demba

Demba Conta: The God-Father of Gambian Reggae Music

The veteran Gambian singer-song writer and composer speaks to Kairo Radio. The chat with Demba Conta is part of a series he has been having with Mr. Mohammed Lamin Sillah.

In this current chat, the Gambian Reggae God-father went beyond his more than 30-year-old music career, for he gave a detailed history of his family life. This includes raising his children and inculcating his cultural values in them.

Demba Conta spoke frankly for over two hours about his early days, the issues that inspired his song composition and his quest to see a free, progressive and United Africa. Mr. Conta also talked about his desperate search for self-actualisation and knowledge. He explained how his determination had pushed Demba to start formal education in Sweden and subsequently drink from the same jar with the world’s greatest music philosophers.

Demba Conta’s soft spoken voice does not betray his love for his family, his grand-father role and a community volunteering he embarks on in Swedehis while at the same time nurturing upcoming and aspiring singers.

Two of the Gambian pride’s children – Eddie and Emad – followed the footsteps of their father. Eddie is a career computer engineer while Emad and Sundiata both studied law. One of Demba’s daughters works with Danish television.

Interestingly, Demba Conta remains married to his Mandinka culture and way of life, despite living in Europe for decades.  “I have always told my children I don’t care about your A’Level but Mandinka Level prevails in my house,” Demba said, exhorting people never to throw away their culture, no matter what.

Mr. Conta wants aspiring musicians to always think from their inner-self, and societal experiences, insisting that “a singer cannot imitate others forgetting about his/her experience. Imitations are the causes of chaos in music. Our people must have self-belief, confidence and bring out issues affecting our society.”

The programme, which airs on Kairo Radio today, is educative and soul-stirring as the soft touch stone singer-song writer gave his best to the audience.

Ends

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