UK visa delay may hamper Star Athletes Gina & Ebrima’s Commonwealth Games Participation

Gina Bass

A delay in issuing a visa to Gambian star athletes Gina Bass and Ebrima Camara could hinder their participation in the Commonwealth Games, which started in Birmingham in England Thursday, The Alkamba Times (TAT) can report.

The Gambian delegation to the Games headed by Bakary Jammeh has arrived in the UK, whilst Africa’s fastest woman in 100 meters, Gina Bass, and her colleagues, Ebrima Camara, Adama Jammeh, Sangham Jobe, Alieu Joof, and Abdou are stranded in Paris, France.

Ebrima Camara

Gina and Ebrima are expected to compete in the 100 and 200 meters races at the Games, provided they are granted visas on time.

The duo left the United States last week after an impressive performance at the just-ended World Athletics Championships in Oregon and were expecting to be with their compatriots already in Birmingham.

They were hoping to get their visas ahead of the Games opening and were kept waiting for nearly two weeks without any word from Banjul.

Adama Jammeh

TAT understands that the delay in their visa approval by British Embassy officials in Banjul could have been avoided if government officials tasked with the responsibility had been supportive enough.

“This is sad considering the profile of Gina and Ebrima, and their participation in the Commonwealth Games. They should have made arrangements for them to have a smooth process free from hitches if they are serious about supporting sports, an official of the Gambia’s National Olympic Committee told TAT.

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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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