On 11th May 2016, the words of Shakespeare resonated loudly in Brufut, The Gambia, -”When beggars die there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes ” Banjul and the rest of country were thrown into mourning. The death of my mother, Ya Sirra Njie Njanko.
My residence was a Mecca of a kind with people, groups men and women from all shades of life trooping in to register their condolences. From 8:am , till 12 mid night daily, there was no dull moment as visitors took turn to comment and pay glowing tributes to my mother.
My mother was an inspiring soul always there for all who came to her with their troubles with kind words and wise advice. Her home was open to everyone and her hospitality made them feel important. She was the most Loving, Humble, Compassionate, Understanding, Family orientated woman and one of the most beautiful souls one could ever meet. I miss you everyday & Love you so much Mum.
Our father Alh Sulay Sarr Penda Chorro, may his soul continue to rest his peace, when he passed away, you served the role of our father, making it easy for us to realize that our Dad was no more. I was seven years old then and my immediate elder sister Baby Rose was 11 years while Kumba and Ndey Oley were all young. A personification of the good wife and the caring mother, you gave your all to all of life’s vicissitudes, without giving up.
Ya Sirra Njie Njanko was humble, accommodating, calm and generous not to her children alone but others. During our childhood days at 14 Wellesley Street in Banjul, she was forced by nature to single-handedly raise her four beautiful daughters after the demise of her husband, best friend, and our father.
My sisters and I had a good upbringing thanks to Ya Sirra. This is what has made it possible for us to fit in a society we find ourselves today. She made us proud among our peers especially me. I had toys, bicycle and all the necessary things a child needed. I lacked for nothing!
My mother gave us (her daughters) a befitting childhood making it hard for us to notice that Dad was not with us. The relationship between her and her daughters was quite exceptional; she was a friend, mother, comforter and someone who always wiped our tears.
I remember the words of wisdoms she told us. That it was important for me and my sisters to be united and be each other’s keeper. “Juubo, Dagoo, Dakor,Jaapo, ak Jaamo.” Insha Allah that will happen and her memory will be cherished forever.
I wept and cry because there is nobody for me to run to whenever I have problems. I received hundreds of calls and texts messages from loved ones and individuals paying tribute to my mother’s demise. It is hard to accept that my mother is gone, but as she had told me, “The voice of the people is the voice of God.” Therefore, I have to accept what God destined. And hundreds of people many of whom I do not know have said good things about my mother. The school fees, the food you helped them with their families. Gambians and non-Gambians have been standing with me during the difficult moments.
I remember putting smiles on her face when I wrote a tribute for her titled, “Appreciating My Mother”, on my magazine (4th Edition).
What I am and who I become today are the product of my mother’s love and hard work. They said I acted and looked like her.
I follow her legacy, her dreams your footsteps. I thank her for being the person I am for being her daughter. I am honoured to call her my mother. I might not know half of what she had done or achieved but growing up hearing all the good things after her death makes me feel better.
I know though, you are a hardworking woman and you are among the first women to do business in The Gambia. A good Muslim, you were God fearing and respected your daily prayers. You worked hard for your family and siblings. My mother is the first police woman in The Gambia. She served her country with diligence and lived a fulfilled life.
She adopted and nurtured over 50 people in her household without asking for help. May Allah reward her kindness. I know she is in a better place. I will miss the quite moments we had together but life will never be the same for me because she is not with me. Until me meet in Janna.
Your legacy will continue.