The school is the first of its kind in The Gambia that teaches music and academic studies as an integrated course of study. In other words, the Academy educates children in their cultural traditions and heritage alongside the mainstream curriculum.

“My ambition was to teach children an innate sense of pride in their own culture and history. It became my ambition to make sure I contributed to this change,” said Jobarteh, who is from a long West African tradition of Griots and kora players from Mali and The Gambia.

The Academy campus, which hopes to become a “centralized hub for African cultural and academic excellence”, will offer courses including general and specialist musical education to both national and international students, all of whom will benefit from on-site accommodation. The new campus comes with facilities such as a dance studio, a concert hall, recording studio, a library, screening room and a multi-media suite, according to its website.

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