However, we are blessed that we were able to hear and share so many beautiful stories, learn so much more about the tradition, meet amazing people, see unforgettable places, and give you a product, which we call our baby – My magazine.
It started with the idea that has been boiling in the head of our mastermind for a very long time. From my perspective, knowing this person for a long time, it was just a matter of days when she would decide… tomorrow we will do it. Me, being a “careful technical overthinker”, of course, found million and one things that could go wrong, but anyhow we set the date to the 1st of September 2020. The first edition will be out.
We found support from developers, and we put together the content, edited the first few videos and learned how even to put all those things online. For us, the University of YouTube has always been the best source to learn anything we tried to do without any proper schooled knowledge. Apart from that, being involved in charity projects together, we already had some multifunctional skills, each of us in our own comfort zone.
The 1st of September was quickly approaching, and we were not ready yet. We could feel for the first time what it means to work from morning to morning and to feel you completely lost your prudence.
The developer and we pushed every muscle in the body to keep our eyes open and minds clear and finish this big project which would become our life. In the late hours on the 5th of September, the magazine was finally ready to meet the world. But we decided to publish official news the next day. We convinced each other that is time to catch a bit of sleep and continue in the morning. We all woke up at the same time and checked the page if it was still there. And it wasn’t.
In few hours after the publishing, our webpage was hacked. This was the most tremendous shock we ever felt. Some emergency calls and crisis meetings occurred, and we decided to build everything from scratch and postpone the publishing of the first edition to the beginning of October. The rest is history.
One heck of a dysfunctional family
Since then, we have been learning and upgrading, although we still know there is much space for improvement. Also, our team started to grow. In December, our princess Biba, a »multifunctional face of My Gambia«, joined our team. By then, it was really a challenge to find a fit for us since we are hardworking, crazy, multifunctional and loud. With us, you have to learn and do everything. But this little lady seemed a good fit from the first day. We loved her, even more, when she showed some true colours, being all nutty but so talented. We overflooded her with work, and she became another member of the University of YouTube.
Upgrading the contentEven though we enjoyed many of the personal stories of inspiring people we met, we, with time decided, our magazine has to speak more about The Gambia as a destination. Our main intention is to offer all information in one place and to let visitors know that The Gambia is not only about triple S, but mainly about the culture, tradition and people. People, however, are the main reason The Gambia grows on you and always calls you back. There is genuine hospitality flowing in the veins, and only by sharing your time with the people you can taste and see the real Gambia.
It was a crazy year
Starting My Magazine in the Covid times, when everything seemed pointless and uncertain, we knew this was the best time to give people at home hope and let people abroad know about this gem of West Africa.
Our mission is not only to promote but also to create a movement where every single person involved in the hospitality industry will start to acknowledge the fact that The Gambia has everything it needs to be a dream destination. But there needs to be perseverance, attention to small details and exposure to the world.
In only one year, we visited and explored more than 300 places, taken thousands of photos, created more than 90 videos, tasted many street foods, recipes, fruits and vegetables, tried out more than 30 activities, met more than 100 amazing people and typed more than 200.000 words. We are so ready to double the numbers!
A big thank you to those who supported and believed in us from day one, especially our first business partners, our cocreators and coauthors of My Magazine, our first readers and top fans, our ambassadors. Our followers, we love you all. We know there is still a long way to go. But we are excited. We hope we never cease to amaze you.
This is My Gambia, this is your Gambia, this is our Gambia, the Smiling Coast of Africa.
Love from The Gambia!