In what was a keenly contested event, three outstanding contestants namely, Fanna Secka of London Corner, Mariama Cham of Sanchaba and, Mariama Dibba of Kololi, were recently selected ahead of Sen Petit Galle grand selection round to be held in Dakar, out of which one contestant will represent The Gambia.
The annual talent showpiece dubbed 'Sen Petit Galle' is meant to create a platform for young people to harness their natural giving talents. The event, which started several years, has carved a niche for it in recent years, thanks to its diverse and huge followers in West Africa and beyond. However, this years' mega event is slated for August 15, 2017, in the Senegalese Capital of Dakar.
The Gambia 2017 pre-selection event held over the weekend at a hotel in Kololi, show 47 contestants competing for a spot to represent the country. The event was courtesy of Absolute Entertainment in collaboration with its partners, Prince Arts, amid huge applause from fans to cheer their various contestants.
Haddy Faye, the chief executive officer of Absolute Entertainment Company, congratulated all the 47 contestants for their efforts during the pre-selection exercise, further thanking the panel of judges for what she called a 'job well-done' during the selection process.
The three contestants, she went on, will represent The Gambia at the first leg of the 2017 Annual Musical Talent Showcase of Sen Petit Galle in Senegal, during which, one will be selected to represent the country at the grand finale.
"Yes, these children have potential and with support they can do it. Unlike the previous years I must say this time around, The Gambia is given the chance to select three contestants at the pre-selection event and from their then; the three selected will be accorded the opportunity in Senegal where they will further expose to other activities relating to the event before one of them will be finally selected to represent The Gambia at the grand finale to be held on 5th August in Dakar".
She continued; "We at Absolute Entertainment Company and the selected participants will depart The Gambia on July 30, 2017, to Senegal for further preparations ahead of the main event. This annual event, for me, is a great initiative that needs more support and to that effect as Absolute Entertainment is looking forward to organizing similar events like this one here in The Gambia, where we will have our Sen Petit Galle stage. I think this will further make us great as a nation to better prepare and get ready for events like Sen Petit Galle in Senegal."
Also speaking at the ceremony, Koroma Mboge, of Prince Art Entertainment Company, who doubles as the coordinator of Sen Petit Galle, underscored the importance of this annual talent showpiece, saying the event was initiated by Ngoneh Ndure, aimed at motivating and encouraging children to harness their God-given talents through music.
"It is also designed to foster cultural relations that exist within the participating countries including those participating children coming from the Diaspora" he added.
Sen Petit Galle, he went on, is a perfect platform for children around the sub-region and beyond to harness their potentials, saying annually the event attracts participants from all over the region and abroad, such as in Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Gambia as well as Paris and New York.
The event, according to him, is staged in summer and December each year, adding that the this mega platform goes beyond only promoting music, as participants also stands the chance to go home with lot of benefits and rewards and that includes; a plot of land plus full educational scholarship package.
"This excluding 5 million CFA cash awarded to overall winner", he added.
Koroma noted that as part of this year's event, the Senegalese born U.S.-based star- AKON will be the father of this year's event. "So my advice to the contestants is for them to do their best because the benefits worth participating".
The three selected namely, Mariama Cham, Mariama Dibba and Fanna Secka, all expressed delighted to be part of the event.
The trio calls for more prayers and support from the entire Gambian populace ahead of the grand finale to be held in Dakar, further echoing the sentiment expressed by panel of judges namely, Modou Kara Gaye of Afro-Radio and Latirr Carr, the executive director of Blacque Magique.
The four Judges called for more support from all and sundry to support the kids for the interest of The Gambia as a nation, adding that even voting candidates through SMS also counts a lot to determine the final winner.