name is Basiru Njai known as Bass. Am from a town call Bakau
in the country called Gambia in West Africa. Gambia is a very
small country with about one million people the whole population.
We have six different tribes, I come from a tribe called the
Mandinka, but we have other tribes as Fullers Balantas, Wolof,
Jolla’s and the Manjakurs.
Gambia all this tribes you see are traders. In many years
ago before the slaver started in Africa or before the people
know about money, that time people do only (Bartering) and
they will travel around Africans doing trading, like they
will trade there marital in one place and travel to another
place. In that time Africa was a one big country, you have
only tribal borders, where every tribes have their area. So
the trading goes wetting the tribes in that time, and some
of these traders from the western part of Africa and settles
in Gambia and continues there trading or business.
those tribes have their own language, culture, traditions
even the food we eat, and all the tribe s are completely different
from each other, we have to learn each others culture, tradition
and language in other to know moor about other tribes. In
Gambia if I want to know more about other tribes I to learn
there language, so we have to learn others language to understand
what the person is saying, some time we learn each others
language true neighbour and intermarried. Even doer we all
are Gambians still we have to learn each other’s language.
are the larges tribe in the country, that way it is the common
language along with wolof almost all the people in the country
can speak one of this two languages, and there is no segregation
within the tribes. We see each other as brothers and sisters
and we have intermarriages within the tribes.
Musical life in Gambia::
Gambia the musicians from all the tribes are stuck in to their
own traditional music. Like am a Mandinka musician so I will
play only Mandinka traditional music, and that how it is in
every tribe, if you see they play other tribes music, which
happens only when there is a drumming session going on.
a Mandinka tribe is having a ceremony and a drum session is
going on and a person from another tribe jumps in that drumming
session and started to dances to the Mandinka music, but the
musicians can see how the person dance to the rhythm. So they
will change the rhythm to that person traditional rhythm as
a guest dancer. And when that guest dancer stop dancing the
musicians will change the rhythm back to there own traditional
the good thing with all this traditional music’s from
those different tribes, you never get boring, because every
tribe have moor then three rhythms and all this rhythms have
there own dancing and singing and the best thing in drumming
season, there is no time barriers, when the drummers are playing
in Gambia they can play one rhythm for almost one hour or
some times moor.
when there is a ceremony or party some where, you can always
go to that ceremony, it does not matter, which tribe you come
from in Gambia, when you here drumming in one of the compound
you can always go and listen or maybe when it is a ceremonial
party you can join in the party no one will even notes that
you are there.
Because when we are having a ceremony it is always open for
any one. We have this believe that the moor we are together
the happier we all will bee and the moor people in the ceremony
the moor crowded it become and the person who have this ceremony
get moor happier. And when the drumming season comes in the
evening moor people will come to dances and sing some like
just to watch season.