"For The Gambia Our Homeland" is the national anthem of the Gambia, written by Virginia Julia Howe and composed by Jeremy F. Howe (based on the traditional Mandinka song "Foday Kaba Dumbuya"). It was adopted after an international competition to produce a state anthem (and flag) before independence in 1965.
The English lyrics are as follows:
For The Gambia, our homeland
We strive and work and pray,
That all may live in unity,
Freedom and peace each day.
Let justice guide our actions
Towards the common good,
And join our diverse peoples
To prove man's brotherhood.
We pledge our firm allegiance,
Our promise we renew;
Keep us, great God of nations,
To The Gambia ever true.
The Gambia (/mbi/ (About this soundlisten); Mandinka: Kambiya; Wolof: Gmbi), officially the Republic of The Gambia, is a country in Western Africa. The Gambia is often referred to as 'The Smiling Coast'.
It is the smallest country within mainland Africa, and is surrounded by Senegal, except for its western coast on the Atlantic Ocean. The Gambia is situated on both sides of the lower reaches of the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the centre of The Gambia and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It has an area of 10,689 square kilometres (4,127 sq mi) with a population of 1,857,181 as of the April 2013 census. Banjul is the Gambian capital and the largest cities are Serekunda and Brikama.
The Gambia shares historical roots with many other West African nations in the slave trade, which was the key factor in the placing and keeping of a colony on the Gambia River, first by the Portuguese, during which era it was known as A Gmbia. Later, on 25 May 1765, The Gambia was made a part of the British Empire when the government formally assumed control, establishing the Province of Senegambia.
In 1965, The Gambia gained independence under the leadership of Dawda Jawara, who ruled until Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup. Adama Barrow became The Gambia's third president in January 2017, after defeating Jammeh in the December 2016 elections.
Jammeh initially accepted the results, then refused to accept them, which triggered a constitutional crisis and military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States, resulting in his exile.
The Gambia's economy is dominated by farming, fishing and, especially, tourism.
The name "Gambia" is derived from the Mandinka term Kambra/Kambaa, meaning Gambia River (or possibly from the sacred Serer Gamba, a special type of calabash beaten when a Serer elder dies).
According to the CIA World Factbook, the United States Department of State, the Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World and the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use, The Gambia is one of two countries whose self-standing short name for official use should begin with the word "The" (the other being The Bahamas).
Habitually, the definite article is sometimes still used when addressing many other countries, including Netherlands, Philippines, Congo, Sudan, Comoros, Central African Republic, Seychelles, Maldives, Solomon Islands, Dominican Republic, Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, United Kingdom and United States of America, with varying degrees of accuracy.
Upon independence in 1965, the country used the name The Gambia. Following the proclamation of a republic in 1970, the long-form name of the country became Republic of The Gambia. The administration of Yahya Jammeh changed the long-form name to Islamic Republic of The Gambia in December 2015. On 29 January 2017 President Adama Barrow changed the name back to Republic of The Gambia.