Thinking of Independence

Photo: Courtesy of the Gambian Archives

Poem By Dr. Sulayman Njie 

Thinking of independence

of my own lineage

my old man

Of Mam Hara

my Grandpa Madun

of Mam Maget

And Mam Sabel

I think of the passage of time

I think of the folks who we lost along the way

I think of the fleeting concept that’s life, its brevity, its fragility

I think of time, man’s nemesis, eventually taking its toll on all of us

I’m nostalgic, the mind is casting back on when it was a kid

I wonder what the kids do nowadays on Independence Day

I think of Serekunda School, the uniforms, the rehearsals

I think of the “For The Gambias”

I think of the “DK Sabaris”

I think of the colorful costumes

I think of the choreographed marches, the pageantry

I think of the old neighborhood

I think of how helpless, crushing, and dehumanizing poverty is

I think of Ala and Dave trekking the Sahara, braving the waters, staggering into new lands

I think of the old country

I wonder if the old country would ever be truly independent

I wonder what is to become of my people

I’m thinking, I’m wondering

If Independence is just another metaphor,

If it’s just an idea,

If it’s just a journey, not a destination

I’m still wondering, I’m still thinking

Thinking of Independence

— By Sulayman Njie

Dallas, Texas


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