A senior university relations officer, Yankuba Mamburay, who authored and published three books, recently launched two of those books - "The Search for a Lost Brother" and"The Mysterious Odyssey of a Village Boy" during a ceremony held at the Law Faculty of the University of The Gambia.
The programme was attended by several dignitaries and the general public. Speaking at the ceremony, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Momodou Sanneh explained to the audience the procedure that authors need to follow to have their books reviewed by a panel of book reviewers at the ministry for approval for schools. He commended Mamburay for painstakingly following the required procedure which has culminated in the approval of two of his books for senior secondary schools. Sanneh noted that the number of Gambian books in Gambian classrooms has increased astronomically since the year 2003.
The vice chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Muhammadou M. O. Kah, for his part, expressed his delight to witness the launching of two books of one of the university staff. He said he is proud of Mr. Mamburay in that "anybody who sits through long nights, hunchback, to write and express his thoughts on paper until it becomes a book, should be commended"'
While encouraging the audience to develop the culture of using their intellectual creative faculties to write, VC Kah equally stressed that in an intellectual institution like the University of The Gambia, writing should be ongoing. He further encouraged all to support Author Mamburay by doing one of the three things - buy his books, read them or donate them.
Also speaking at the occasion, the director general of The Gambia National Library Services (GNLS), Abdou Wally Mbye, informed the gathering that Mamburay has already donated two of each of his books to the Gambia National Library. For this, he thanked Mamburay and urged all to emulate him. Mbye encouraged a culture of reading in every home, beginning with early childhood stage and for all to make the library their friend.
For the man of the day, whose success was being celebrated, Mamburay, thanked Allah the Almighty, his parents, wife of 15 years, Bintou,colleagues and all those who have been supporting his efforts from the very beginning; from the Gambia, USA, Asia, Europe and the wider world. He also expressed his gratitude to those who managed to come to the book launch despite the day being "Yawm Al A'Shura". He said he has authored three books but was launching two today.
The two books, he added, are: "The Search for a Lost Brother"; which he explained is a true, non-fiction story, narrated by the author, about a brother who traveled before the birth of the author. "The family, after several years, came to know that the brother was in the war-torn country, Liberia. During the war, Mr. Mamburay embarked on a journey to look for his brother and was apprehended by Charles Taylor's troops at gunpoint. It is the story of a Gambian family," he explained.
The second one launched entitled: "The Mysterious Odyssey of a Village Boy"; according to Mamburay, is a mystery book that spans over four decades of the life of a little boy who mysteriously found himself in a strange world, in a web bigger than himself. "He was brought up in the most brutal and inhumane condition which helped build in him the spirit of a great man. The boy had to spend his entire life trying to find out why he was in the situation that he found himself in," he explained.
Meanwhile, VC Prof Kah pledged on behalf of UTG to buy 30 books (15 of each book) to be spread among the libraries at the Schools of Arts and Science, ICT and Education at Brikama, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Medicine, Law Faculty and Faraba Banta Campus; whilst Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC) pledged to purchase 125 books; and Takaful Insurance Company Ltd. purchased eight books.