By Muhammed Sailu Bah
Following the recent announcement of the banning of certain cultural activities and drumming in the major streets of the capital of Banjul by the city council, some residents from various walks of life expressed their opinion on the issue.
Speaking to a man in his 40s said the cultural activities that involve drumming in the streets help the city to be lively and provide the residents with entertainment. He said the activities such as the ‘hunting play’ and ‘Zimba’ or lion mimicry and the others are all manifestations that help to keep and promote Gambian culture.
“Most of these cultural activities are held in major streets of the capital city in order to attract more spectators. These events give Banjul the liveliness that it is gradually losing and therefore banning them means killing both the city and our culture,” lamented the resident.Another resident, a young lady, also expressed her disapproval of the ban, citing that it will affect the ceremonies that they often stage in the streets.
A youth in his late 20s, supported the ban which he described as a move in the right direction. He said Banjul is the only city where public programs are held everywhere in the streets and which affects traffic.
Responding to the comments of the residents on the ban in an interview at his office, Mr. Abdoulie Bah, Mayor of Banjul, insisted that the major streets of the capital should not be used to stage drumming and ‘zimba’ activities.
He said these activities block the roads and force the drivers of commercial vehicles to divert to small streets which were recently rehabilitated and thus causing damage.
“The vehicles are forced to use streets that are meant to be one way,” said Mayor Bah.
The Banjul mayor said the ban on public drumming affects streets like
Allen Street, Independence Drive, Mosque Road, Primet Street and Box Bar Road which is presently under construction.
He said the city council will be working with the police to ensure the enforcement of the ban.
Mayor Bah said streets like Fitzgerald can be used as places for cultural and drumming activities.
He called on the residents to help them implement the ban.