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Published On: Wed, Dec 27th, 2023

Timbooktoo Book shop celebates silver jubilee Anniversary

The management of the Timbooktoo book shop on Saturday observed their twenty-five years of existence and operation in the Gambia. The book shop over the years has been collectively working with the ministry of education and many schools and institutions in developing and furthering the education standard of the Gambia, which equally broaden the scopes of writers in the country.

The shop has also served as sanctuary for book lovers, a resource for schools and a cornerstone of the communities. The silver jubilee anniversary celebration was held at the book shop’s location in Fajara that brought together diplomats, books writers, government officials, friends and families.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ousainou Jagne, the founder and manager of Timbookttoo unveiled that from the beginning, their goal was not just merely to sell books but to support the community’s education sector, to encourage creativity by providing space for stories to come alive, for minds to be enriched likewise to forge connections between authors and readers.

“So much has changed since 1998 when Timbooktoo was first opened by Ousinou Jagne and Papa Musa Njie, located in a modest shop on the corner of Garba Jahumpa Road,” he stated.

He added that after 25 years of growth, “and now feel proud of the service that we can provide from the purpose- built shop behind us, stocked with thousands of the latest books, including educational books, fiction, non-fiction and of course plenty of materials for our younger generation.”

“Fast forward 25 years, and we take a great pride in not just stocking, but championing well over 100 local authors of whom over 25 are female. Notably, a significant number of these authors find their publications through our three esteemed local publishing houses, such as Baobab, educational services and Fulladu.”

He informed that these books now traverse the globe, having been purchased from Timbootoo, adding that they aspire to foster more local interest tiles such as the legal system, indigenous trees and medical plants, aquatic life, environmental concerns and the captivating tales of the country’s oral histories.

Mr. Jagne advanced that in 25 years, they have weathered storms, both metaphorical and literal, and they have also seen the rise of digital books and online giants, and yet they have persevered.

He continued to say that “our shelves have been witnessed to countless tales-stories of adventure, wisdom, love and courage. They have held the classics that stand the test of time, the new releases that spark excitement and the hidden gems waiting to be discovered.”

For is part, Cherno Omar Barry, President of Writers Association of the Gambia (WAG) commended Timbooktoo, noting that WAG was born in Timbooktoo.

 He said prior to the formation of WAG, he and his colleagues would come to the Timbooktoo Café to discuss the formation of WAG which eventually came true.

Musa Bah, and author and former teacher at Nusrat Senior Senor Secondary School urged Timbooktoo book shop management for the possible extension of Timbooktoo services to the rural areas.

Hasoum Ceesay, the director of National Arts and Culture also gave positive comments about the significant role Timbooktoo renders to the nation and beyond.

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