Thursday, May 12, 2022

How To Borrow From God

 
 Written by award winning Gambian author, Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe

Imagine living in a world where money is God, winning is vital, and people must keep the title, and perhaps, with a global president called Michael. If money, they say, is the god of women, what is the god of men? The most expensive bank in the world is not Barclays or the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Limited, but it is the bank of poverty of imagination locked in actual self-doubt and prejudice. The reason why we could not still overcome the global financial crisis -- is not because there is not much money in the world-- or there are not enough papers to print enough money to feed every country-- but is it the belief of power and position as merchants of superiority.

 

The belief is that war, nuclear weapons, and ammunition are means of governance in a world where everyone can borrow money from God. Too powerful -- too economic-- too brave, and just too wealthy to be too much belittled. In tandem with this unacceptable fact, our suffering is preceded by a corrosive lack of global unity in terms of financial differences to remedy the crisis. In the words of  American rapper, Tupac Shakur, ''Instead of war on poverty, we gotta war on drugs and the police can't bother me.''

 

One of the problems confronting the world is the gradual but steady religious erosion that can be noted from one continent to another. People becoming rather too nonreligious to belong to the religion of money. Climate change is not the changing of the climate, but it is the changing of people to learn not to unlearn what they must not resist. People cause climate change and the change is constant. Religion has become less religious as economic hardship hits the globe persistently. Poverty has been understood as a man-made illness that has a cure -- money. Poverty is not poor--but poor people are poor. The language of humanity is human. Do you know the sounds and letters of humanity to be able to borrow money from God?

 

How to borrow money from God? Let's assume that the year is 2065 and the world no longer uses i-phones but people are using mind-phones. Technology has advanced so much that people use TV cell phones and no longer have time for flat TV sets and watching TVs. Robots are actively roaming the world with aliens accompanying them. Money is gathering all evil people up there in the skies by giving them positions to govern alibi. Let's say that the best way to borrow money from God is not to borrow money from Satan. But in 2065, nobody will be poor unless you want to.

                                                                                                                    

As a librarian, let me quickly tell you that the advancement of technology is also the decline of African culture and civilization. In the year aforementioned, Africans will need an app on their phone that reminds them how to perform ablution in Islam or how to fast regularly in Christianity. In Africa, a child which is not wild is not from his father's lineage, but how about not knowing his heritage? That too has a price.

 

African traditions and values are gradually becoming a thing of the past as there are several influences from other cultures to adopt what is referred to as a more ‘open-minded’ culture of freedom without restrictions. Just one word -- money. One of the ingredients that perhaps act as a catalyst is the prevailing cultural stereotype where some cultures are viewed through the lenses of negativity and inferiority. This leads to the abandonment of those cultures by the newer generation who are supposed to ensure its longevity. Since the start of the 21st century, humanity has faced at least three global crises. The first crisis pertains to the 9/11 terror attacks in the US that facilitated the US-led war on terrorism, which in turn, facilitated the expansion of state surveillance systems, widespread extrajudicial killings, and the prevalent use of torture and other abusive state actions.

 

The second crisis, meanwhile, refers to the 2007–2008 global financial crisis that was considered at the time the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

 

At present, we fight for survival against the threat posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic. This third crisis forced governments to impose forms of lockdown and quarantine, shutting down schools, universities, restaurants, cultural centers, and other organizations to slow down the viral infection rate. But of course, according to the English language, the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Israel, the Ethiopian crisis, the Rwanda Genocide, and even the current Ukraine crisis are not crises.  Truth be told-- even slavery is not considered a humanitarian crisis. What happens when the rich fight with the rich? The prices of commodities rise, not so? The poor get poorer-- and the rich becomes worried.

 

Confronted by these challenges, I am still asking how to borrow money from God? As alluded to by my colleague, the famous Nigerian author, Anthony Onugba, cultural erosion is dependent on cultural stereotypes.  Therefore, one way to borrow money from God is to borrow a chapter from the scriptures because even the devil reads the Bible. Should the world expect assistant Jesus just in case?

 

I would like to conclude with the Swahili saying that goes, “ukiona mwenzio ananyolewa zako tia maji”. Difficult to understand but it means, “if you see your neighbor's house on fire standby with water to put yours out in case it spreads.''

 

As a child and an adult, most of my life has been spent in Africa, and for nearly a decade, much of my literary production has focused on my interaction with the environment. Drawing on long-term ethnographic research and intellectual honesty, I would like to provide you with a critical analysis of peoples' ability to be able to borrow money from God. Yes, it does exist. Nelson Mandela said, and I quote ‘’ if a nation wants development, the youths must be educated.’’ The wealth of every nation is the youth. A country is only poor without a youthful population.

 

Permit me to borrow a quote from Albert Einstein who said "those who have the privilege to know, have the duty to act. To you, my readers, it is now your sacred duty to do the rest, either to succeed or fail, to benefit society or benefit oneself. Alan Saporta said, and I quote “the best way to escape from a problem is to solve it." Let me say any national problem which is not solved, is still a problem for its people. Freedom is so very nice and can even turn mice into a goat, but let us remember a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr, which reads "let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup." The only key to freedom is money. If money was the vehicle during the slave trade, humanity will legalize slavery.

 

Let me put it in the French adjectival and adverbial funnel of interpretation to defile the youth of your happiness for yet imagining the goal of my meditation. ‘Qui- who, Quand-when, and Comment--how and when do you borrow money from God? I would like to end with some words from Bessie Head, a South African writer who lived most of her life in Botswana. When she was asked the question WHY DO YOU WRITE? Her response was this: ''I am building a stairway to the stars. I have the authority to take the whole of mankind up there with me. That is why I write.''

 

Something tells me that a generation of new ideas and talent is about to change the world.

 



My special wishes to you! To schedule or book me for public lectures/ book launches/ conferences/ readings/ script-writing/ keynote/motivational speaking events, please email: 

modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com

© MODOU LAMIN AGE-ALMUSAF 2022 All Rights Reserved! 

Thank you for reading and following my blog. Should you wish to use any of my articles for research, lectures, personal use, etc., kindly address your message to: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com. Copying any of my articles without written permission is an infringement of Copyright.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Should We Fall In Love? (Poem)


                                                         Name withheld


Should we fall in love?

Or should we just laugh like lol?

The very first day I came into existence

Your love was planted in me

And I grew up searching for you

I met many ladies without having babies

Names like Stacey, Whiskey and Tracy; all did break my heart and made me crazy

It was you I didn’t meet.

 

The appearance of your name on my phone
To the sound of your voice
Down to your smile and laughter
Gives me great joy beyond any imagination.
The first time you texted me, I knew it was you.

But yet, we are still in limbo, afraid of what we feel.

I feel what you felt, like an undiscovered Celt, I melt.

I want to put words into your mouth

Because we should fall in love this month.

Why do I feel so strange after reading that text?
Your laugh is contagious and warms every corner of my soul.
Why do I feel so connected after looking at your pictures?
I try and shake it but you already have a hold on my heart.
It is magical and soothing transporting me to a place I have never been.
I don't dare love you, I'm a dare devil.


Fresh off the bed, sharper than Gillette
The shower still wet, so pass it like 'Chui Boulet'
We sip side of text messages, we call it cuddle and pet
You are my chosen bride to beset
My only honey to cuddle and pet
I'm hotter than the end of August
I'm awesome, repeat it to your grandma, and uncles
Or friends, ML is a husband.

The sight of you
Holding your hands
Walking beside you — oh Lord
I can’t even put into words how it makes me feel

I heard people talk about love at first sight
Some saying it romantically for a guy or lady
Others for their spouses
And very few for their acquaintances
But I was so sure I found love in your sight

My senses of sight, smell, touch & hearing

Are all yours.

The wide smile on your face when I giggle
Oh Lord — praise be to God, amen, hallelujah.

I will trade everything and anything for
Being held by you became my priority
As the energy that radiates from you to me
To learn how to love like you should love me
And express the love I hold within me like you do.

How can I ever see love in someone else
Lost in a gaze pure to our soul
And your warmth wrapping me in your safety
I can make you the daughter your mom never hear from
Because your love can make me throw stones at the Statehouse

Should we fall in love?



My special wishes to you! To schedule or book me for public lectures/ book launches/ conferences/ readings/ scriptwriting/ keynote/motivational speaking events, please email: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com 

 © All Rights Reserved! Thank you for reading and following my blog. Should you wish to use any of my articles for research, lectures, personal use, etc.,.. kindly address your message to: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com

Copying any of my articles without written permission is an infringement of Copyright.

Friday, February 18, 2022

Writing and Covid-19: Books are Essential in Times of Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is the most unprecedented story for authors across the world. If Covid was human, vaccines were plots, and lockdowns were characters, the pandemic is the most intriguing story to be ever written in books because it has not only a direct impact on the daily and private lives, health and the ways people interact – but also on the working situation of authors and writers in the literary sector. 

In Africa, particularly West Africa, many authors encountered economic fall-out, loss of fees and lack of needed exposure. While Nigeria still remains Africa's most vibrant literary hub, authors were seriously affected during the COVID-19 pandemic by working from home and faced inaccessibility to research facilities. 




Prof. Chinedum Igwe, Executive Director, International Association of African Authors and Scholars (IAAAS), Atlanta, USA 


 “From an author point of view, it is probably one of the biggest pandemics in human history,” says Prof. Chinedum Igwe, Executive Director, International Association of African Authors and Scholars (IAAAS), Atlanta, Georgia, USA. 

The African book industry will have to deal with a great shift, after more and more bookshops had been closed and some of them never even opened again, the publishing houses postponed or canceled titles. Several cultural institutions – libraries, theaters, small sized event organizers – also have to deal with losses, will close or lower the budget in general for cultural events. 

 

In countries like The Gambia with a very low literacy rate and poor readership, authors suffered great financial losses due to cancellation of events and having low sales of their books. 

There was no book launch for nearly one year and events, readings (especially in schools, libraries, cultural institutions and bookshops), award ceremonies, book fairs, workshops, lectures and residency-scholarships were canceled. The situation quickly threatened the existence of many writers and authors.  

While many authors work from home during the pandemic, many have no other choice but to publish articles in local newspapers. In The Gambia, the local newspapers, notably The Standard Newspaper, Foroyaa Newspaper, The Voice Newspaper and The Point have published dozens of articles from authors during lockdowns. Many of them believe that COVID-19 has made literary strikes to compel them into writing new books during lockdowns. 




Lamin B. Fatty, Gambian Author 


“I have not written a new book since the lockdown. A writer’s job is of course to write what makes the stories of human life, and to do so, you have to keep writing,” explains Lamin B. Fatty, a young Gambian author. 

For Ms. AZEB YOSEPH AMBACHEW, the Founder and Executive Director of ONE AFRICA PEN WARRIORS FOR DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION (OAPWOD), an organization established in December 2019, Covid-19 has mostly affected women writers in Ethiopia. The organization is dealing with African history, culture, indigenous languages, democracy, unity and Identity. It strongly opposes migration. This organization has a plan to discuss the root causes of migration and how to especially save Africa’s youthful population to stop thinking about migration. 

  




Azeb Yoseph Ambachew, Executive Director, One Africa Pen Warriors Organization for Development (OAPWOD), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 


“When we are talking about the impacts of COVID -19, we should remember that it has created major economic crises on our industrial and agricultural activities. If I am not mistaken, COVID-19 hit Ethiopia on the 13th of March 2020 while the executive and regular members of my organization started working on promoting its vision and mission in a very organized way,’’ says Azeb Yoseph Ambachew.  The diversity of books and culture is in real danger because of the COVID-19 effects on the economy. 


The COVID-19 pandemic affected the African writing workforce in many ways. Many worried that stay-at-home grants would proportionately enhance the productivity and well-being of African writers, including women and early-career authors, who were expected to shoulder more on writers residencies and or grants. However, West African writers are still yet to adequately address the development and technology behind the different vaccines that have been released and that are being created. They are yet to also address the acquisition and distribution of vaccines globally, including “vaccine nationalism” and questions of equity.  Award-winning Gambian author, Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe, is trying to show how the vaccine hesitancy and anti-vaccination activism, as well as misinformation and disinformation against vaccines  immunity, community masking and social distancing measures, as well as emerging variants are issues in West Africa.  

 



My special wishes to you! To schedule or book me for public lectures/ book launches/ conferences/ readings/ scriptwriting/ keynote/motivational speaking events, please email: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com

 © All Rights Reserved! Thank you for reading and following my blog. Should you wish to use any of my articles for research, lectures, personal use, etc.,.. kindly address your message to: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com. 

Copying any of my articles without written permission is an infringement of Copyright.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

The Gambia At 57: Independence Anniversary Poem by Modou Lamin AGE-ALMUSAF Sowe



Tribally and politically divided like the colors of my flag:
Red, white, blue, white, green;
Celebrate my 57th independence anniversary with 57 problems.
I drive the best cars in the world but have no roads.
I have a navigable river but cannot feed myself.
I am the country that does not want development at all;
Patriotically, I stop growing what I eat, and do not eat what I grow;
Everywhere in the streets of Banjul, the gutters flow
With dirt, the country even lacks bread and ordinary butter.
Pompously, I stop growing rice and do not still pay my debts.
 I have millions of electrons but no water and electricity.
My ministry of communication is also my ministry of infrastructure,
Don't blame my poor infrastructural development.
Isn't failure too worth celebrating?
I am 57 years this year, please celebrate me.

I have the best lawyers in the world with a weird justice system
I was former chief prosecutor of the ICC
But cannot prosecute anyone.
Stealing public funds is a palatable dish in my meal.
I eat corruption, scandals, lies, and allegations
Because my current debt is around 1. 44 billion US dollars, and I don't care.
It is me, the Smiling Coast of Africa. Smile for me.
I am the country that does not want development.
I don't value talent and don't recognize knowledgeable people,
Including Oustas Bun Jeng and Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara.
My students at the Gambia College pay D12, 000 per annum
But they don't even have chairs for lectures.
All my intellectuals have gone abroad, and the rest are awaiting relocations.

I have many professors and doctors, but I am illiterate.
I want a future, please remember me.
I have hospitals without medicines
But still, give ambulances to villages without hospitals.
All my youths have gone abroad, and the rest are told to stay
Because I promised them jobs that I don't even create.
Amongst them, those who speak the truth and have visions are my enemies.
I don't even like this poem.
I only celebrate people when the world celebrate them,
Including Gina Bass.
I leak public information even at the Statehouse.
Within my government, I am divided.
At my National Assembly, I do not make the laws.
My constitution is on mensuration;
What have I not decided?
But don't forget, I, The Gambia, have decided!
What's On-Gambia? The students need scholarships and the teachers don't even have salary
Should the doctors go on another strike?
Yet, I shouldn't appreciate stories written by my authors;
I don't have a literature because my ministry doesn't have a minister.
If government officials are entertainers
Why will my music grow?
I have the highest blunt people in the world;
and a future without a government.
For democracy’s sake, I vote in every election, including on Valentine's Day.

The news in my country broadcast the press
And the press broadcast the news,
My journalism is whom you know
I like what I tell you, tell me what you like.
My tribe own The Gambia, and we are kingmakers
We elect presidents, and you are not one,
Please celebrate me.



It is my birthday, let's cut the national cake.
I am ruled by men I can rule, but nobody rules me.
My youth has no past, present, or future.
I do not produce anything but import everything.
My rice is imported from China, my toothpaste is from Indonesia, and my palm oil is from Guinea.
My soldiers are Senegalese, my education is a foreigner, please eat my cake.
I sold all my lands to estates and have no estate.
But, of course, I am Gambian, please remember me.


My special wishes to you! To schedule or book me for public lectures/ book launches/ conferences/ readings/ scriptwriting/ keynote/motivational speaking events, please email: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com 

 © All Rights Reserved! Thank you for reading and following my blog. Should you wish to use any of my articles for research, lectures, personal use, etc.,.. kindly address your message to: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com.

 Copying any of my articles without written permission is an infringement of Copyright.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

I'm COVID-19 ( Poem) by Modou Lamin AGE-ALMUSAF Sowe


       Photo: The first regional online round table on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human rights and the rule of law


Dear world,
Is me, COVID-19
Call me the Coronavirus pandemic if you wish
I'm the destroyer of lives
The enemy of your wishes
The sickest virus on and offline
I'm an alien
Take precautions
Better watch your mouth because what you say about me can endanger you.

You heard I'm from Wuhan, China
Because I'm related to Satan
I don't die I multiply and then come and divide you
So, what if you get a vaccine?
I don't give a fuck about it
I'll take every dose and every fuck about it
You better wear a face mask properly
Wash your hands regularly, and observe social distancing
Get it; I've come to stay

Don't you see that this whole world is my graveyard?
I walk around in airports
Canceled public gatherings
I'm a scientist
I invented face masks


I forcefully closed your schools, closed your churches, and mosques
I prevented writers from writing new books
I gave more patients to doctors
And declared global lockdowns
You better be careful when you spell my name!
I kill faster than light
I willingly do this with great delight
I spread dangerously in thick capital letters
I don't promise tomorrow
Because I don't even pay what I borrowed
Check my footsteps looks like there was a couple of me
I just killed a mother and her child shouted "mommy!"
I don't spare anyone as long as you're not vaccinated
I eat your life like a cheesecake
Until the world fights me, you're not all safe.




        Picture copyright: EMERGING HUMAN TRAFFICKING TRENDS IN THE FACE OF COVID-19


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My special wishes to you! To schedule or book me for public lectures/ book launches/ conferences/ readings/ scriptwriting/ keynote/motivational speaking events, please email:
 modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com 

 © All Rights Reserved! Thank you for reading and following my blog. Should you wish to use any of my articles for research, lectures, personal use, etc.,.. kindly address your message to: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com. Copying any of my articles without written permission is an infringement of Copyright.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tribute Poem to late Pa Nderry Mbai by Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe

In a rare show of collective grief, celebrated and emerging journalists within and outside The Gambia show a synergy of voices, mourning the demise of Pa Nderry Mbai, a foremost Gambian investigative journalist who died on Monday in the USA. As an author who has a very close relationship with Pa Nderry Mbai, I wrote a tribute poem for him last night upon receipt of the sad news of his demise. 


Short Biography of Pa Nderry Mbai



A Tribute Poem To Pa Nderry Mbai written by Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe


I can't believe Pa you're gone
As I write your name, every verb turned to was
Over this the snow of death chill
Once was fun, now done the thrill
My bones are crying with tears of cracks & creek
Tired of the sun and its hide & seek.
Pa Nderry Mbai,
'Hol la di yalla fey'
May your abode be 'Firdaus' in Jannah
For being miraculously
A national asset.
You were the YES to all NOs
The shelter to runaway Gambians
The newspaper to the voiceless
The truth and reparation commission
The commissioner of reconciliation
The image of investigative journalism
And the true defender of nationalism.

When I heard you died,
It sounds so divine;
It runs within my nervous system;
It blocks my auditory system on hearing it to prevent other incoming words;
It energizes me purposefully;
It's the religion I want to belong to;
My heart fastens to my soul.
I feel ecstatic,
I got so much static,
Or maybe, it's all this plastic fear of no more Freedom Newspaper
That's making me feel elastic.

I'll tell you a story
Of my Pa Nderry in all his glory,
Maybe some parts will be glory,
But for that, I am not sorry.
Pa was a freedom fighter
He was the news, the broadcast,
The paper,
And the eye of Gambians in the Diaspora.

When I look at you
I see a fortress of dignity
I see the impeccability of God
I see the idyllically made saint
I see a congenial soul of journalism
I see the effect of beautification
I see the light you've put in humanity
I see the reason The Gambia is not Gambia
I feel a little bit not Gambian
You should not be buried in Zambia


When I look at your photographs,
I can't take my eyes off your religious face
I can't resist your godly smiles
I can't seize to admire your bright teeth
I can't get enough of your aroma
I can't control my stammer.

When I look at you, Oh Pa Nderry!
I can't blink, for you're professionally eyeful
I can't speak, for no words can describe you
I can't feel my nerves, for your deeds are infectious
I can't hear anything else, for it's your voice I want to hear on Freedom Radio
It is your news I want to read on Freedom Newspaper,
And it is your presence I want to feel online.

Sobriety keeps me drunk
The illusion of life
Holds me abound
Life is a carcass of dreams
A theatre of illusion
Beneath the streets of my scream
Death as a reality lives in a world of dreams
Take a break from eternity
Forget about dexterity
Run wild within these fields
Let caution set itself loose
A stream of agony follows
Screams come in loud hollows
The ground slips beneath my feet
My wings dare to break
As my back bends in wake
But to roam I must
On this dammed Earth's crust
Felling my toes itch
Falling to a ditch
Savior above reach
But to forgive
Heaven's delight
Self, not to heal;
Beloved Pa Nderry:
Heart, pure as snow
Your tainted soul
Dwells in a heart of gold
May Allah forgive you, I pray
I swear to God
I only wish you feel what I felt
If only you had,
You will knee where I knelt.
Loving you is melting me,
Daily I melt;
I only mean to do what I meant.
But if prophets can die, tell me,
Why not you, Pa?
'Kulli-Nafsin-Zallikatul-Mawt'
'Kaalu-Inna-Lillahi-Waa-Inna-Illaihi-Raojo-on'


My special wishes to you! To schedule or book me for public lectures/ book launches/ conferences/ readings/ scriptwriting/ keynote/motivational speaking events, please email:

 modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com 

 © All Rights Reserved! Thank you for reading and following my blog. Should you wish to use any of my articles for research, lectures, personal use, etc.,.. kindly address your message to: modoulaminsowe1@hotmail.com. 

Copying any of my articles without written permission is an infringement of Copyright.

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How To Borrow From God

      Written by award winning Gambian author, Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe Imagine ...