The Guaranteed Gambia, supported by Thomas Cook, on Friday awarded certificates to artists who participated in a week-long craft competition held at Alliance Francaise Gambienne, along Kairaba Avenue.
The event, which was organised by The Guaranteed Gambia, brought together students and some artists that are already working on their own in the Greater Banjul and West Coast Region.
In this Guaranteed Gambia first ever craft competition, about 20 contestants participated and vied for different categories in the competition, which include, Best Original Wood Sculptor, Best Young Female Artist and Gambia's Most Talented All-Round Artist.
The GG panel of judges highly commended the participants and it was with honour and respect when Jo Bradley, Sustainable Destination manager of Thomas Cook Airline, announced the three winners; Best Original Wood Sculptor - Bamba Njie; Best Young Female Artist - Nelly A Aubee and Gambia's Most Talented All-Round Artist - Ousman Jammeh.
Jo Bradley said that part of her office responsibilities is to enhancetheir operation in all their destinations, to help them to become a better place for people to live. She explained that the good ideas taking place around the craft production and talented stories of craft produced to the customers in Kartong motivated her to engage stakeholders in nuturing the brilliant ideas and good works that are special in the destination.
Bradley noted that during the GG first exhibition last year they got little to offer compared to this year, when they are having abundance with lots of sales, which product he said are developed and made here in The Gambia.
Sia Fasuluku, merchandise of GG, pointed out that they are not working with middlemen but direct with the selected artists. According to her, they are giving hope as regarding their products. She however noted that the new winners and certificated artists would now join the existing members of GG for more training and work for themselves.
Madam Fasuluku added that GG products would improve tourists' experience in The Gambia, as it will allow them to go back with authentic products as gifts to their friends and families. "This is with the aim of increasing unique locally made products in The Gambia," she said.
She concluded that GG members are local artists and artisan producers that produce an exclusive high quality product. "GG makers have worked alongside designers from around the world to create items that reflect the spirit of The Gambia and that appeal to modern tastes," she added.
Adama Bah of Travel Foundation congratulated the contestants and as well thanked the GTBoard, NCAC and in particular Thomas Cook. He quickly extended GG's appreciation to their trainers and his family Rupert, for a great job that is highly recognised by everyone.