THE ROMANTIC SIDE OF MY GAMBIAN VISIT: I AM NOW MARRIED!
By Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu, currently in The Gambia
My enjoyment of my brother Yahya Jammeh’s republic has, despite some mishaps, reached another delicious level. I am starting the new year 2013 with a first class princess on my side. She beat 12 ladies that were shortlisted for me to marry by proving to be really fit for a genuine prince. Dear Fatou Camara of GRTS “Fatou Show”, your prayers have been answered; I am now married!
After the crude end to my first marriage, I removed marriage off my agenda and lost faith in women. But after recovering from the shock of unexpected divorce, I am giving it a try again. Albeit traditionally. This time, I have decided to not just marry within my Sarahulleh ethnic nation but within the same nobililty and immediate family. My wife and I are closely related; as close as Islam permits marriage among family members. It is safer like that. The wealth to be inherited or shared and the noble blood will stay with the two Touray Mandingmori and Sankanu Kagoro kabilo clans of Sotuma Sere community, URR. My mother and my wife’s mother share the same biological father in the person of the late grand Sufi marabou and imam of Sotuma, Hafiz el Quran Alhagie Muhammed Sirakolli Touray.
My new lady will not break my heart and run away like the last one. People busted into laughter when my father’s younger brother told the girl “if you break my son’s heart like the ex-wife, I will break your legs and tail!” The lady will surely live through a cocoon of cradle to grave traditional Sarahulleh social security system. Her needs will be met not just by me but by other clan members as the marriage has once more strengthened the centuries-old bond between the two clans. My princess will not have the incentive to be a rebellious feminist as all her wishes and aspirations will be read off her lips and be met on time. She does not belong to the working class and will therefore not be going out to take orders from some people in exchange for chicken-feed pay cheques or salary. She might engage is some kind of businesses or non-profit humanitarian activities of her choice just to keep herself busy. Polygamy, should I be interested in practising it in due course, will also not be a problem.
Marrying a young Sarahulleh lady is generally not a cheap business. I deposited the prohibitive dowry cash on the table on Thursday December 27, 2012 to the girl’s elders in the company of my father’s younger brother and head of my delegation who came all the way from Ziguinchor, Casamance, to lead the traditions. We wanted the marriage to be finalized the next morning but the girl’s side needed time to drum together all their elders first. On Sunday December 30, 2012 the traditional matrimonial agreement was finalized according to the Sunni Muslim rites in a mosque built by one of my grandfathers.
Oh yeah, my detractors will surely hate this good romantic news. How can a stranded guy afford a wife? A classy and high maintenance Sarahulleh princess for that matter! Moreover those who have been lying that my ex-wife left me because of “impotence” would be wondering why the parents of my new wife let their daughter marry a guy who is supposedly “not a man!”
Thanks to the ancestors, we have reasonable peoples in this world who are not gullible to fall for the lies spread against hardworking people here and there. Shame on the folks who were arrogantly talking as if they were the ones who trained the qualified German doctors in examining my reproductive system. More shame on all those who turned the doctors' words upside down. Hypocrites. When it is their own relatives they will say “it is Allah who gives a child” but when it is other peoples’ sons and daughters or when they just want to end a relationship, they will forget their Allah and instead blame the man for being impotent or the woman for being barren without credible medical facts to rely on.
Just few days back another self-styled “minister” in the so called transitional clique that not even rats will recognize for the Gambia, attacked me via facebook that “this is why your wife left you.” He is the third person in this gang of failed politicians to turn out openly against me. My that piece: “regime change without attitudinal change in the Gambia is meaningless” gave them a devastating blow and they have taken the knives out for me.
I told the so-called minister that I am not the first and will not be last person to go through divorce. Getting a new wife is the last thing worrying me. By now people must have realized that I am not those classes of peoples whose private lives you can use as tools of silencing or blackmailing them out of national discourse and public life. Let those without sins or challlenges in their private lives cast the first stones.
That said, I had an appointment with a property dealer in the upscale Pipeline neighbourhood to look for a tentative house for my new wife till the time I buy or build my own Gambian villa. Our properties are fully rented and my moral conscience would not let me kick out the tenants on short notice just for my personal use. When I told the property dealer about my wife he said “you Sarahullehs are racists; you marry among yourselves only!” We laughed.
Well no reasonable person can seriously call me tribalist or racist for choosing to marry in my tribe and family. Those who knew me from Nusrat High School can proudly say that I married my non-Sarahulleh high school love and the marriage lasted 15 years. Yes, fifteen consecutive years which is a record considering the alarming rate of divorce and the short duration of marriages nowadays. Left to me that marriage would go on till the classic “death do us part” end but some people wanted divorce by force and they got it. One of the Cadis of the Brikama Islamic Court who presided over the divorce proceedings, can bear me witness that I fought rain and sunshine to save the marriage but those who wanted a divorce got away with the weakness that I could not defend myself in person and challenge the fairy tales and character assassinations spread against me in court in absentia. Someone later told me that the Brikama Islamic and magistrate courts are like divorce machines. They reportedly rule mostly in favour of divorce than reconciliation. So anyone who wants quick divorce can drag his or her partner to the Brikama courts!
Interestingly the presiding Cadi later became my friend and we used to exchange phone calls when I was in Germany. One day she teased me that my ex-wife must have given me something that was I why I wanted to appeal the dissolution of my marriage and was not willing to forget her. I told the Cadi if the woman you love so dearly and sacrifice a lot for since high school comes out of the blue to file for a divorce using irrational excuses, it hurts. I am mentally strong otherwise I would have either committed suicide or be taken into a mental asylum. I gave my ex-wife the permission to visit her relatives and the only thing I got in return was a court sermon for divorce hearing at the Brikama Islamic Court with wild gossips and lies, online and offline, about my reproductive health. If a man is “impotent” why would you freely stay, or allow your daughter to be with him for 15 years! You should have raised alarm after 5 or 10 years in the marriage if you are to be taken seriously by reasonable people! Anyway, I forgave and moved on. Since the end of that my marriage, it is now that I will be removing the names of the ex-wife from my papers, passwords and house in Germany as the new “manyo” has to take her rightful place without the legacy burdens of the last marriage.
When I landed in the Gambia on November 09, 2012, the first thing my people wanted was for me to get a wife. By the time I could decide for one, I had 12 girls shortlisted but my stance has always been no to early and arranged marriage. They respected it and gave me the time and freedom to make a choice from the pool of ladies who long passed the legal age of consent which is 16 according to the Laws of The Gambia.
My late dad’s second wife has been very proactive. She said I should not leave The Gambia without having a wife. I left before and came back 15 years later. If I leave again, I might be back in 20 years time. So they needed a guarantee that I will be coming home regularly. That guarantee for them is a wife. They said a beautiful reason for me coming back to The Gambia even without having a film-related project is what they want and they got it now.
My wife and I are yet to organize the big traditional royal wedding ceremony and the unique Sarahulleh honeymoon of getting locked up in a secluded room for at least a week! We will do that once the time is auspicious. We just had an exclusive get-together will family and friends as warmup exercrise for that big week-long Sarahulleh wedding.
I would have loved to stay longer in Gambia but I have to rush back to Germany this week for medical checkup and possible treatment before coming back. For the first time since entering the Gambia, I have been feeling ill and I will not take the risk of dragging it along as most fatalistic Gambians do. Nipping it in the bud will make it easier for me to not just execute my Gambian projects well but also enjoy my life with my new princess whose name ”Kanghe” means gold in Sarahulleh. She is indeed pure gold. I am nit-picky and very rigorous in choosing a woman for an intimate relationship and any lady who succeeds in winning my bad boy heart is gold.
Happy New Year 2013!
Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu
TEL/SMS: 00220-677-4620 (Gambia), 0049(0)1774842957 (Germany)
Apologies for the typos.