13 December 2012

Gambia: Sankanu Cries Foul


On my way from a meeting with the theatre group of the Youth Ambassadors for Peace opposite the National Environment Agency (NEA) in Kanifing as part of my ongoing informal interactive sessions with creative talents in the country, I decided to make another experience by joining a bus towards the Coastal Road area for dinner. The bus was filled beyond capacity as the apprentices squeezed in as many passengers as possible.

I was lucky to get a seat as I boarded in Kanifing when it was nearly empty. It was a unique experience.

On my way back home I boarded a commercial minivan towards Serrekunda with the plan to alight at Latrikunda Sabiji or Tallinding. When the apprentice asked for the fares, I took out my wallet, removed a 25 Dalasi note and placed the wallet on top of the folder on my laps. As I was concentrating with the apprentice, a co-passenger snatched the wallet and quickly shouted "driver mayima fi, mayima fi." I adjusted myself to give him leg space to step out of the van. As the van drove off, the distracted apprentice closed the door and then gave me my change. I wanted to put the change back into my wallet and it was nowhere to be found. I told the driver about it. He stopped the van immediately and put on the interior lights of the van but we found nothing on the entire floor and corners of the vehicle. The guy who rushed out took it. It was late to locate him as he disappeared into the darkness of the side streets. The apprentice revealed that guy to him he was originally going up to Serrekunda but his suspicious change of mind to drop off in the middle of his journey meant he did something illegal.

The main contents of my snatched wallet I can vividly remember include:

a) Branded credit card of Master Card

b) German social insurance certificate

c) German/EU medical insurance card. Just hope I would not fall ill while in the Gambia.

d) Western Union gold card

e) Bank card of the Sparkasse KoelnBonn Bank, Germany

f) Membership card of the German Pirate Party

g) Alumni ID Card from my former film school in Cologne, Germany

h) Authenticity card for my eyeshades (spectacles)

i) Various business cards

j) Cash in Gambian Dalasis. I did not count the exact amount.

k) Various folded papers with notes, phone numbers or personal messages.

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