By Famara Fofana

Episodes of the Sareti Bayelaa drama series produced by Team Kitabu have combinedly recorded over a million views count on YouTube.  

This comes barely three months since the first episode of the popular Mandinka drama series was dropped on the online video sharing platform. 

Reacting to this milestone, Kitabu Fatty, the series director enthused: “Hitting that number is a big achievement for the entire team. It shows the hard work and dedication all of us continue to invest in the production. This is a film that every Gambian can relate to.” 

Ismaila Fadera, a Sareti Bayelaa enthusiast on social media described the production as undoubtedly the best Gambian series, saying everything about the production team is top-notch. 

“Kitabu is setting standards and by taking the series to YouTube, it can help the younger generation to tap into digital platforms for a wider audience. Like many keen followers, I am interested in the whole plot and how the complexities thereof develop throughout the storyline.” 

One frequent commentator on the Sareti Bayelaa series is Sang Wisdom Mendy, a media and communications trainer. For Mendy, the cultural significance of the film is what makes it epic even if its storyline too cannot be overlooked:

“It’s fun and educative. From the costumes to the very rich Mandinka used in the film, there are a lot of lessons to be learned, especially for a society losing its cultural values due to westernization. Young people, in particular, have a lot to benefit from the series,” Mendy pointed out. 

Sareti bayelaa captures the heart and soul of a close-knit pre-technology Gambian society immersed in the tangled web of love, rivalry, polygamy, the cruelty of widowhood, traditional healing powers, and the mythology of yesteryear. The series mainly revolves around a charming young man Lang Sareti, who would become the subject of a love triangle involving two contrasting characters Loli and her nemesis Sarjo. Its huge appeal amongst Gambia’s online community lies in its deep social and aesthetic value. 

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