By Ramatoulie Jawo
The book “Don’t Judge the Book by the Cover” authored by Modou Lamin Sowe, an award winning Gambian writer and a scholar was launched at the Ebunjan Theatre hall in Kanifing.
The event which took place on 7 January was attended by many dignitaries including the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) and Director General for the National Center for Arts & Culture (NCAC).
Speaking at the event, Yankuba Darboe, the Commissioner General of the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) urged young Gambians to develop the culture of reading and writing. He said because it is with reading and writing the world is developing.
Hassoum Ceesay, Director General for the National Centre for Arts & Culture (NCAC), reviewed the book.
In his review of the book, Ceesay said the story centered on childhood and education in Africa societies, African traditions, poverty, and the shared values of love, forgiveness and unity, significantly, the issue of girls’ access to education is central to the story.
“His language is simple which is why this book is really suited for junior readers. The title of the book itself is a metaphor for Fatou’s hidden talent. In the book there is a lot of jinn business, magic business and superstition. There is business in the story in some ways, the young author seems to be deriving much inspiration from the Andean writer Gabriel Garcia of magic realism fame,” Ceesay said.
ML Sowe wrote the book when he was 14 years old while growing up in Brikama Wellingara.
He authored the book in 2006 as an advocacy tool to promote literacy and a reading culture amongst the youth, especially those from poor families.
His aim of writing the book is to motivate children from families without the privileges of affording textbooks in school.
He is the former Secretary General of the Writers Association of The Gambia, and the current Executive Director of the World Writers Association (WoWA).
Sowe also authored 3 other books- The Memories of Reflection in 2014, The Throne of the Ghost in 2016, and AfriKa Not AfriCa in 2020.