Tribute to a Friend, a Comrade and a Co-Worker

Fatou Jawo (Fat Jah)

Death is a thief that no one can catch and be alive!Fatou Jawo Sambou

Everything that be must also have an end!

To die serving your people is a worthy dead,

Sheroes do not die, they live in our heart.

 

Death stole our friend, comrade and co-worker on Saturday 23rd August 2014.

Fatou is a Foroyaa cleaner who suffered from the broken health system for the past three month. Her dear husband, Mamudou Sambou, was going with his wife from one health facility to another with enormous expenses just to see the restoration of the health of his faithful and dutiful wife, but to no avail. An appointment was made with the doctor for Monday to further work on the suspected medical case which requires the acquisition of Barium Sulphate from a private health center, but that was never to be as Fatou finally passed away to Eternity before the appointed time. What a great loss to her young family, her immediate extended family, co-workers and companions whom she shares the same mission and vision for a Gambia of liberty, dignity and prosperity!

Fatou seen through the eyes of her associates

Her Husband – Mamudou Sambou (Baaba)
“She was a perfect wife and a great mother and role model to our three kids, Mariama, the eldest, Mamudou and Ida (Chaat); who was there for me in time of plenty and in time of little. She was disciplined, generous, respectful and welcoming with dignified humility. You have lived a worthy 44 years of life, we will miss you my dear wife and friend and I have promised you to hold on and carry the baton of parenthood with diligence and valour, the struggle continues and rest in perfect peace.”

Mariama (Taaw) on behalf of her siblings.

   “My mother was my friend and role model. She took many jobs just to ensure she contributes her quota to our education. I have promised her to excel and to become a Medical Doctor (Cardiologist) in future. She was always happy when she goes to hospital and sees young university doctors practicing in the hospital. She will come home excited and would say: “Mariama, promise me to become a medical doctor in future.” I promise you mom, Insha Allah I’ll fulfill your dream of me. I kissed her hand when she was taken away by my aunt Mariam on the afternoon of Friday, 22nd August, 2014. I asked her to pray for me to make my dream come true and she did. She also asked me to be a good girl and take care of my siblings. I promise you mom to do just that. I also asked her to pray for me to get a husband as loving and caring as dad who washes her clothes when she is sick, cook for the family, prepare foodstuff and sell it for her. I see love, friendship and happiness in my home. We don’t have enough but are contented with what we have and also share with our less fortunate neighbours, friends and relatives. That is how our parents brought us up: share, give as the giver never lacks, forgive and never hold grudge for anyone, a perfect peacemaker, a peace builder, judge not and you shall not be judged, blessed are the peace makers! These were her everyday words and advice to us.
Mamudou promised you to become a human rights lawyer and defender in the future and I’ll support him to be on course as your glaring spirit guides us.
Ida promises to be an academic. She said she does not like to be injecting people but would follow the footsteps of her namesake ‘tooma,’ Dr. Ida Jallow-Sallah. Mommy I’ll help her be on track. I also pray to Allah to give my dad the strength and good health to ensure he continues the journey the two of you have started.
Adieu my dear mother! I know you are at the right hand of the lord in ‘Ajaana Firdaus’. Ida asked me where you are and that’s what I told her. Your spirit will forever shine in our family. We love you mom, rest in perfect peace till we meet again.”

Haddy Jawo (Mairam) on behalf of her siblings and children

“Fat Jah is my fifth sibling in a family of eight children, two men and six girls to parents of blessed memory, Momodou Jawo and Isatou Busso (Busso). My mother gave her to me at 5 years and she helped me nursed all my children and up to the time of her demise she has been sharing whatever she had with my family and my children love their aunt and are always at her beck and call.
Fat Jah went to Sweden in 1996 and spent 6 months there, she came back and was about to go again but my mom prevailed on her to stay and she later got married to Mamudou Sambou in 1998. She once had a chance to become a nurse but has to decline the offer because of my children. She was the peace maker of the family, always sacrificing for the sake of peace. She pleaded with her husband to let her come with me so that she will be close to the person who brought her up until she becomes better. She praised her husband for shouldering the burden all by himself. “You need someone to help you in the nursing,”’ I told her husband, who let her come with me on the Friday, 22nd August, 2014.
Adieu my dear sister! We are the one asking for your forgiveness, because you decided to be the door mat of the family just for the sake of peace. Rest in perfect peace till we meet again. We will share with your children and help your good husband in raising them up.”

Her Employer Foroyaa Newspaper (Managing Editor- Sam Sarr)

   “Fatou was diligent, respectful and always been a team player. Foroyaa staff missed her a lot since her long three months sickness. Her spirit lives on and she will always be a source of inspiration to her co-workers, friends, neighbours and family.”

Dr. Ida Jallow Sallah

“Fatou is the only person I can entrust my house with. I am still struck by disbelief and cannot accept the fact that I can never see her again. My eyes are full of tears whenever I thought of Fatou. My only regret is to have been unable to say farewell to a good sister, friend and trustee because of a duty I was fulfilling outside the Gambia. May her soul rest in perfect peace.”

Aunty Kujaijah Conteh

Fatou is my friend and trustee. She respected me and was always ready to do any service for me as a ‘surrogate’ sister in law. I saw her on Tuesday, 19 August, when she visited Foroyaa office and I teased her and said, “my hair dresser, my hair is still unplaited and waiting for you” and she replied “be ready I’ll come and do your hair for you.” That was the last time I saw my friend until her demise was transmitted to us. It was unbelievable until we saw her wrapped body on the ground in a room inside her sister’s house. Adieu Fatou till we meet again. I owe you an apology for always requesting favours from you which you never refused under whatever circumstances.”

Wrap Up

“You have done your part and have thrown the baton. We have picked it up and will continue the race on the mission and vision of seeing a Gambia of hope, peace, progress and prosperity; a sovereign people (women, men) living in liberty, dignity and prosperity. Adieu dear sister, friend, co-worker. And your spirit lives on forever! Rest in perfect peace! You were indeed a role model.”

Amie Sillah

Singhatey, counsel for the accused person submitted that the defence filed its brief on the 21st of August, 2014.

“We humbly pray this court deems the defendant’s brief as properly filed.” He added that the defence wishes to rely on the briefs in its entirety.

Subsequently, both briefs were adopted by the trial magistrate and the case was adjourned till the above date for judgement.

Readers would recall that Mr. Sagnia is standing trial on charges of Abuse of Office contrary to the laws of The Gambia.

According to the particulars of offence, the aforesaid person on or about the 28th of October 2013, at the immigration headquarters, in the city of Banjul and diverse places, the republic of the Gambia, abused the authority of his office as the Director General of the Immigration Department, by issuing an entry clearance to Mr. Ali Chahin, a Syrian national and Hussein Abs Lebanese national, without following the appropriate immigration procedures, thereby committed an offence. He denied the charge.