Communication in The Gambia
“There is lots of pride, and if there is conflict, people will not want to talk to you, that’s it. And due to the fact that you have lots of pride, if you want to talk to them directly, you need to tell them, ‘OK, look, I’m here with peaceful [intentions], I wanna talk to you. Please talk to me,’ or something. You are reducing your level and no one will do that. And the best way is to have a third party involved and to reduce the tension, to prepare both sides for the peaceful meeting.
"I’ll give you an example, I had an issue with an immigration officer, actually he was a director of immigration, and I was speaking to him on the phone and he started shouting and he’s threatening and talking and I was concerned as well and why he’s doing this and that’s how the conversation ended. That he doesn’t want to speak to me anymore and he was very furious. So I hang up the phone and it was late afternoon and while [I’m] thinking, ‘OK, should I involve somebody else to put pressure on him?’ Nothing else, because the way he talked to me and the way he threatened me. However the next day I see another, a guy came to my office and told me, ‘Look, what happened yesterday, it happened. And Jawara [wants] to talk to you right now and [wants] to reach an understanding. We need to forget what happened yesterday and come to a [resolution]. So let’s meet this afternoon, if you’re OK with that, let’s meet this afternoon.’ So he sent him to reduce the tension. Not like sending an email, or letter, or calling me, ‘Hey look, I had a bad day,’ or something. So I met with him, and that’s what happened.”
In this video, a Gambian expert explains resolving conflicts in The Gambia.