From The Managing Editor,
RESPONDING TO PUBLIC DEMAND FOR AN INDEPENDENLTY SMART GLOBAL VOICE OF REASON, MODERATION, COMPASSION AND CONSCIENCE
When I discussed my plans to start a full cross-media migrant community outlet that can grow to become The Gambia's answer to CNN, BBC or Aljazeera, I was told by some people that I am "definitely crazy!"
Any normal person who looks at the hostile Gambian environment for the independent and innovative media will conclude that only a crazy person will risk creating a media house now. Do I, a genuine Prince from the Noble of House of Sankanura-Kagorta of Sotuma Sere, look and behave like a normal person?
The tough Information Laws in The Gambia are not for seasoned connoisseurs like me as I will always find loopholes to manoeuvre my way through. I will provocatively apply the cat-and-dog strategy to beat the confused bureaucrats in their futile games of trying to control innovation and intellectual freedom. Great fun, isn’t it? No risk, no fun.
If some hawks in the Jammeh System feel too big to engage/respect some of us, the war horses, in working towards a healthy national media and creative industry, let the salary collectors and mercenary experts enjoy their money with counterproductive laws, lies against genuine compatriots and, out-of-fashion technological tools. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are moving at such a fluid speed that by the time a chosen government comes up with a new law or regulation, it is already obsolete!
What is the use of my craziness, intellect and resilience if I should shake every time some Stone Age policymakers make noise? If the authorities concerned want to live in denial and sleep through the realities of the Information Era in the manner of Rip Van Winkle or bury their heads in the sand like the proverbial ostriches, that is not my "fonde" porridge. The last Russian Tsar Nikolai II and his inner circles ignored the admonitions of public intellectuals like Leo Tolstoy till the Communist revolution washed them away. The history is repeating itself today from North Africa, Middle East and beyond.
Ted Turner did not wait for permission or assistance from the USA Government of his time to start CNN. He risked it with his own name, resources and talent to become one of the most influential and inspiration icons of our era. We are following his precedence by NOT waiting for anyone in and out of The Gambia.
"NTI XANNEN Rajon do Televisonka (NXR.tv)" is born on Tuesday 1st October 2013 to respond to the increasing information hunger of Gambians/Africans and the need for an independent media platform for innovative and liberal thinking.
The Gambian national discourse is hijacked by extremists, false prophets and hustlers across the political divide. The middle ground is marginalized. Anyone who starts making noise against current President Yahya Jammeh gets a wholesale celebration as a „liberation hero“ without proper scrutiny of his/her true motives. In the same vein, any sycophant who lies to President Yayha Jammeh or starts attacking government critics at home and abroad is decorated as a „true patriot.“ The moderate and reasonable thinkers are squeezed out if not branded as collaborators and opportunists.
The Holy Prophet Muhammed called on his followers to adopt the path of moderation, “alekium hadiyan qasidan”, towards the creation of the community of the middle path, “umat el wasat.” NTIXANNEN.COM publications, radio and TVs are here for all those who want to follow the moderate lessons of Prophet Muhammed in our Gambian or African national discourse. NTIXANNEN.COM is NOT in competition with any other media outlet in domestic Gambia or Diaspora as it is in a class of its own. It is a think-tank for in-depth intellectual freedom with battle of ideas and mass education.
Regime change in The Gambia or any other jurisdiction under the sun is NOT part of the editorial policy of NTIXANNEN.COM. The core mission of NTIXANNE.COM magazine, radio and TV is to lay the liberal and solid intellectual groundwork for the people to command their respective destinies using the simple language and technology the can understand.
NTIXANNEN.COM is not answerable to governments in this world or domestic and Diaspora entities fighting to replace their respective home governments. It is an independent global voice of reason, moderation, compassion and conscience. It will continue to speak truth to power and to those seeking power, without fear or favour.
NTI XANNEN is also here to complement the efforts of the legitimate Gambian Government of the day in the areas of civic education, cultural renaissance and public enlightenment within the principle of a pragmatic and reasonable state. NTI XANNEN voluntarily respects the Official Secrets Act while striving to maintain a reasonable balance between free speech, privacy protection and public accountability. It will not publish classified materials that will endanger national security and social cohesion but will not hesitate to publish Public Interest information on overt or covert corruption, nepotism, abuse of office, impunity, mismanagement, bigotry or exploitation of the voiceless and the marginalized. NTI XANNEN is a responsible vanguard of The Gambian/African Fourth Estate promoting checks and balances.
Though NTI XANNEN is coined from Sarahulleh meaning of „Voice of The Nti-Speaking Nation“, it is a pluralistic Gambian nationalist and Pan-Africanist media house open to multi-ethnic content in and out of the country. The UNESCO predicted that minority languages and cultures including Sarahulleh/Soninke are at high risk of disappearing within the next 50 years. NTI XANNEN is understandably playing a leading indispensable role in reversing this trend while maintaining rich cross-cultural cohesion with the Mandinka, Fula, Wollof, Jola, Serer, Manjago, Balanta, humanists and other compatriots of the African or global civilizations at home and abroad.
Since many Sarahullehs are not literate in the English Language, the NTI XANNEN radio and TV divisions will also be broadcasting to them live and direct in their native language. Youssou Ndour, Baba Maal and Jilba Kuyateh spent their careers singing in their native Wollof, Fula and Mandinka languages and no one gave them tribalism tags. Giving vulnerable natives space in innovative media simply promotes diversity and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities. Non-Sarahulleh contents are always welcomed on the pages and airwaves of NTIXANNEN.COM network. See the maiden broadcast carrying important message in Sarahulleh followed by English, Mandinka and Wollof on: “www.ntixanne.com/ nti-xannen-tv.html” for more.
The promotion of African sensuality aesthetics and intimate relationship matters without moral hypocrisy will remain part of NTI XANNEN's editorial agenda. The Xanuye "love" column is specifically created for that and has started with a report on JEL-JELLI, the Sene Gambian seduction magic. Sexuality is an undeniable part of the human nature. Promoting sexual wellness according to the progressive African values will help advance responsible reproductive health behaviours and the elimination of the archaic dogma that leads people into baby dumping, abortion of unwanted pregnancies or life in violent relationships with and without sexual satisfaction. Yes, NTI XANNEN will talk about African Sexuality, plain and provocative, whether the prude morality police like or not. For censoring the subject will force people to live between two extremes of radical prudery on one hand and aggressive pornography on the other. Not to mention ignorance or denials of Sexually Transmissible Diseases.
NTI XANNEN is an unconventional, innovative, impudent and smart lifestyle brand for the enlightened and self-confident global citizens and go-getters. It is a compass for the information super highway channelling messages to at least one hundred (100) million internet protocol users worldwide.
It is unfortunate that the anti-media and anti-smart-thinker environment makes it impossible for me to operate NTI XANNEN under the jurisdiction of The Gambia. This is denying employment opportunity for young aspiring media practitioners and also good tax revenue for the government. NTIXANNEN.COM will continue to operate under the progressive laws of The Federal Republic of Germany, EU and USA in serving its core readers and audiences in The Gambia, on the African Continent and in the Diaspora.
NTI XANNEN is not a dissident or pirate media network. It is simply making the best of the opportunities of globalization by circumventing nepotism, insincerity and stagnant laws in Africa. Any African government that does not want its citizens to read, listen or watch NTIXANNEN.COM will have to ban the use of mobile phones and computers in its jurisdiction. For NTI XANNEN will continue to embrace appropriate cutting-edge technology in delivering its contents to the masses and stay ahead of backward-leaning law makers.
To ensure sustainability, NTIXANNEN.COM is conceptualized in anyway that anyone from anywhere can submit content for global exposure. Even if I should be jailed, killed, fined or tortured, people can still use NTI XANNEN as a living dynamic organism of civil liberties. Then you can kill the crazy thinker but you cannot kill his crazy idea whose time has come!
I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Fatou Jaw Manneh of Maafanta.com, Modou Joof and Musa Shariff of The Voice Newspaper, Demba Baldeh of Gainako.com, Kemo and Yusupha Cham of JollofNews, Pa Nderry Mbai of Freedomnewspaper.com, Yankuba Jambang of Senegambianews.com, Baba Haidara of Hellogambia.com, Sherrif Bojang and team of The Standard, Madi MK Ceesay and staff of The Daily News, Sam Sarr and the Foroyaa team, Deyda Hydara and Pap Saine of The Point Newspaper, Musa Saidykhan of Kibaaro.com, Omar Bah of Americanstreetnews.com and Fatu Camara of the GRTS Fatu Show for granting me space in your respectable medium over the years. Granting a stubborn and non-conformist thinker like me space requires high degree of editorial flexibility and bravery. Thanks for your support and solidarity.
My special gratitude goes to my teacher and mentor Ebrima G. Sankareh of The GambiaEcho.com who introduced me to the world of independent journalism and intellectual freedom from an early age. At a time when countless „kotos“ are suppressing and discouraging talented Gambian youths, Ebrima G. Sankareh opened his heart, mind and resources to nurture the gift and hidden talent he saw in me from junior school. I am proud that I am making the best of the moral, material, brotherly and by extension, fatherly, sacrifice he did for me. Yes I have always been stubborn and at times not listening but that is the essence or adrenaline kick of a productive master-student relationship. You take the best from your master and play with it with your own ingenuity and innovative spirit to cajole the gene out of the bottle. Ebrima G. Sankareh's intellectual investment in me as human asset was not a waste.
I thank my Noble paternal Sankanu-Kagoro and maternal Touray clans in and out of The Gambia for believing in me as their „SERE XORE“ son, nephew, grandson, brother, cousin, etc. To the Sarahulleh Communities and youth groups namely, the Sarahulleh Youth Development Organization (SYDO), Dynamic Sarahulleh Association for Change and Development, Sumpu Do Xaati Sappa Youth Committee and Saabu Sire Youth action group of Sotuma Sere in particular, I say "nawari" for the unflinching support. NTI XANNEN is just the beginning of my journey towards proving myself worthy of the highly influential Ambassadorial trust and confidence you, SYDO, DYNAMIC and SAABU SIRE of Sotuma Sere bestowed on me during my last Gambian working visit.
My countless fans from all ethnic extractions are the purpose of my existence. Your continuing support and solidarity are giving me energy and justification to keep innovating out-of-the-box. I am love and hated in equal measure. This is the price to pay for being a crazy public intellectual who does not give a damn about the Dogma and conventions.
Before signing off, I would like to inform all and sundry that my Fareed-Zakria like programme, THE SANKANU DISCOURSE, will now be aired on the TV division of NTIXANNEN.COM. I have dropped the alternative plan of producing it with Senegalese TV stations so as not to lose my creative freedom. Now I can invite anybody I want on my TV studio or programmes without getting sacked, having my contract cancelled or broadcast licence withdrawn. With GRTS or the Senegalese TVs, I would have subjected myself to the dictates of the authorities in charge and accept unreasonable editorial restrictions.
NTI XANNEN s is legitimate social media enterprise that will continue to generate revenue through advertisements, public relation, strategy consultancy and other legitimate means in and out of The Gambia to pay for its operations. Like every socially-responsible entity, NTI XANNEN is operating a humanitarian and sustainable development. Depending on the size of resources at hand, it will provide relief to persons and communities in distress regardless of political, religious, linguistic or economic orientation. If there is any nationalist/humanist who can show me solidarity in cash or kind he/she is welcomed. If not just let me be... Mind your business and leave me to mind mine within the principles of modus vivendi.
It is important to note that NO human being, living or death, gave us money to buy high-end computers and equipment needed to start NTI XANNEN Radio and IPTV. W therefore owe no soul an obligation.
I thank the Supervisory Board for the trust and confidence in me.
PRINCE BUBACARR AMINATA SANKANU
The Prince of Sankanura- Kagorta
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