President Yahya Jammeh was on Monday given a prestigious award called the 'Life Time Achievement Award' by Dr. Victor O. Olatoye, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nollywood Africa Film Critic Award (NAFCA) at a ceremony held at State House in Banjul.
The award was the most prestigious award conferred on an individual by the Nollywood film industry in recognition of President Jammeh's contributions to the promotion of African culture.
Speaking at the ceremony attended by cabinet ministers, President Jammeh expressed delight in the award and also thanked Dr. Olatoye for the wonderful encouragement, noting that it is one thing to win an award, but once you do, you are being told directly or indirectly to redouble your efforts.
"In any award there may be others who will say he does not deserve it and the majority says he deserve. This is why you have to redouble your efforts because those who voted for you will be proud of you that as our leader, you are really worthy of yourself," Jammeh said.
President Jammeh used the occasion to renew calls for unity among Africans, adding that it is crucial if the continent is to regain its glory and dignity.
"For me, as far as I am concerned, I don't care where you come from; we are Africans and that is what is important, even an African from Alaska or the North Pole is an African and that is the way it should be; because when we go to a non-African continent, they don't see you as Nigerian or Gambian but they see you as African, so let us work together," Jammeh stated.
Dr Olatoye described the award as the highest in the Nollywood film industry.
According to him, the award is in recognition of President Jammeh's stance in the promotion of African culture and tradition.
"We have seen your work; we want to congratulate you for being the leader of this great country. We went around, and we saw what you are doing for this country, and we love what we have been hearing from the people," Dr. Olatoye told the Gambian leader.
He explained that they met President Jammeh because they believe as Africans and people of African decent, our great leaders need to be known because people need to hear the good news about them, promote our culture and our people.
Ministers Momodou Tangara, Francis Letti Mboge and Fatou Ndeye Gaye all congratulated President Jammeh for the award.
Dr Njogu Bah, the Minister for Presidential Affairs, said the award was a source of pride for all Gambians.
"We congratulate President Jammeh for the award, and we also thank Dr. Olatoye for the kind sentiments," Bah added.