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Gambia Music Union Breaks Bonds With National Centre For Arts and Culture

The Gambia Music Union has on Monday announced its decision to break ties with the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC). The musicians believe that years after jointly working together with the Centre, time has come to walk their way independently.

Speaking at a press conference, Pa Modou Sarr, an interim executive said an independent union will help in the smooth execution of the musicians’ projects and also help to address the bulk of challenges the union struggles to overcome.

One among the key things that we really stand for and we want to make sure it happens is to make sure the independence of the musician’s union of The Gambia is not compromised in any way”, Modou Sarr said.

According to him, the union as an entity cannot completely do away from the National Center for Arts and Culture but “There is need for the autonomy of the union. We can do things for ourselves as musicians and we would not allow ourselves to be “micromanage” at any point from any individual or organization in the name of supporting Gambian music“, said Pa Modou.

If you want us to be autonomous (directed at individuals and or organizations), you should be able to support us and allow us to be independent and implement our own activities and we want that to be very clear” Mr. Sarr during the presser.

The unionist further explained that a new executive body will be announced under the soon-to-be launched congress on the 29th of December 2020. That body, he said, will greatly help in the implementation of projects and needs of the Gambia Music Union.

The NCAC act basically states that the NCAC is supposed to monitor, support, and where necessary make suggestions or recommendations to the artistic association. Therefore that is what we expect from them. But we don’t expect them to do or take away our activities and invite us to be a part of and move on. That should stop and that is a hard fact.”

Musician Union members during Monday’s presser

The musicians’ executive will receive a total amount of D250, 000 as a COVID-19 relief support from the government and will be using the money in the execution process of the Gambia Music Union.

Lie Ngum, another interim member of the outgoing executive warned that not everyone is eligible to be a member of the Gambia Music Union. According to him, there is need to put the Union in order. This begins with all interested artists being required to fill a questionnaire form as a prerequisite to the membership in the union.

If you don’t have the artistic ability, you should not be accepted. The fact that you think you have talent, is fine. But there need to be a body of people who would judge your ability as an artist because otherwise, everyone will want to be a singer and without an instrumentalist, there wouldn’t be a band.”

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