Joloffman: Music unifies, politics divides

Yusupha Ngum
Yusupha Ngum aka Jolloffman

By Baboucarr Ceesay

Son of Musa Afia Ngum a great Gambian musician who is currently in Australia touring with Jaaleekaay Band told Gambia Watchdog that he has no plan to sing for Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh for money.

In his own words: “I have no plan to sing praises to President Jammeh for money, because, music unifies and politics divides.”

The young Gambian singer, song writer, performing artist Yusupha Ngum aka Joloffman born in Banjul in the late seventies said his musical philosophy is to ‘spread the message across the world’ just like the music legend Bob Marley did.

He thanked Jammeh who gave him money in 2009 at Gambia High School’s 50 years anniversary at the 22nd July Square. “But my music is society and religious oriented,” he emphasized.

Joloffman went to school in in Dakar, Senegal where he spent his childhood learning at a Franco-Arab school but stopped at the seventh grade, because of his father’s musical career, moving from place to place. “Many people would not believe that I have not been to a school of English,” he stated.

He said his musical inspiration is distinctive because he was born to do it.

“I am inspired by my biological father,” he believed.

Joloffman whose music is a fusion of Afro, acoustic and mbalax said he started his musical career in 1998 at Bakau New Town with his former colleague Mickey Boy of Galaxy Crew.

He has been touring with the acoustic band since last October. Jaleekaay was founded last year by Joloffman, Amadou Suso, a Kora players and Steve Berry an Australian.

Jaleekaay Band’s vocalist praised Gambian music for its remarkable progress.

Outlining the challenges of the art, he said: “We need a real showbiz to go forward.”

He said like in developed countries, The Gambia needs good schools of music to ripen the raw young talents and the production of more musicians.

“My target is the international stage to be a role model for the upcoming Gambian musicians,” he ambitiously said, advising Gambian musicians to work harder and join hands and hearts to raise The Gambian flag higher.

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