historian and former head of The Gambia Women’s Bureau. While in the evening the audience will be thrilled with The Might of Men – a wrestling bout.
On day two of this celebration, the 6th of January will start with the Welcome Parade which includes the arrival of international guests, a visit to the Senegambia Lumo, and Freedom Tree with the drama title Breaking The Chain.

In the afternoon of this day, two will witness a proper opening ceremony with a series of speeches and performances then in the evening there will be a Mansa Banquet known as Traditional Lunch shortly after that is A Night of Words – poetry, dramas – Interpreting Our Journey while at night till wee hours is The Melting Pot of Cultures and it is called Cultural Night.

On the final day three, there will be a Church Service, and from there onwards is the Historical Tour of the Island, River Cruising, Community Based Tourism, Final Wrestling competition. And later at night there is a Musical Concert.

However, celebrating the bicentenary of the establishment of Janjanbureh the history of this serene and beautiful Island affirmed its significance which signifies freedom from slavery as it plays no part in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

The settlement is one part of the Kingdom of Niani which was one of the Gambia 8th Independence States before the onset of the colonial role and was under the leadership of the Saballys for a long time as they were the leaders of the region.


Yunus S Saliu

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