Gambia’s in crisis, if you’ve missed the news, with its president, Yahya Jammeh, refusing to end his 22-year rule despite having lost an election and even admitted doing so. He’s got the army’s backing. Things don’t look like they’re going to end prettily.
But on the plus side, this does give me a chance to look at the country’s national anthem!
The bad point? It’s awful! It was written by the country’s former British administrator, Sir Jeremy Howe, with lyrics by his wife. Which is why it doesn’t sound very Gambian. In fact, it sounds more suited to the Yorkshire Dales than tropical Africa.
But there is one good point in light of the current crisis: the lyrics.
For the Gambia, our homeland
We strive and work and prayThat all may live in unityFreedom and peace each dayLet justice guide our actionTowards the common goodAnd join our diverse peoplesTo prove man’s brotherhoodWe pledge our firm allegianceOur promise we renewKeep us, great God of nationsTo The Gambia ever true
Jammeh seems to be ignoring every word of that. Here’s hoping he listens soon.