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“Doff Yi": My Struggles with Depression

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By Amran Gaye (contributing author) In 2011, while in college in the US, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. It was a new label, for things I had always felt, as far back as I can remember: my changing moods, my insomnia, my endless anxieties...  I was lucky enough to be in a country with a mental health care system: medication and therapists and psychiatrists, a whole system set up to take care of me and people like me.  Most Gambians living with mental illness do not have this privilege.  * The earliest "doff" I remember is  the toubab "doff".  In primary school, standing at the gates of the national library, I saw him. Stark naked, his skin sunburnt almost brown, a distracted look on his face, muttering to himself as he walked slowly down the street.  And behind him: a train of children, holding long branches which they used to poke his butt from a safe distance, giggling at this impossible sight suddenly appeared in their day. I ran into the library, and by t

A Nation Ripe for Change — Is a ‘TRRC Party’ the Silver Bullet?

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By Pa Louis Sambou S ince the disintegration of what was the Coalition, our political discourse largely revolved around the binary black and white worlds of President Barrow versus Lawyer Ousainou Darboe. Therefore, without taking any view either way as to the shines and dulls of either entity, it isn’t controversial to state that an effective third option will breed a breath of fresh air into the political atmosphere for a change. This is certainly not to imply that there aren’t other options besides the aforementioned, of course there are. However, in light of known facts, one just cannot reasonably conceive an effective third alternative out of any of those other options individually. This is not a pejorative assumption but rather a plausible and prejudice-free original premise of thought borne out from the available preliminary facts. Although these facts may change in the coming weeks and months but, for now, they are what they are.    Partisan citizens among us may no doubt disag

Why the Rearresting of Freed ‘Three Years Jotna’ Leaders is Bad on Every Front

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    By Pa Louis Sambou    O ne really need not have a vested interest in the subject matter nor even have a skin in the game one way or another for them to hold the view that ‘Three Years Jotna’ (TYJ), was from the word go  a cause in futility . This was my view back then and it remains my view today. The President has constitutional authority to remain in office for 5 years; citizens (TYJ in this instance) by the same measure are entitled to exercise their right to freedom of speech and expression including to challenge any President to step down regardless of whether the premise of such a position is valid. My sincere apologies for stating the obvious but, it’s crystal clear that the legality of any exercise of such a right is not dependent on the merit or the State’s approval of the object of such advocacy. However, it must be emphatically stated that the latter’s right does not go as far as empowering them to seek active measures in order to effect the removal of a President nor do