Please click here to read about how The International Roots Festival 2011 worked out. You will see lots of photos and videos of some of the events. The article will give you an idea on what to expect but at the same time how to have your own experience in The Gambia West Africa. The article is written by Jennelle Mahone SY Enjoy!
Lectures by intellectuals from throughout the Gambia, a detailed orientation session, meet and greets for attendees from throughout the African Diaspora with some of the best in live traditional African entertainment, and a magnificent multi-cultural carnival procession of some of the best masquerades in Africa paved the way to the official opening ceremony to the The 10th Edition of the International Roots Festival 2011 in the Gambia West Africa.
“The International Roots Festival was institutionalized by His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J.J. Jammeh President of the Republic of The Gambia in 1996. Since 1996 the Roots Festival has attracted hundreds of Africans from the Diaspora to the Gambia to reconnect with their African Ancestry and to immerse themselves in the culture of Africa and to come back to their roots. His Excellency wants Africans throughout the Diaspora to be recognized for their social and cultural contributions. Focus on all key developments that have been accomplished in spite of the trials and tribulations that their ancestors endured through the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This is key,” says Minister of Tourism Honorable Fatou Mas Jobe-Njie.
Progressive historical milestones unimaginable to those who are unfamiliar to the positive images of Africa highlighted the International Roots Festival. His Excellency the President Sheikh Professor ALH. Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh promised African Americans and Black people from England Gambian citizenship. And it didn’t end there. The next day it was on to James island the former British Slave Fort used for the slave trade of Africans. It sits in the River Gambia in the North Bank Region.
Renamed Kunta Kinte Island on February 6, 2011 as passionately requested by New York, Artist Chaz Guest to President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. Guest revealed the miniature replica of the 30 foot statue to be displayed on Kunta Kinte Island.
“But as I came out of there I was reborn as that butterfly showed me I would morph into a voiceful person. I would never be able to stand here and speak before you. But I have a message. And that message is, I have the strength to say. This is no longer James island. From this day forward Kunta Kinte Island. And I took that message to His Excellency President Yaya Jammeh. Now I see this happening which is so beautiful. Everyone coming together doing their part.” says Sculptor Guest.
See Africa for yourself in the Gambia West Africa known as the smiling coast of Africa. You will be delighted in culture and re-connect to your roots in a sweet and comforting way. Jennelle Mahone SY