In his now famous Sunugaal slide show with its heart breaking lyrics, Senegalese poet cum musician Awadi sang the following:
All your beautiful words
All your beautiful promises
We always wait for them
You had promised me that I would have of the job
You had promised me that I would never be hungry
You had promised me of true activities and a future
Really up to here I still see nothing
That's why I decided to flee, that's why I break myself in dugout
I swear it ! I can't stay here one more second.
It is better to die that to live in such conditions, in this hell
Come what may
I again prefer to die
He was decrying the decay that has befallen his countrymen, but you can swap the name Senegal with any other African country, and the situation he is bemoaning will be just as true. The Gambia has lost many a son to the waves of the Mediterranean sea. They died braving the demons of the sea to reach what they believe is the promised land. Those fortunate enough to make it to the shores of the Spanish Canary Islands are now been sent back en mass as reported by the point in this story:
As part of the drive to combat illegal immigration, some 111 Gambians have over the weekend been deported to The Gambia as they tried to enter Spain.
The Point has learnt that the would-be immigrants left The Gambia some three weeks ago aboard a vessel but ran out of luck on entering the Canary Islands, their vessel having been intercepted and all the men on board put in a plane back to The Gambia.
The latest arrivals bring to 255 Gambians deported within a period one month..point
The economic toll of this mass deportation will reverberate around the whole nation. There are families in the Gambia that sell all their livestock to scrunge together the 25000 dalasis ( about $890) to have someone going on this trip. Getting sent home means no returns on their investments and the consequences will not be pretty economically. The toll apart from the millions of dalasis that went down the drain will take years to reverse. The psychological impact of cheating death just to be dump back to square one could have traumatic effects on many a youngster in a country where mental health advice is virtually non-existent.