Profile of A Poet: Dr. Kebba S. Bojang

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Dr. Kebba S. Bojang is a medical doctor,  scientist, poet, author, and essayist. He currently works as the Program Manager of the National Cancer Control Program(NCCP), at the Ministry of Health, The Gambia. He is also a senior lecturer at the School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (SMAHS) at the University of The Gambia (UTG).

As a poet, his journey started at the medical school. He writes on various issues: sociocultural, medical (medical poetry), politics and governance, love and relationship, religion and spirituality, philosophical and metaphysical, etc.  

He is the initiator of Medpoetry: Healing Words, in February 2020—where he serves as an editor and mentors budding poets—a platform for poems relating to medical experience from the viewpoint of a patient or client, healthcare worker, or an observer—as part of the Medpoetry Initiative, or “the Medpoetry Project” as he describes it.  As part of the same initiative, he and his team organized “the Convene in Medpoetry,” the maiden medical poetry and narrative event in The Gambia, and by extension in West Africa,  in January 2023.

While living in Indonesia, he published his first poetry book, ‘Maarikeen: A Poetry Anthology’ in January 2021. The book was translated into Bahasa Indonesia (Maarikeen: Antologi Puisi).  In September 2021, as part of the Medpoetry Project,  ‘Healing Words: Medical Poetry and Prose,’ with him serving as an editor, was published. Healing Word was featured on BBC in March 2022. The book gives a unique perspective and revelations of medical experience as related to challenges of illness and taking care of the ill from patients and ordinary folks, and health care workers (doctors, nurses, laboratorian, and a biotechnologist) respectively with contributors from around the world—Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean.

Bojang’s poems have been recited on the West Africa Democratic Radio (WADR) in Dakar, Senegal, and on several occasions in The Gambia including The Inauguration of The Cardiology Unit, Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, The Gambia;  the Launching of the Initiative for Diabetes and Hypertension Control (IDHC), an initiative by the medical students of SMAHS, UTG.

His poems have appeared in The Standard newspaper, The Chronicle newspaper, The Alkamba Times newspaper, etc. in The Gambia; in the then Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital News,  and on the All Poetry, “The web’s largest poetry writing group”, etc..

He has read cum recited his poems at a variety of events including the then monthly Word of  Mouth (WOM) spoken word poetry event in The Gambia; Gambia’s Independence Day celebration in Jakarta, Indonesia; Academic Civitas meeting, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Brawijaya, Indonesia; sessions of the International Program for Public Health Leadership (IPPHL) at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington, Seattle, USA; and the speech and prize giving ceremony at Jambur Basic Cycle School, etc..

He has appeared on The Brunch of the Kerr Fatou TV to talk about his poetry journey; and on the Book Interview of the Gambia Center for Research and Policy Studies (GCRPS) to discuss “Maarikeen”, his first published poetry book.

As a lecturer at the SMAHS, UTG, almost every lecture he gives has poetry about or relevant to the topic.

Dr. Bojang has been invited as the guest speaker for “The Role of Poetry in Promoting Health Advocacy” at the Journey into Publishing Seminar organized by the Federation of African Medical Students’ Association (FAMSA) on August 26, 2023.

As an essayist, Dr. Bojang writes on various issues, including socio-cultural, political, medical, and poetry. His essays on and about poetry include: “Poetry and Medicine: – The Role of Poetry in the Modern Practice of Medicine,” “Every Doctor is a Poet,” and “A Poem in another tongue: can poetry be truly translated?”

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