Following the pronouncement by the President, during the “Meet-te-People’s Tour” recently n th banning o summer football games (commonly called nawettan) in the rural Gambia, Gambia Beat has managed to sample some reactions on this from the provincial youths.
Summer football attracts a lot of youths from the Kombos
Fa landing Krubally, a youth from Central River Region studying at the Gambia College said he is not planning on going to the village because of the nawettan ban. “I go to the village every summer to take part in the summer football competition which attracts a lot of the youths from the Kombos. But while we participate in this competitions, we also help our parents on the farms,” he said.
Call with dialogue and persuasion approach
Lamin Darboe from Niumi, said this year’s farming season will suffer because of the nawettan ban: “For years now, President Jammeh has been trying to enforce this ban on nawettan. The thing is that he could have made the point about ‘back to the land’ call with dialogue and persuasion approach, rather than with force.”
Mr. Darboe argued that, “If the youths do not go back to the land, the ageing farming community cannot provide the necessary working hands needed to ensure enough labour for sustained food security.”
Not everyone can be a farmer
Mr. Ebrima Manjang, said football is the only recreation they do as youths in the provinces. Mr. Manjang , who hailed from Jarra Pakaliba, Lower River Region, said that not everyone can be a farmer. He is of the opinion that the government should not even entertain this type of thoughts about banning summer football in the provinces.
“I don’t understand the President. We think that he will give us support on the football games; rather, we were disappointed that you are banning it,” Said Manjang.
Modou O Njie, said this is not the first time he is hearing such a decision regarding banning summer football in the provinces.
“That cannot be possible… stopping football in the provinces? Not everyone can be a farmer; some will be football players, others will become farmers,” said Njie.