Niumi Senior Secondary Schools Relive Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade through Drama

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Students from Essau and Albreda Senior Secondary Schools respectively re-engaged in a series of school based activities centered on the Outstanding Universal Values of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites found in the communities, such as – Kunta Kinteh Island of Juffureh and the Fort Bullen in Barra.

The two day event held in both Barra and Juffureh/Albreda last Friday and Saturday was an interface between tour guides and school children from communities where the UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located and it was funded by the German Commission for UNESCO and German Federal Foreign Office through the SOS African Heritage Project 2021.

The objective is really to strengthen world Heritage Education in the country – The Gambia has two sites – Kunta Kinteh Island and Stones Circle of Senegambia.

About 60 students, tour guides and heritage site attendants highlighted some basic historical information about the role of Fort Bullen in the enforcement of the Abolition Act of 1807, which stopped trading in human beings in the British Empire, and also the negative effects that slavery brought on African communities from the 15th to 19th centuries.

During the course of the two-day event, National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) engaged the students and guides at Fort Bullen and Kunta Kinteh Island, Juffureh to amplify World Heritage Education through tour of the sites, answering of worksheets based on the significance of the sites and then drama sketches by the students.

At Fort Bullen UNESCO World Heritage Site, Barra, students of Essau Senior Secondary School mounted a brief drama on the abolition movement led by Granville Sharpe and William Wilberforce to end the inhumane trade in slaves across the Atlantic.

According to one of the scenes of the students’ storyline, a student actor entered the House of Commons during their long debate on the Abolition Act to appeal strongly to the MPs to vote to enact the Anti-slavery Law. “How can it be right for one human to sell another human, are we all not created by God? asked the abolitionist, while some MPs shouted ‘yea, yea.’ In another scene, a student acted as Lord Mansfield, who, in his 1772 judgment, said that an escaped slave cannot be enslaved again; which legal decision made history and began the decline of slave trade.

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