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Contemporary Literature of Africa: Tijan M. Sallah and Literary Works of The Gambia ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Contemporary Literature of Africa:


Kora Notes

Tijan M. Sallah and Gambian Literature

Wumi Raji

I first came across the name Tijan M. Sallah in March 2004. I had taken up an appointment as an associate professor of English at the then three-year-old University of the Gambia. I was to teach courses in African and world literatures and coordinate the drama and theater program of the university. It was a time of great personal and professional crisis for me, and I had gone to the Gambia hoping that the new experience would help me overcome my distress. I was looking forward to establishing a new home there.

When I started preparing for my teaching, I discovered to my great shock that there was not a single Gambian author on the reading list that I had drawn up for my course on African literature. Looking within myself, I tried to find out if this was because there was no such author who really could be included. I recalled the name Lenrie Peters, whose novel, The Second Round, I had read as a student in St. Andrew’s College—an elementary school teacher’s college established in Oyo, Nigeria, by the Anglican missionaries in 1896 that I had attended between 1977 and