Fatou Jaw Manneh: Dame of the Flaming Pen
Q: What motivated or inspired you to write?
A: Political stagnation at that time, corruption and nepotism mainly motivated me. I also believe that no human being should sit on their ideas, especially when they could respond to the problems of the time. I like to make comments on what I see around me, political, social or anything it might be. […]
Q: You are branded one of President Jammeh’s bitterest critics. Why such gripes about the regime?
Betrayal. Jammeh is tearing our beloved country in shreds. He debunked our hopes and became a thorn in every issue that relates to progress in the Gambia be it social, political or economical. Worst of all, he is a bundle of terror. There is the need therefore to speak out against his tendencies, which re inimical to progress. If you look around the Gambia, particularly at the conditions people live in, you will see what I mean. […]
Q: How would you evaluate the state of the Gambian media?
A: Battered but still steadfast. I think the Gambian media is trying hard under all these abhorrent circumstances to hold on to the banner of informing the people come what may.
Q: You condemned the arson attack on the Independent [in October 2003]. Were you surprised by it?
A: Not at all, but you know only fools will attempt to kill ink! These crimes are committed by vagabonds who are very low on self-esteem. […]
Q: What would you say to assertions that any time the Independent publishes your article they get into trouble?
A: Really? If that is so then I think there is part of the audience that is not happy about what I write. The Independent should buckle up. There are more articles coming. I do not carry the view of the Independent and vice versa, unfortunately. I do not write to garner applause or insult, I write because I simply do not bite my tongue or sit on my ideas on issues simply because it is not going to sit well with certain quarters.