Independence Day in The Gambia

On Saturday February
18th we celebrate
Independence day in
The Gambia and we
are going to tell you
what Independence
day is.
A very long time ago Africa
was inhabited by lots of
different tribes and this
map shows where all of
the different tribes lived.
In The Gambia the main
tribes were Mandinka,
Wolof, Fula and Jola.
Just like your country was invaded
by the Romans, Vikings, Saxons and
The Gambia was invaded by the
Arabs and then later the Portuguese
who used the Gambian river to
transport goods and took the
Gambian people as slaves.
The Portuguese sold
the trading rights to
Queen Elizabeth 1st of
Great Britain and this
was the beginning of
Great Britain's gradual
rule over The Gambia
Great Britain and lots
of other European
Countries wanted to
make their countries
big and powerful by
colonising lots of
other countries and
using them to gain
great wealth.
All the countries shown in pink on this map belonged to Great Britain. (Some
like the Falkland Islands still do. )
Can you spot where Great Britain and the Gambia are?
As the British began to
establish themselves in
the Gambia and built
roads and schools for
themselves The Gambian
people began to speak
English as well as their
tribal Languages.
In Senegal which is the
country that surrounds us
they began to speak
Can you guess why?
The French and the British
argued about how much land
belonged to Senegal and how
much land belonged to The
The red border lines show you
how difficult it was to separate
the two countries.
Eventually, The British secured all of
the river and some surrounding land
for the Gambia to enable them to
continue sea trading.
After world war 2 most of
the countries that belonged
to the British Empire
decided they would like to
rule their own countries.
The British were happy for
this to happen and on 18th
February 1965 The Gambia
became an Independent
Every year we get a day’s
holiday to celebrate our
Independence day 
Can you work out how
many years we have been
an independent country?
We have a stadium in Bakau
called the Independence
Stadium and every
Independence day a big
festival is held there.
We have Athletics events and
a football match!
And then later we
have a concert to
celebrate our culture.
So lots of drumming
and dancing and
singing. It‘s great fun!
When we went back to school after Independence day the younger children
went to McCarthy Square in Banjul to join in a parade with teachers, civil
servants and the army.
In 1965 The Gambia
joined the
Commonwealth along
with all of the other
countries that
belonged to the
former British Empire.
day this year is on
12th March. We
don’t get a day off
but we do
celebrate it at
Do you celebrate
Queen Elizabeth 2nd is
head of the
Commonwealth and
all Countries are equal
and help each other.