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Ebou Dibba (1943-2000)
Ebou Dibba would probably never have been known so well amongst his Gambian counterparts if not for his famous books. He has published four books: two novellas and two novels. In there order of publication, the first is a novella of about 40 pages entitled Olu and the Smugglers  which marks the inauguration of a literary genre targeting above all the youths..  His first novel, Chaff on the Wind, is set in The Gambia. Some of the characters of Chaff on the Wind are found in his second novel Fafa creating thus an apparent link between the two. His novel Alhaji

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Fafa novel, 1989, novel, 118 pages, Macmillan Education.

Four friends are the main characters of this novel set in the fifties: Sisi Massod, the shopkeeper from Morocco, “Guerre Quatorze” who fought the First World War, “Professor” a teacher, and Fafa, the watchman.

Fafa wants to marry Kombeh who is not ready to engage herself in any form of relationship with him. He is not the type of man she is looking for.

The three friends will crack their brains to map out strategies to resolve the problems. A beautiful story touching on human struggle and feelings

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Chaff on the Wind, 1986, novel, 203 pages, Macmillan Education.

The novel is about two young men, Dingding and Pateh, who came from the countryside on board of a ship in the thirties. The latter is ambitious and enterprising. He quickly finds himself a job and seduces a young girl called Isatou. Dingding is the opposite of Pateh. He is shy and reserved. However, he is luckier than Pateh.

Isatou is married to Charles, the old cousin of a Signare. She hates this relationship. She ends up carrying the baby of …Pateh. Both of them have to flee to Senegal where Isatou delivers a baby boy.

Dingding inherits from his death employer after marrying his daughter. He becomes a successful businessman.Pateh is one of his employees. Pateh finally dies following his numerous encounters with the French colonial police. 

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Olu and the Smugglers, 1980, novella, 40 p, Longman Group, “Action Books” collections.

Published in 1980 at the Longman Group Publishers in the UK, in the “Action Books” collection, Olu and the Smugglers marked the start of Ebou Dibba’s literary career.

Olu and the Smugglers is a well illustrated novella (more than 30 illustrations) of 40 pages written in much simpler English for young readers.

A young boy, Olu, arrives at Uncle Yancoba and Aunt Abie in a small village situated near the sea. Though Olu is very imaginative and tends to exaggerate everything, Uncle Yancoba and his wife are always happy to welcome Olu because they have no child of their own. On Olu’s arrival, a strange disease seems to have struck the village and apparently canned beef has something to do with it. One night, Olu and his friend Abu notice strange happenings by the river side: a boat, flash signal lights, people disembarking from the boat and a cyclist riding by.  Olu and his friend will do all they can to convince Uncle Yancoba. The latter will accept when a sergeant is suspected of being involved. The boys and Uncle Yancoba will convince the inspector of police who will take the matter seriously. After an ambush organized by the police, it turns out that the corrupt sergeant and his accomplices are diamond smugglers. Ebou Dibba will later write a similar story involving a horse on diamond smuggling. These diamonds were taking from Sierra Leone. It is to be noted that the story of “blood diamonds” is still a heated subjet in the press.