A glance at the current crop of likely presidential candidates in the December 2021 presidential election is both comedic and entertaining. It is truly a case of “Yimping,” “Yampang” and “Yampangpori.” Pardon my irreverent, tongue-and-cheek swipe at our elite political leaders, as the election is a serious matter that harbors vastly important consequences for the future of Gambia and Gambians.
Yet, to stop myself from weeping, or descending into bouts of mild depression, which I do often when I think about the poor prospects of a stable and prosperous democracy under their watch, I am compelled to imagine our political leaders as comedians.
Certainly, you can think of many moments that made, or could make you laugh out loud upon hearing the president, or vice-president demolish the English, or Arabic languages, or see the affable president dozing off at a meeting following a delicious meal of “thiep bu dien,” one of his many favorites.
In a world grappling with a year-long global pandemic and political fiasco in the (dis) United States of America, how else can the human race survive without South African comedian, Trevor Noah’s humor, his Trump jokes and jokes on colonialism?
Alternatively, imagine the resulting pondominium of the current government and its retinue of advisors lost at sea while each groping to steer a ship to an unknown destination- without a map. This could be hysterical. Or watch them ransack Jammeh’s files and notes for pointers and direction to navigate the lost ship- castigating him for all that is wrong with our country while the brute’s sympathizers in the new administration try desperately to sink the ship.
Similarly, imagine the ruling elite and its newly minted party boss consorting with the then disgraced ruling party mafia boss arguing about who was most suited to captain a sinking ship- “where were you”? .
The political leaders that remain offer Gambians another commiedy treat. Gripped in throes of grandstanding, and revelling in past glories, and entitlements, they parade the country as Gambia’s saviors. At their feet are the newly registered lilliputian political parties that remain financially trapped, and with bowls in hand, their leaders panhandle for donations with little prospects to pose a credible threat to the established parties and their leaders.
The comedy thickens and takes a twisted-turn with “one-man” political parties that seek relevance and a chair at the table. Without a constituency to speak of they gaslight as larger-than-life political pundits striving to be taken seriously and be thrown a bone. Cartoonists will have a field day of this.
Consider other comedian politicians that have abandoned their half-dead parties and thrown their lot, and gaff with promising presidential wannabes. It is all a case of smoke and mirrors as the electorate listens, Seriously, how can anyone take these hustler-politicians seriously at all times without going mad? Take it from me; humor is the medicine to the madness.
And, you certainly do not want to miss the tall, and often animated national assembly stand-up comedian with protruding eyes for a hearty laugh. You can see him on TV pacing the national assembly floor in his “njaxass” outfit gesturing for emphasis and effect on a heavy national political issue. How could anyone miss the humour in this otherwise serious politician?
Also, how can anyone not get the comedic punch when “homeless” members of the national assembly roam the streets of Banjul and leave their cardboard shelters to resoundingly vote themselves a huge housing loan facility amid a global pandemic? Goodness, what were they thinking? Laughter, humor, even satire are sometimes the only antidote, or escape to pent-up anger and frustration over Gambian politics and politicians and their foibles.
When next you get frustrated over Gambian politics and the political elite, and risk ruining your day, reach out for George Orwell’s, “Animal Farm,” as a backdrop to the comedy show that is Gambian politics. Better yet, watch Senegalese comedian, Kuchaa, make fun of Yahya, Macky, and Adama. It may just be the break you need.
Take it from me; when you are at the brink of giving up on politics, and politicians in Gambia,and wish to lower your blood pressure; take a break from the madness, and laugh your heart out by reimagining our elite politicians, as prototypes of “Yimping, “Yampang” and Yampangpori,” before snapping back to reality.
Come on, relax! Have a sense of humor! Happy Valentine’s Day!