Big Faa and St Singhateh - Gambian musicians refused UK visas for the Gambian Cultural Week in UK
by Bakary Ceesay
The British Embassy in Banjul has denied Gambian acts ST - Brikama Boyo and Big Faa travel visas for a 26 August concert in London with Wally Secka.
The concert, as organized by Global Properties, Joluv arts and Champion Sound, was promoted by both ST & Big Faa, even as the fate of their application for visas was unknown.
To express his disappointment, ST took to social media. "It's unfortunate that both me and Big Faa were not able to secure a Visa from The British embassy,” he wrote. “I believe there are more blessings ahead. Meanwhile more shows to line-up out here. Special thanks to Global properties, Champion Sound and any other contributors for their vision and effort."
“It’s unfortunate we (I and St Singhateh) wr unable to get visa's from the British embassy!” Big Faa wrote on his Facebook page. “But life goes on. God’s time is always the best time! We still representing Gambia! Thanks to Global Properties and Champion Sound (Lamin Cham) for all the efforts.”
Dancehall act ENC was not quite as forgiving as St and Big Faa. “As we are talking right now, I am sure most of y'all are informed that St Singhateh and Big Faa are being denied visas to the show they were supposed to perform on in The UK," he said. "Similar cases have been happening in The Gambia to other Artists and other people from different fields of profession and it looks normal to us. How long are we going to be dealing with this, or shall we wait till we all fall victims then rebel against the system?”
He added: “Government, and your related institutions, can you please listen to the youths an feel their pain? Can we take some professional and genuine steps and get some sort of petition out there. It's about time, or else it's gonna be nearly impossible for a Gambian youth to export our country's name/brand/culture out there in any way.”