Kemintang Camara (1770-1844)

From 1834 - 1844, Kemintang Camara successfully kept out the British colonial traders and their Bathurst allies from his jurisdiction. He resisted British  pressure to open up his state to the traders, missionaries and treaty seeking colonial officials. Kemintang maintained the independence of his people until his death in 1844. He opposed African Bathurst (Banjul) based traders who refused to pay taxes to him as much as he resisted the desire by European merchants and missionaries to set up base in present day Sami and Niani districts.

Kemintang was a great warrior of Niani in the Central River regions of the Gambia River who killed his uncle Namory Sabally King of Kataba to ascend to the throne. He soon proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the British because he also wanted to control the lucrative trade in the middle river in goods and products like wax, grains and imported goods. On several occasions he was forced to attack traders under British protection who encroached into his territory.

In June 1834, the tension came to boiling point when he ordered the arrest of  the schooner the "Oro" at the Colonia port, one of the towns on the river side of his territory loaded with goods worth 600 pounds belonging to Saloum Jobarte, a rich Bathurst merchant. The merchants immediately came together and wrote to the authorities in Bathurst asking for assistance and protection from Kemintang.

Ndungusine the residence of Kemintang was situated about thirty miles inland from the river and two hundred miles from Bathurst (Banjul).

In the subsequent fight, Kemintang defeated the British force which attacked his fort at Ndungusine and became the undisputed ruler of upper Gambia. The British later sent one Mr. Sall as an embassy to Kataba and Ndungusine.



Home- Back to start page

E-mail webmaster

Last updated on July 31, 2010

indexed image map Gambia Africa Guestbook Culture About Me Links e-mail NCC Report