Editorial/For the New Executive, a Future Imagined

03/23/2013 12:49

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

For the New Executive, a Future Imagined

By the Editors

Friends of Basse, Inc. is undergoing yet another change of the guard. Following a successful election, a new executive team is ready to hit the ground running. The new executive is actually a blend of old and new faces. There is a binary benefit here: having some remnants of the old guard will bring some needed leadership capital, accumulated over the last few years, to bear on the operational continuity of the organization. And certainly, having some new blood will help in the creation of fresh energies, and in the re-directing of thinking and priorities. It is always good when an entity undergoes changes with a view towards maximizing the collective will and reaching the finish line.

This is not to hint, in anyway, that the former president Alhaji Mamadou Sellou Jallow and his team were running out of steam or were just incapable of doing right the aspirations of the organization. Far from it. Indeed, Mr. Jallow and his team should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. And we recognize the great strides made under the previous president. Mr. Jallow took over from Pa M. L. Joof, who steered the beginnings of the organization and crafted its frame of reference. By launching this website and other social media, Mr. Joof was able to implement the agenda of what was then called the Basse Association (BA). As if it were by design, Mr. Jallow's tenure centered on community outreach, making the organization more accessible and relevant to the Basse community.

During his leadership, many more people came to familiarity with BA and its successor, Friends of Basse (FoB). In Basse, a series of consultative talks, through town hall meetings and ad hoc sessions, took place between Mr. Jallow’s team and the folks in Basse. The aim was to extol the virtues of the organization and to bring its message to the doorsteps of every Basserian. While the measure cannot be said to be a complete success, we have, however, noticed some improvement in the home front. Many more folks in Basse are getting on board or, as we are wont to say, joining the "Kabilo" Bus. Mr. Jallow’s greatest achievement is in the area of ubiquity – that is, making Friends of Basse exist in more spaces in Basse than was previously possible. He did it not only by a series of consultations but also by making himself and his team readily available, especially at project sites, meeting with folks and discussing concerns and leveling up with the membership.

But now we look to the future. President-elect Momodou Bilo Krubally becomes the third president in the organization’s four-year history. Now it is his turn to put his leadership lights on the organization and its very essence in Basse. We are, at best, speculative about how Mr. Krubally leads from here on or what his agenda entails. We, nonetheless, are doubly certain about his passion for the job. Mr. Krubally is well seasoned in group dynamics. He began his foray in club activities with the Survival group way back in Basse. And in the United States, where he resides, Mr. Krubally belongs to a number of organizations. His interest in community affairs is such that he will join or form an organization wherever he goes: Seattle, Dallas, Los Angeles; you name it.

The challenge for him, this around, is that he is dealing with a different beast altogether. Friends of Basse is a complex entity; it exists mainly in the virtual, unreachable world. It is a multi-generational, multi-regional body, whose membership interacts mainly on the phone and on the Internet. The burden of running such a sprawling, stubbornly invisible group should not be left on the shoulders of one person or a team of executives. We should all join hands and help Mr. Krubally and his colleagues succeed in the coming years. Our collective action and responsibility towards the obligations of the organization will be the determiner of our success – or failure.

It hardly warrants reminding that there is still a lot that needs to be done. For starters, we urge the new president to look into other areas for augmenting the finances of the organization. Relying on the membership dues alone will not bring about large-scale programs and benefits. Rather, it would mean staying the course of piecemeal, quarter-pie undertakings. That won’t be satisfactory in the long-run. At some point in the future, our scorecard should be able to register something huge and encompassing in its communal benefit, say, revamping the Basse community center or building a new public library or taking on the environment by clearing all the dumps of litter in and around the town.

The democratic process has finally taken its course. We know that conducting elections, especially on the Internet, will always be an imperfect exercise. Despite our misgivings about the low voter turn-out and the other electoral inadequacies, we respect the verdict of the elections. The consent of those who participated in the process has been heard. We commend the polling committee for its tireless efforts in contacting all the eligible voters and in creating an enabling environment for the democratic process to run its cycle.

Now let’s return to work. Harder this time, as if we were just beginning. Or, as if we had not achieved anything at all in the last years.

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