African journalists must work lot harder and understand the importance of timely interventions and what is enough efforts, not just efforts. Whereas African cultures are broadly diverse, African governments, including journalists are relatively the same, very little difference. They under copy, instead of learn or at least rightly copy... We must understand the importance of setting and raising standards, the importance of confronting excuses, especially of governments and businesses.
We will have to narrow it to few verifiable examples, but do understand the problem is way beyond the detailed examples and Gambia as example? Last night while traveling from Barra to Banjul, I again went from admiring how God bless Africa with kindness above most places, but shortly after I was distressed by the incompetence of broad range of professional Africans than ordinary Africans.
I love Africa, the place or where, but I see the average Africans as a 'burden' and opportunity to teach, for God to pay. Whereas I am fairly certain that God will pay and already paying for my efforts, the bonus will always be seeing actual change, but what is enough change and shouldn't I be thankful for the privileges? Being thankful must include inviting your fellow human beings to seek the very privileges the indifferent may remind you to be thankful for.
I will skip the long waits for ferry, to and fro. It was around 9pm I boarded the ferry from Barra to Banjul, and the sweet breeze, plus the moonlight made me feel better than sleeping with the average African or earthly women, who often love to be begged. It felt so good, so fresh, that it rejuvenated my desire to own a "million dollar' yacht within a year and be spending some nights in the waters of the Lord, some days every month and almost anytime of the year, while in Africa.
We are in October and many western countries are in one digit weather, heading towards minus and in two digits. Anyway, that great feeling was short lived. Minutes after, two small boats with very limited lights crossed very close to the ferry. I thought the low standard of lights of the boats were literally gambling lives. They may claim they did it for decades without big disaster, but it is lot more than seeing your water ways. The waters and air, are secondary blessings to humankind, we have limited control in them and must be extra careful in such environment. A yacht, ferry , fishing trawlers, etc can easily hit such under lighted boats.
It often takes a disaster for Africans to under react. After couple of boats sank in the Gambia, they mandated life jackets, but under investigate why the boats sank and why we should have annual boat inspections, like we have vehicle inspections and demand needed maintenance where need be. The sad reality is government may collect fees and do almost no work. Small Gambia have literally no identified water ways and how many is in your country compare to vehicle roads? They offer no water GPS for local water travels to avoid rocks, or why should you pay for international GPS at robbery rates and may not include local water routes?
Couple of years ago, The Gambia Tourist Bureau for water related told me to pay D20,000 ($400) to transport tourists, and that is just one of the fees to get started, not taxes. It is literally permission to use the waters in dangerous ways, because they refuse to invest half of that money to have water ways and local GPS? That money is just to pay folks in suits and big gowns for going to school, not necessarily serve in any significant ways. If I owned a media house, I would have consulted the minister of Tourism, defense, , water resources, etc and suggest how they must raise the standards or risk a nasty confrontation that will cost them money. By using the Gambia's navy and consulting countries like UK, we can set up a team that will identify enough water ways and raise flags or double identification of all dangerous water spots in the Gambia.
We will tell them your citizens come as tourists and it is vital to help minimize any accident, we need xyz experts for ways and GPS, we will train and give such for the D20,000 fee payers. High fees and taxation without necessary service is worse than colonization. If they refuse to act, I will wait until the middle of the tourist season and run a headline on how dangerous Gambian waters can be? Some Gambians will get mad or join me to protest and raise the standards to a safer level. The local boat owners get spin-off benefits. Like vehicles, we should demand all boats to have at least four lights and preferably different colors, to identify the full length of the approaching water vehicle.
Minutes after the boat issue, I discovered the ferry cabins were not lighted. Thousands of people sat in the dark for about thirty minutes. That is a perfect example of destroying public health, openly. Human knowledge reveal our eyes can be destroyed by opening our eyes in the dark. Considering the thousands of people that saw and/or know the dangers, not just the inconvenience, and it still didn't make any or enough headlines to effect change is troubling. How many journalists and health workers used the ferry at night and do not feel like it is dangerous example to the public? Where is the writing evidence that the educated folks at the ferry demanded regular or solar powered bulbs for the ferry?
They protest for higher pay, but gamble the very health of their customers with silence? Should I ask my God to give them eye diseases or worse for committing sins between creatures, from negligence to cruelty? The journalists who skipped such reporting and complain about not having enough staff or medicine at the eye clinic should also be imprecated against, or will they repent? Which media house dare headline president Barrow, minister xyz, and manager xyz are destroying the eyes of Gambians by refusing to buy lights for the ferry and how many public places in and beyond the Gambia? They refuse to invest few hundreds on lights, took millions in loans to 'cure' eye problems and accidents through diminished seeing capabilities?
The Marijuana activist knows Marijuana helps on glaucoma, but I still care about my eyes and the eyes of my neighbor who may fear Marijuana or denied access of even medical cannabis. I demand the journalists in every African country to learn and employ rigorous journalism for a much better Africa.
Even from the middle of the sea, I can see the well lighted cargo ships of the west, around Banjul, despite having limited people... We cannot complain about cost, God has immensely reduced our burden through over working Asians, mainly China. Certain coincidences are overwhelmingly beyond humans and even the praised journalists may be guilty of Indifference and under echoing the best of us, including this Marijuana guy who prides in truth over intelligence, yet verifiably claiming to be more intelligent than many of your adored westerners; and lot more truthful than the u.s and western governments, businesses, and people. God did not only send me to countries, but to specific places even within Africa, to teach me and to reteach people.
I was from a poor village with limited hanged solar lights; I saw boats that make thousands but under invest on lights; I saw a ferry that make millions, yet refuse to invest even hundreds of dollars for the eyes of customers; I saw cargo ships that make millions from the rich and poor to properly light their ships; then God was sending me to a special street with fascinating individual and community lighting for safer streets? 18 street of lamin Daranka, is verifiable example of God's work through people that journalists and government under echoed? It is the street at the Petro Gas station towards Daranka market, around John pickering senior secondary school.
I addressed the area as 'Simple Addressing Example for Africa ' , but the Gambia government do not value addressing enough and seem to be indifferent from getting the best type of addressing versus other lower forms of addressing; the Gambian media also seemed to enjoy complaining about addressing more than echoing solution oriented activists. I can address any African country in under three months. Anyway, I want to focus more on lightening than addressing, but just highlighting how God is working on this special neighborhood beyond lights. From first boulevard , on 18 street, to around 7 crescent (CR), every Gambian media house should consider visiting.
The street has lights that seems like a compound owner convinced fellow compound owners to act without government or NGO. They just use the 28 watts led bulbs that are fairly bright and cost just about four dollars, then some braces and wired from the home. Simple, imperfect, but nonetheless serving to be copied or improved by neighborhoods willing to learn. With the braces and electrician labor, I suspect around ten dollars per compound for the set up and limited running cost.
Imagine if a Gambian media house took the initiative to learn and teach about community street lightening. Who initiated this move and why s/he stopped around 7 CR or is s/he indifferent to other neighbors? How about charging little extra to distant neighbors? Then cover it with the purpose of inspiring others and to do a better job. Imagine the countless electricians in this neighborhood or the Gambia waiting for work, but how about create one? Writing a short letter to about five hundred compounds, I want to make our neighborhood safer, for about ten or xyz dollars, myself or electrical company will install a wired or solar powered bulb at your gate, as charity to your visitors, passing folks, or your very children. it will reduce falls, robbery, walking on muds, etc. For fifty or xyz dollars, we will install a light with camera and imagine the countless benefits?
This is a special just for this month, myself or xyz NGO is partially sponsoring it? 500 compounds by ten dollars is how much? You video tape the neighborhood and take it to the journalists, who may accuse you of wanting free advertisements, because they are blind to how safety can raise their income, or reduce their complaining? Or better, take it to another village head and he may distribute the letters for you and it can be your weekend work, plus possible spin off that a compound owner may contract you for other work? Then a journalist with so much love for Africa will write it in a way that will make a Ghanian or Nigerian in the Gambia to forward to favorite media in their countries, and they may apply it faster than the Gambia. Then the Lord of atom's weight may give you billion dollar happiness through Marijuana or his choosing, or may open other opportunities for you.
African journalists should also learn to work together lot more. The Gambian press union can contact few press unions and suggest how to collaborate more than our questionable executives collaborate. This can include building or renting a place that can house 10 to 20 journalists at far cheaper rate than hotels. Imagine the Ghanian or Senegalese press unions working with the Gambia press union, sending two journalists for one to three months. Sometimes it is not just what you may learn, but by teaching, the Lord often reteaches you lot more. Experiencing places can be very rewarding, but the journalists must also be ready to sacrifice. You cannot expect perdiem from these struggling media houses, it can be open and optional. With smart phones, you can easily learn French, Portuguese or any language, and even one month real practice of such language in a far country like Cameroon instead of Senegal, means your French Improve to help your fellow Africans, not just if you travel to France or Quebec of Canada. Our journalists must see beyond money and must collaborate lot more for African uplifting or even unity.
Running from standards due to politics or fear of the lowest people is a huge problem in Africa. President Barrow quoted an imperfect saying of an adored westerner and he sadly applies it in the worst way. He said, ' when the people fear the authorities, that is tyranny; when the authorities fear the people, that is freedom/liberty'. That is just partially factual, and this Marijuana guy is blessed with intelligence higher than many adored westerners. Reality is fear, greed, arrogance are common enemies. Reality is, when the people fear authorities, that is tyranny; when the authorities fear the people that is mayhem and different form of tyranny. I will give you both African and western examples, no sane person Will deny it. If you study the words and actions of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, etc you will honestly Conclude they had sympathy for enslaved and oppressed blacks, but they feared the under evolved Majority of white America then; that fear was not freedom, it delayed freedom. Majority is not always right, a great leader is supposed to have the courage to educate a mistaken majority and they will gradually subdue. Present day example, a big percentage of African leaders understand Marijuana should be legalized but their fear of the majority of ignorant Africans translate to continuous oppression, not freedom. One term limit is among our best bet to avoid such fear of the majority and free Africa from many forms of government evil to satisfy public desire over real public interest, development.
While the Gambia ferries had problems, the boat docking station that was built in Banjul was widely covered by the Gambia's media, as improvement. Rather than urging the building of more docking stations around the country, they took it down, for months now. We have little or no media coverage as to why we are running from standards. You cannot tell me journalists did not travel that route for months. They rather have people carrying people towards the boat instead of walking on a dock to a boat? I think you guys are already crazy , while lying Marijuana will make us crazy, not the millions of Americans, who now uses it from medical to recreational? It takes some extremely stupid and indifferent officials to think the working rights of dozens of people is more vital than the safety and wellbeing of the thousands of people who use boat.
Life must not be measured with just the immediate effects. The fat person who wants to walk to the boat must not be Gambled or told she must use the ferry. I have heard numerous reports when people are dropped by their carriers, they may not make it to media coverage, but that does not mean no damage done. One is too much, but if ten people are going to tax financed hospitals or local healers over such falls , or our refusal to accept higher standards, then we are in serious trouble for failing to 'exhort each other to truth...' , as per ch. 103. Great journalists would have confronted the minister of health and interior with countless examples. How Much properties fell and get destroyed through such carrying? How about the long-term effects of the falls? In one of my crossings, an about seventy-year-old laborer with vivid skin disease on his neck offered to carry me. Although I used my mind and refused, but can you imagine if that person carries two hundred people and infect about hundred a month?
The journalists, the health Minister and officials, and may be even me and you may be lot more guilty than we may assume. Standard in public space and businesses are vital, but you foolishly think policing personal rights like Marijuana usage is our task? We should just advise and let God judge or reward on personal issues. May God bless showlove Trinity: Let's learn, let's work, let's have fun.
By Jarga kebba Gigo
OASN: Some religions claim God created the world with words, but there is no question that humans are elevated or recreated through words, and sometimes with 'brutal' words of truth. Do not be bothered by how many it may offend in the short term, focus on how many it will help in the short and long terms. I seriously believe those of us privileged with knowledge and certain positions, from government officials, journalists, to entertainers must consider being brutal with words at times. There is no question that government officials have the primary responsibility to not just offer services or medicines, but educate the populace where need be. A minister of health or president telling the populace to take more responsibility for their health should be more powerful than you and I doing similar, but fear, greed, and arrogance often affect our individual and collective growth. The world is lot bigger than kind words, the primary purpose of word is truth and intelligence.
A health minister coming on TV, showing a video surge of countless people at the eye clinic , then advising people on how they may be contributing to their health problems, and specific advice to the remedy will greatly help than me and you doing it on social media or even mainstream media. The minister will be tested by fear, the president seeking second or third term will be tested by greed and may accuse the minister of destroying votes, to be fired for giving a 'gift' to questionable opposition leaders; the questionable media and opposition leaders will be tested by arrogance and lie to the public, some of whom want to be pampered even where they are wrong; and another big chunk of the citizens will also be tested on arrogance, refusing to learn or accept more responsibility for their own good.
The failures of government officials should be seen as unpreferred opportunities for us. It is not enough for the media houses to just publish my type in a column or opinion section. Echo me and my type in an editorial or special hour. It's vital to have weekly journalists class discussion of articles that the chief editor deems fit to publish. A journalist may point to a phrase that may help other journalists understand something new in that article. The mere sitting for knowledge means God may reward the efforts, especially on more knowledge.
A journalist may point to how too much direct sunlight may destroy eyes, while another may point more on how looking in the dark may harm more than the author highlighted; then the biggest question of what is enough light may arise. A highly blessed journalist may then ask why are we not pressuring our comedians to be more edutaining? Instead of the countless sexual misrepresentations that contribute to divorce more than reduce it, how can our entertainers help in reducing eye problems as example. How about showing a granny in an under lighted room in the day light; a youth can turn the light on and she will complain about cost. 'Well, you think $10 more light consumption is more expensive than the pain of eye problems, the $100 bill of eye experts, the possible sin of worrying family members who visit at environmental and emotional cost, the sin of ignoring knowledge to consume more tax dollars that could have gone to education and research, etc? Then the granny can say, well the minister of health saw the thousands of passengers in the dark, in a ferry, for months or years, and said nothing; how can a semi journalist with no medical degree claim sitting and looking in the dark can be dangerous? The youth can tell her even our so called well lighted room may not be enough, that the sunlight gives lot more sunlight and for beyond seeing. Indoor Marijuana growing is a good example. Research has shown the reason simple lights that people can vividly see through, is still not enough to grow Marijuana plants, but enough for many other plants. God made the daylight for seeing and night for sleeping, and somehow made us close our eyes in reflex when we sleep for a purpose, including to avoid destroying our precious eyes. Another youth may point out human eye and Marijuana plants are different, we may not need lot of lights for eye health, that Africans are waiting for westerners to tell us what is enough light for our eyes, that we refuse to research for knowledge and want to blame our problems to God's predestination and partially guilty politicians, etc.
Human evolution with technology means higher test. The pros may be more than the cons, but there is no question that misuse of technology is contributing to many problems in the world, not just Africa.
From my recent cement paper usage by vendors is disgraceful and rigorous journalism can significantly reduce it and make people demand better. Too many Africans freeze and unfreeze food to save money, but they end up getting sick due to ignorance and pay lot more in tax or loan financed hospitals. Rather than buying enough small tomatoes paste cans, how many compounds buy the big can to freeze and save money, but unregular electricity means countless freezing and unfreezing that is not ideal for gut health. An editorial against negligent people and grilling entertainers as we grill sitting politicians can make a difference. An entertainer shouting at partner for accepting cement paper from a vendor may not be as powerful as health minister's brutal advice and law enforcement, but it can effect changes than many social media rants or late blaming of a minister . Shouting at the vendor for refusing to use fork or prongs can be very helpful. S/he may claim I have a fork, but the line is long; then a highly admired entertainer can pull a prong and give it for free on TV and add you should have bought this from your profit, it is much faster than fork for things like 'akara'.
When the media is vibrant, the people will learn and sometimes more than the politicians, but some officials do learn too. I am not blind to the efforts of the media, but many of you need to be more balance towards individual failures, opposition failures and nasty politics, and more rigorous to the sitting ones by going broader. The minister responsible for the ferries in this example is making the job of the minister of health, harder. A politics oriented president avoid controversial truth and that is why journalists must consider urging for one term limit and seriously oppose third term, even by endorsing coup against third term seeking leaders.