ST takes on Climate Change crisis


Gambian rapper ST is set to use his star status to push the climate movement in the country to new heights. The Brikama-born musician whose real name is Sanna Singhateh has this week unveiled plans to launch an annual award on environmental protection, starting next year – 2022.

“Fighting climate change requires collective efforts and I am happy to use my voice and platform to raise awareness and call for action on the need to protect our environment,” said ST who also goes by the stage name Da Gambian Dream or Brikama Boyo.

The multiple award-winning rapper is celebrated not just for his music but also his philanthropic interventions carried out through his charity, ST Foundation. His assistance cuts across different sectors though emphasis is placed on education where he pays tuition for needy students and fund-raises for schools to be able to provide basic needs such as toilets and classroom furniture. The singer has donated at least 200 hundred bags of rice to help needy households during Covid-19 while partnering with the government and UNICEF to produce messages on preventing the pandemic.

“Our charitable work is changing lives,” said Alieu Sowe, coordinator of the ST Foundation. “An example is the tuition we paid for Gambia College students. More than ten of them have since collected their certificates and are teaching kids in the communities.”

Know more about the Award

Climate change is believed to be having negative impacts on the natural environment and people in The Gambia in various ways, including erratic rainfall and flash floods that crop production while rendering people homeless.

“We continue to lose our forest cover at a very alarming rate,” said Alieu. “Engaging young people at an early age will help inculcate the sense of responsible forestry and environmental management in our children to become positive actors towards the fight against climate change.”

Alieu is hoping that ST’s involvement in environmental activism will inject dynamism and innovation into the movement against climate change in the country.

Climate activist Maimuna Jabbi of Greenup Gambia, an environmental movement shares similar optimism. She believes that the influence of ST is needed to propel the climate change agenda.

“Climate change affects everyone, so we need such grassroots initiatives that encourage more climate action,” she said.

Meanwhile, the announcement made by the Foundation indicate that an independent board will be set up to put together the Award. It will recognise individuals and organisations for their role in environmental protection.

Besides the annual award, which will be held at a special event, the Foundation will work with organisations and communities to grow trees especially the endangered tree species. Periodic video challenges will be conducted where people all over the world will plant trees and share their experiences in the planting of trees.

“This initiative will help restore the lost forest cover, create employment and revenue for communities and rally our fans and followers to take ownership of their environment and protect it,” said Alieu.

Tackling climate change in songs

ST is renowned for his lyrics that address wide range of socio-cultural and economic challenges facing the society. In his latest album, he dedicated the My People song to relate issues of corruption, high cost of living, among others. He song features Senegalese born music icon Baaba Maal.

The rapper gave a hint of his concern over environment degradation when he daringly criticized the activities of the controversial Chinese fishmeal factories in his song Fuwareyaa.

“Through this [environmental award] initiative, ST will continue to use his platforms and influence to advocate for the protection of the environment,” the Foundation announced in its statement.

Already, the rapper has signed a deal with the Outlaw Ocean Project to produce songs highlighting human rights concerns in the Gambian seas.

“Rest assured that environmental protection will be a central theme of ST’ in the upcoming album, which will be launched next year, and going forward,” Alieu assured.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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