By Sailu Bah Saikou Suwareh Jabai
The recent renaming of the Sayerr Jobe Avenue, the road that runs from
Westfield junction to Bakoteh, to Yankuba Colley Avenue, as part of
the activities marking the AFPRC/APRC regime’s celebration of Gambia’s
50 years of nationhood, has generated reaction from diverse people
residing in the Kanifing Municipality.This road, which also stretches to Sukuta, is a 7.7 million dollars
road project, funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
Sayerr Jobe is the founder of the settlement which has now become a
metropolis which many call “Serekunda”, derived from its original name
“Sayerr Jobe Kunda”, while Mayor Yankuba Colley is the current Mayor
of the Kanifing Municipality, which includes SerreKunda and is also
the National Mobiliser of the ruling APRC party.
Commenting on the name change of this major road from that of the
founder of Serekunda to that of the present mayor of Kanifing
Municipality, Ndey Jobe, a descendent of Sayerr Jobe, said they are
not happy with the development but added that even though she could
not speak for the family, she feel that since the
family has no power to undo what has been done it has to be taken in
She said this over the weekend when the Foroyaa reporter visited the
original home of Sayerr Jobe, which is situated in the middle of
Serekunda opposite the old mosque.
Madam Jobe, who said she is a great, great granddaughter of the
patriarch, explained how her great, great grandfather came to settle
at this place called Serekunda which is named after him. According to her,
Sayerr Jobe came to this particular area at a time when Sukuta was the
only nearby settlement. She said her grandfather was not only the
founder of Serekunda, but played a part in the founding of such
settlements as Bundung, and Ebo Town in the Kanifing Municipality,
Serrekunda Nding in Kombo Central and Jambur in Kombo South.
Madam Jobe said Mam Sayerr came to the Gambia from a village called
Korki in the kingdom of Kayor in present day Senegal and founded the
village named after him which was situated in a thick forest at the
time. “It is this former village which has now evolved into Serrekunda
which is among the biggest settlements in the Gambia. The founder has
already made a name which can never be forgotten in the history of
this country,” said the descendant.
Other family members who are also among the great grandchildren of the
founder of Serekunda lamented the development but admitted that there
is nothing they can do to undo it.
Another resident of Serrekunda from the Touray Kunda compound, one of
the original settler families, said the concerned authorities should
rethink this move and return the name to Sayerr Jobe Avenue as it is
befitting of him as the founder of the settlement. “People are already
used to the name Sayerr Jobe and it will be very difficult for them to
get used to this new name,” he added.
Mr. Muhammed Faal, a resident of London Corner which is an extension
of Serekunda, said this name change amounts to a total disregard of
Sayerr Jobe who was not only the founder of Serekunda but was
someone who has played important roles in the community and helped in
the expansion or development of the settlement. He also called on the
authorities to reverse the move and return the road to its original
A shopkeeper along the avenue, Sadibou Jatta, who sells mobile
accessories, said it is a good move as the tenure of the Mayor has
registered major developments in the municipality. While refusing to
comment if the renaming of the street by replacing that of the founder
of Serekunda with that of the mayor was a wise decision, the gentleman
maintained that the government knows what is best for the country and
that its decisions should always be embraced.
One Mr. Dampha, a School Teacher and resident of Serekunda, said he
could not believe the information when he first heard it. He said he
questioned the rationale behind the name change as Sayerr Jobe is
someone who deserves to have a road named after him.
“I have nothing against naming a street after Yankuba Colley, but I
just cannot see the rationale behind replacing Sayerr Jobe with
Yankuba Colley, who is the Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality,” he
A taxi driver, Saidu Bah, was asked about his opinion on the renaming
of the road but he responded that he is not aware of the development.
He said he cannot say that he has objections against the move but noted that a
name change may cause confusion among the passengers, citing himself
as an example of someone who was not aware of the name change. Hence
if someone were to ask him to take him to the new street name he would
not have known where to take the person.
As for Essa Johm, the renaming is not justifiable no matter what
Yankuba Colley might have done for his party, the APRC. “He can be
honoured by his own party but not in this way by trying to efface the
memory of someone who has selflessly served the entire community,” he
By Sailu Bah Saikou Suwareh Jabai