KUNTA KINTEH, Gambia – As the rebel slave who defied his captors, Kunta Kinte, immortalised in print and on screen in “Roots”, put The Gambia on the map for historical tourism.
But the island where he and tens of thousands of west African slaves faced the horrors of being chained, branded and separated before leaving their homeland forever, is under threat from sea erosion and neglect.
Kinte’s descendants, along with heritage officials, warn that without urgent action, 550 years of history could be lost.
They are pressuring the new government to preserve the country’s historical memory for the next generation of Gambians and tourists.
The island’s namesake sprang to fame as the central character in American author Alex Haley’s “Roots: The Saga of an American Family”.