A young artist on his Drama profession

Mamour M. Mbenga

Foroyaa Arts and Culture interviews Pa Modou Yaffa, a drama actor, on why he Pa Modu Yaffatakes up drama as a profession and other issues.

Foroyaa: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Pa Modou Yaffa: My name is Pa Modou Yaffa, alias Yaffa. I am a Gambian actor who specialises in drama performance.

Foroyaa: How old are you?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I am 21 years old.

Foroyaa: Tell us about your educational background?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I completed my secondary education at Gambia Senior Secondary School in 2013 and later proceeded to study Information and Technology (IT) at the Quantum Net Institute of Technology. Presently, I intend to pursue a course in Business Management at Management Development Institute (MDI).

Foroyaa: What inspired you to become an actor?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I was inspired by Momodou Alieu Jallow, alias Parraw, who is a Pharmacist and an Internal Auditor working with the Central Medical Stores (CMS) of the ministry of health in Kotu. Parraw, who is also a Youth Activist and Red Cross Volunteer, supports and encourages many young artists, including myself, in the field of drama. He is really my number one role model. Another person who also inspires me is Kebba Jagne of Africell. He is the one who mentors me in entertainment.

Foroyaa: When did you start acting?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I started acting in 2008

Foroyaa: Are you doing drama as a full time preoccupation or on a part time basis?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I’m engage in it on full time (laughs).

Foroyaa: Why are involved in drama? What motivates you to pursuing acting in drama?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I just love acting and want to become a great actor of international renown.

Foroyaa: Are you a registered member of the Gambia Theatre Association and National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC)?

Pa Modou Yaffa: Well, I’ve not registered as a member in both, but it is part of my plans to be part of them soon.

Foroyaa: Do you have the support of your parents, relatives and friends in this engagement in the field of art?

Pa Modou Yaffa: Oh, yes! Both my mother and father are very supportive and do encourage me often. By the way, I want to tell my mum and dad that I love them very much! My relatives and friends also give me all the encouragement I need from them.

Foroyaa: What have you accomplished so far in drama?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I have won many awards in drama. My first performance was in 2008 when I represented my school in a drama competition at Latrikunda Upper Basic School.

In November 2008, I was certified as the best actor in an inter-junior schools drama competition with the theme ‘Say no to child abuse – Breaking the culture of silence’.

I was again given an award on the 23rd March 2013 as one of the most outstanding actors in Gambia Senior Secondary School during our grade twelve graduation ceremony.

On March 15, 2013, I was awarded the best actor in a drama competition on African youth charter with was held at the Alliance and organized by Children and Community Initiative for Development (CAID) in partnership with African Youth’s Panel. The theme of the drama was on ‘Youth Leadership for Sustainable Development’ and was funded by the American Embassy in Banjul.

I can say that this day marked a milestone in my acting career, as one of the judges, Latir Carr of Black Magic Group, who was impressed with my performance, announced that his group has invited me to work with them.

I have also won many cash prizes in various competitions. I participated and emerged as the best actor in a drama competition on ‘Democracy and Human Rights’, which was held on 6 September 2013 at the Kanifing Multi-Purpose Centre and which was also funded by the American Embassy in Banjul. The other awards and cash prizes were from Youth Got Talent (Y.G.T) and Child Protection Alliance (C.P.A).

Foroyaa: Apart from drama, are you involved in any youth related activity?

Pa Modou Yaffa: Yes, I’m also a Volunteer at the Gambia Red Cross Society working with the Serekunda Central Red Cross Link, under the Kanifing Municipality branch. I have been trained on leadership skills, first aid and disaster risk reduction, among others.

Foroyaa: What is your advice towards the Gambian youths?

Pa Modou Yaffa: I want them to be focused on their education. Those who are also involved in drama performance or other socially beneficial endeavours should take them up seriously. You can contribute to the development of your nation in various forms.

Foroyaa: Thank you for the interview

Pa Modou Yaffa: It’s a pleasure.

Pa Modu Yaffa can be reached on these contacts: Tel 3737181 Email: pamodouyaffa@yahoo.com