By: Modou Kanteh
The Jola Bible translation work started in the Gambia some years ago by a British couple, Brian and Mi Ran Tanner who were stationed at Sibanor, Foni, West Coast Region, assisted by Pastor Bakary Jarju in pioneering the Jola literacy in Foni. The Tanner family came to the Gambia in 1992 and started learning Jola language and culture. The Bible translation work started in 2001, completed and published in 2022, by the Bible Society of South Korea.
At the recent launching of the book titled “Karuu Kenak Kati BaibleyYati Kujaatak”, at Kampanti Village, the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE), Mr. Louis Moses Mendy expressed pleasure in the completion of the Holy Bible in Jola language beside the Wolof dialect and said the accomplishment is a plus for educationist. PS Mendy indicated that the Bible is the most central thing in the life of every Christian. “As a Christian you never have joy without the Bible even when walking around people must see the Bible in you,” he said.
Permanent Secretary Mendy appealed to the Christian community in the Gambia to continue to be proactive in their Christian life everywhere they go and assured them that President Barrow’s government will continue to give political will to Christians in the Gambia to manifest their religious beliefs without any hindrance.
Mr. Mendy stated that Education Ministry is pleased to encourage the learning of local languages in schools across the country.
In his key note address, Bishop Bannie E.F. Manga of the Methodist Mission in the Gambia, said in the sinful world, the Bible is needed to correct the evil and be a moral guide as we live in a society that do not differential bad from good and where society fails the Bible comes in to correct it”.
The Methodist Bishop hailed all that contributed to write the Jola Bible. Bishop Manga said, “having the Bible in Jola language would enlighten the Jola tribe and humanity as a whole because Jolas have their roots in all regions in the world”.
The occasion was graced by several senior government officials, cross section of Christian Community and Missionaries in the Gambia.