This is said to be the biggest sponsorship contract ever signed by the national television in fifteen years.
With this contract, whose signing was held at Gamcel’s head office on Mamadi Maniyang highway, the two telecom companies have agreed to sponsor GRTS to show a new soap opera called ‘Sweet of Essence’ as well as the Premier League matches.
Phoday Sisay, Gamcel’s general manager, said all these are geared towards satisfying their customers and the Gambians as a whole. He said both institutions and the GRTS have a common interest of satisfying their customers, who are their uppermost priority. “GRTS is really part of Gamcel and we both belong to the people of The Gambia,” he said.
The Gamcel GM expressed optimism that people would like the recently signed soap opera – Sweat of Essence, adding that the movie is good for both parents and children.
“It will keep children indoors, not to be wandering about in town and it will as well help parents to have control over their children,” Mr Sisay said. Creating opportunity for the people of The Gambia to be watching the Premier League is the best thing Gamcel/Gamtel will be doing for football lovers in the country, he says.
The director general of GRTS, Modou Sanyang, in his remarks on the occasion, described the twin contract as the biggest signed by the GRTS with any institution since its inception.
He noted: “I have been with the GRTS for long time and we have never had a contract to the tune of what Gamtel/Gamcel has given us. It has never happened in this country before; even though other GSM companies use to support GRTS, as and when the need arises, no institution has given a contract of up to D3.7 million.”
While disagreeing with other speakers at the occasion that GRTS is a partner to Gamcel/Gamtel, Mr Sanyang said: “GRTS is not a partner to Gamtel; it is a child of Gamtel. GRTS was an institution under Gamtel before it did stand on its own as an institution.”
He also told Gamtel officials: “You are our parent and these are the kinds of support we expect from a good parent.”
Gamtel is behind many rapid infrastructural developments of his institution, he recalled. “We are on satellite, on the internet, everywhere but I can tell the whole world that you are behind us,” he said.
Gamtel’s managing director, Baboucarr Sanyang, said the lack of a TV station in The Gambia in the past caused a huge development setback to the country. Now that it is there for all to make use of and promote development, Gamtel would continue to “collaborate and collocate” with the GRTS, Mr Sanyang said. “Gamtel/Gamcel can never do enough for GRTS and we will continue to look for ways to further supporting GRTS in any way we can.”
Ramou Nyass, senior marketing manager of Gamcel, said that was not the first contract Gamcel/Gamtel had signed with the GRTS.
Gamcel sponsored the popular soap operas commonly called ‘Pretta’ and ‘Pouloma’, she recalled, adding that they had got good feedback from the customers that both programmes were good and that people liked it.
She expressed optimism that the people would like the Sweat of Essence and would love watching the premier league on GRTS as well. “Even though it is costing the institution a huge sum of money, as long as the customers like them, we are bringing it to them,” she said.
Other speakers at the occasion included the senior marketing manager and the finance director of GRTS, Sadibou Jammeh and Lamin Ceesay respectively.