We can all post pictures today with the Father of our Nation, but he has touched all the lives of Gambians one way or the other. Death is inevitable, but what is most important is leaving a legacy worth celebrating. Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara is the epitome of decency, class, diplomat, Statesman, and a loving father of the Nation. No one can claim they own him, cause he was in the lives of all. He had the most gentle smile, and his approach to conflict was always to find a peaceful resolution. He became an envy for Africa, and that is why his civil servant was amongst the best. Many mistake his kindness for weakness and that was why critics would always sight to corruption. It wasn’t him who was corrupt, but understanding that we were all Gambians and didn’t want people to suffer. He was too kind, and also had some hyenas around him who thought it was in their best interest if he stayed longer than when he wanted to leave. With his diplomatic skills, Gambia benefited and became a beacon of hope even when other powerful nations said we were “a hell hole.” His respect for human rights and for people to live with dignity was unmatched.
Today he leaves us all with a heavy heart, but as true believers we knew this day would come. However, let us make sure that we do not distort history. His peaceful nature and love for country is why he is not in exile. We have had only three Presidents since 1965, so what are we doing to make sure that we have exemplary leaders like Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara? What are we doing to make sure that no leader goes into exile or dies in exile? What are we doing to make sure that our leaders are true diplomats and carry with them a charisma that is worth being proud of? What are we doing to make sure that we learn from the past, and self perpetuating rule ends in our beloved Gambia? We definitely need to make sure that great legacies especially that of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara’s are taught in our schools. He was definitely a man of the people, and he surely deserves much more. We should name the Banjul International Airport after him as Kairab International Airport so that anyone coming in the country, he is the first person that comes to mind. Gambia was known as the smiling coast because Sir Dawda made us smile. I was fortunate enough to spend a whole weekend with my elder brother, and the son of Landing Jallow Sonko at the State House. It was great to see the Former President in person and saw how much of a down to earth person he was. He spoke highly of my dad, and reminded me when they were opening Novotel of which my dad has that same picture hanging in his sitting room. He was truly a gentleman, and a peace loving person. We extend our condolences to his son Ousainou and all the family members especially Aunty Lady Chilel Jawara. The father of the Nation has gone to his creator, but he surely lives in all of us. We shall make sure that our future leaders live up to his name, and legacy. We are grateful to know how a good and intelligent President should be like.
May Allah grant him the heavens, and comfort his family! May Allah comfort all Gambians irrespective of our political differences! Today, all Gambians should take the time to honor a legend that shall forever shine a light on our beautiful