Breaking Barriers: How a Blind Gambian Musician Sees the World through Music
Madateh Mboob, commonly known to many as Pa Mboop, was born in Kaur, northern part of The Gambia, in 1973 and raised in Banjul, the country’s capital city. He was born blind.
A talented guitarist, Pa Mboob grew up in a renowned griot family. The first born in the family and the only member with a disability, Pa Mboop was shielded from the harsh realities of his disability by the immense parental love and warmth of his family.
Pa Mboob has a melodious voice. It is a voice resonating hope and encouragement for the blind. “I want my music to speak to people, touch lives and raise awareness about issues in Gambian societies. I also want to show the world that blind people have talent and they should be heard, that’s how I see music.”
As members of his family used to play during weddings and baptisms, Pa Mboob learned music from an early age, particularly with his grandfather.
At the age of five, he was sent to the Campama Primary School for the blind and there, Mboop benefited from rehabilitation programs and basic education.
Mboob, 47, said people had evolved with their different cultures over time and he’s using his music to preach love, peace and harmony to fit into the existing cultures. “My music is to modulate emotions of the society for them to do good, love and maintain peace with one another, that’s how I see music, “he told The Chronicle.
Pa Mboob is no ordinary singer, he’s one of the few blind singers who perform across hotels, cafeterias and other locations in the country’s industrial areas. “It’s born out of my love to play music and sing,” Mboob explains. “Despite being blind, music gives me sight, it makes me feel that am on top of things.”
During the 80’s, Pa Mboob performed on a number of music platforms with a number of renowned Gambian musicians, including the late Musa Afia Ngum and Jaliba Kuyateh.
Since then Mboop still performs with his Gambian Acoustic Music Band as lead vocalist.
Below you can watch Pa Mboob’s brief conversation with The Chronicle’s Omar Jarju shortly after his performance at Coral Beach Hotel.