The Writers’ Association of The Gambia (WAG) on Saturday 23rd April 2022 commemorated World Book and Copyright Day with theme: “You Are A Reader”, held at Alliance Francaise (Kairaba Avenue”.
World Book and Copyright Day is observed annually on 23 April, marking the deaths of the writers William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.
This date was a natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books.
The annual event set aside to recognize the power of books to change the lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them. As global symbols of social progress, books – learning and reading, have become targets for those who denigrate culture and education.
The UNESCO said countries must redouble efforts to promote the book, the pen, the computer, along with all forms of reading and writing, in order to fight illiteracy and poverty, to build sustainable societies, to strengthen the foundations of peace.
The event was joint with the launch of the latest edition of the Proverb book.
Giving review of the book on proverbs, Dr. Cherno Omar Barry said writers Association started in 2009 and has several other presidents.
He said that since then they came up with their first book adding that the first thing people should know is their culture and the best way to know your culture is to know your language
He stressed that they thought that the best way to know your language is knowing how to interpret our daily lives.
“In Africa we are very rich at Proverbs. The elders speak to young with the use of proverbs and we believe proverbs will be a very good idea that’s why we came up with the book called the Proverb with the support from UNESCO”
He added that the collection of the Proverb book contains seven Hundred and Twenty-two (722) proverbs in 3 National Languages Mandinka, Wollof and Fulla.
He further said the first quarter of the book they decided to put the Proverbs as it is said in the local language.
He said that the second column they give the direct transliterations of that local language and then the meaning of what the local language is.
‘‘We need to have the autobiography of our own writers and is always inspiring because you need to realize that you connect and these are people who have struggled to strive, they didn’t just grow up like that’’ he said.
Declaring the book of proverb launched, Hon. Nanna Grey Johnson said the participants should use the document as a source of their value system adding that these proverbs are not just thrown by our ancestors because they sounded good but teaches people ways of life and how to behave on people.
He added that the proverbs also taught people on how to respond to people and elders in the society.
“You will not find anything in the book of proverb that will tell you to ruin, hurt and to lie but it teaches people on how to behave and respect people in the society. On that I will like to declare the proverb book launched” he said
On his part Hassoum Ceesay spoke on the importance of literature in the Gambia.
He said the press has played very important role in the development of literature in the country