MB Saho IMF Executive Director for Africa Matthew & Oley Two Gambian International Models tied the knot
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It feels good to say yet again welcome to another issue of Jojo’s Mag. Our 2014 holiday greeting is simple: Thanks to all of you because your sponsorship and the commitment from our readers has enabled us to accomplish so much over the years. We have managed to increase our combined worldwide readership to over 30,000 through hard copy sales, Facebook views and Website followers. A fundamental part of the magazine business is being able to consistently deliver and have a target readership that can relate to your product. At Jojo’s Mag we remain true to our original commitment by being innovative, approachable and all inclusive. Based on that principle, in this issue we bring you the story of Mr. Momodou Bamba Saho who started his career as a junior clerk at the Central Bank of The Gambia and going on to become its Governor and then moving on to being an IMF Executive Director, a man whose life and success was built on being modest, approachable and down to earth.
In this issue
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IMF Executive Director for Africa Mr.MB Saho
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We hope Mr. Saho’s story inspires you, as we continue to bring you a high quality magazine full of good quality mix coverage of issues relevant to people of different walks of life, which interest continue to connect our sponsor’s products to our readership. As a lifestyle magazine which projects an image of African excellence, we are very pleased to share that Jojo’s Mag is now a Gambian household name with copies visible in beauty parlours, office receptions, at community events and with back issues available free online in their entirety accessible to a virtual community at www.jojosmag.com We are also listening to your comments and feedback as most of you keep telling us that you feel confident approaching us with your ideas as you continue to relate to the stories we publish. Although we are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far, we are aware that we could not have done it without you. Thank you.
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11 A Nigerian Banking GuruAigboje Aig-Imoukhuede
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32 Marie Kumba Gomez-A Gambian Nollywood Rising Star
14 London Gambia Week UK 2014 Dance
34 Malaria & Sickle Cell
16 London Gambia Week 2014 Park Day 18 London Gambia WeekThe Finale 20 Gambian Christians in UK Celebrate Sang Marie 22 Youssou Ndure in Gambia April 2014 23 Visit GambiaTestimonies 24 Two Gambian International Models tie the knot 25 The Real Cost of Taking a Lady out 26 Sweden Gambia Week June 2014 27 Dressing AlikeAshobies
• Please explain the process of becoming an IMF Executive Director? Alternate Executive Directors are appointed by the Constituency based on a competitive interview process following nominations by their government. So, first I had to be nominated by my country for the position, after which I went through an interview conducted by Ministers of Finance from the Constituency of 22 African countries I was to represent. After two years I was subsequently elected Executive Director.
IMF’s Executive Director for Africa:
Mr. MB Saho
he IMF (International Monetary Fund) was founded in 1945. It is described on the Fund website as a member state organisation comprising of 188 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, to secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. Its day to day business is managed by 24 Executive Directors who make up the Executive Board. Since 2008, countries with large economies such as the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia appoint their own Executive Director with the remaining 16 Directors representing constituencies consisting of 4 to 22 countries. Mr. Saho is one of the Executive Directors of the Board representing the Africa Group 1 constituency which comprise of 22 mainly English-speaking African countries, making him the chair with the biggest constituency. Jojo’s Mag shares this exclusive interview of Mr. Saho. • Mr Saho you are a public figure, yet one can say that you are not very well known in The Gambia. Can you tell our readers who is Mr. Momodou Bamba Saho? I am a 52 year old Gambian. I am married to Amie Saho and we have three children. I went to high school in The Gambia and attended university in Malaysia and England. I have qualifications in economics, accounting and information technology. I worked for The Gambia government for some 27 years at the Central Bank of The Gambia. I joined the central bank in 1983 as a junior clerk and left as the Governor in November 2010. Most recently I have been working for the IMF for the past four years. First as an Alternate Executive Director representing 22 African countries for the first two years and then as an Executive Director in the IMF Executive Board for the final two years still representing the same 22 countries.
• A lot of people hear about the IMF but how do you explain to an ordinary rural African with no formal education what the IMF is? What does the IMF mean and why should it matter to the ordinary African? The IMF was founded about 70 years ago and is a global organisation of 188 member countries. Most of the countries of the world are members of the IMF. One of the most important things that the IMF does is to assist countries in economic difficulties find a way out of those difficulties. It assesses their economies and gives advice on how they can maintain or restore economic stability. If necessary, the IMF also provides short term finance to enable governments to implement policies that would result in better economic outcomes. The way it works is that IMF member countries seek assistance with the understanding that they will implement policies that will restore their economies to a sound footing. This will usually mean that they may have to, for example, stabilise their currencies or build international reserves. But for low income countries (LICs), which are mainly the poorer member countries, the IMF provides loans at a concessional low rate of interest well below commercial interest rates. And actually for the past few years, due to the global economic crisis, the IMF has waived the interest on the loans to LICs, so they don’t pay any interest.
With the Managing Director of IMF, Christine Lagarde
share a lot of common characteristics, they perform different functions. The IMF is actually more than a lender. It does not lend for specific development projects. The World Bank is more development oriented. If a member country has a project to build a hospital, a power plant, or a road or to fund projects related to agriculture and education, they would talk to the World Bank or the ADB who finance such development projects. The IMF where necessary helps finance overall difficulties a country might have in meeting its international payments. But it does not only lend for economic recovery, rather it also monitors domestic and international economic developments and advices countries on how to prevent or mitigate economic crisis in their own countries and in the world. So you can see that the IMF’s functions go beyond lending, as it provides advice on what it thinks are good economic and financial policies for member countries with the aim of maintaining global economic stability. • So the IMF is a bank? Not necessarily. Its primary purpose is not financial intermediation. It is a global collaborative organisation where all of its members contribute resources with the expectation that if one member has a balance of payments difficulty, then the IMF will assist both in terms of finance and policy advice. Effectively it is a global insurance mechanism to ensure that there is economic stability in the world.
• So how does the IMF compare to other major banks like the World Bank or African Development Bank (ADB)?
• So, Executive Director for 22 countries on the IMF Board that must be challenging?
Even though the IMF and the World Bank were established in the same year and
Of course it involves a lot of work as the two African Executive Directors represent
2014 Africa rising in Mozambique
With President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi
with President Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan
the largest number of countries in the IMF Board. Some of our colleagues represent only one or a few member countries. I not only have to deal with the specific issues of the 22 countries I represent but also play a role in the surveillance of the economies of all of the other 166 member countries as well as contribute to oversight of the IMF’s policy work and internal administrative matters. Articulating a common view for this large number of diverse countries in our constituency is sometimes a challenge. However, the countries I represent are bonded by the common interest they share in seeing that African countries develop and gain more respect in the world. Our office seeks to contribute to this process by strengthening the engagement of our member countries with the IMF and working to ensure that the IMF treats all its members in an even handed manner. As Executive Directors, we wear two hats, one as representatives of the members that elected us and the other as IMF officials with responsibility to work to ensure that the IMF discharges its mandate effectively. Sometimes there are tensions between the two roles but we try to balance these competing interests. Our staff works with country authorities to provide them with information about the activities of the IMF so that they are better prepared to engage with the IMF. Our staff also accompany IMF staff missions to member countries to assist the country authorities in their discussions with the Fund staff teams, as well as mediate between the authorities and the Fund staff whenever there are divergences of views. For example, in case an upcoming Board meeting on a constituency country is judged to be possibly problematic, I may engage with colleague Directors to provide them with more information from the perspective of the country authorities on the issues at hand with a view to enhancing their understanding of the issues and possibly getting their support. I also sometimes work with groups of likeminded Executive Directors on particular policy issues, for instance on low-income country facilities or the relative voting powers of member countries so that we can present a common stance on those issues to the Board.
to pull resources together, like in a credit union, to assist those countries that are in need at any point in time which you might say works as a cooperative. I think also for many LICs and middle income countries, one of the main benefits the IMF provides is that it spends significant resources on technical assistance to its member countries. This involves providing guidance and training to help countries improve their macro-economic, financial and structural policy implementation. But I think you are right, for the man on the street, perhaps the IMF can be simply described as a cooperative society. But let me try to illustrate this by way of an example. Take The Gambia for example. As a member country, it contributes to what we call the quota of the IMF which effectively makes it a shareholder of the IMF. The Gambia and other member countries contribute resources to the IMF based on their economic size. Whenever you hear that the IMF has lent money to a country from its quotas, in effect a small country like The Gambia is also lending some money to the borrowing country by virtue of its membership contributions.
• If the IMF is not a bank, and going back to the level of understanding of our ordinary rural African with no formal education who may be familiar with a village cooperative society, would it be fair to say that the IMF is like a cooperative society for its member countries?
I was born in Banjul.. For most of my childhood, I lived on Hagan Street. I attended Windley Primary school, where I graduated as one of the top students nationally and was awarded a scholarship to go to Gambia High School. Following high school, I went to the UK for one year to do my ‘A’ Levels and then I went back home and started working for the Central Bank. I must admit that I never
Again, we don’t want to use the word bank. So as I said, it is a global collaborative effort
With President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone
had a particular career plan as such, neither was I overly ambitious. I think I just did what needed to be done at my fantasy at the the time. time when I was an Actually, if anything, A ‘Levels student my fantasy at the time when I was an A ‘Levels in the UK was to be student in the UK was to part of a band. be part of a band. Being a song writer appeared to be a cool way of making a living, you know as the song goes “money for nothing...”. So I have to confess that I am a closet song writer. But I soon realised that I would need to be more realistic because in those days it was difficult to make a living out of music. Only a few aspirants of the profession actually made the charts. After one year of dabbling, So I have to I decided to go back confess that I am a home and do something closet song writer. more serious by getting a job. So I never got to grow those dreadlocks! Instead I found myself in the Central Bank wearing a tie, and I still thought the tie was going to be a temporary thing, but little did I know it was kick starting my career as a professional banker. Not long after I started working in the central bank, I was one of a group of five people nominated for a Malaysian government scholarship. My scholarship was for a degree in economics. The four others were Abou Jallow, Cherno Jallow, Suwareh Darboe and Jeyland Newlands. We were the first batch of Africans to study I found myself in at the International the Central Bank Islamic University in wearing a tie Malaysia. I think we were pleasantly surprised by the country because we didn’t know what to expect. We soon discovered that Malaysia was relatively more economically advanced than many African countries. Most of all, the Malaysian people were very welcoming. What they have done in that country, I think we can do in many countries in Africa. What I saw of the economic achievements of Malaysia has inspired me a lot throughout my career to try to do the best that I can do in my conduct of public policy. Upon completion of my studies in Malaysia, I went back to continue my work for the Central Bank. So to answer your question, I never had a set career plan. For me it wasn’t about being in any particular position, rather it was just a matter of waking up in the morning and going to work to get on with business as best as I could. I think my interest in information technology gave me a bit of an advantage on the job as I was one of the first to take a lead on the
• Now tell us about you growing up? From where you started to where you are now? Was there anything you wanted to be when you grow up?
First and foremost I hope we improve the circumstances of their peoples our air conditioned were able to tell the use of computers in the bank. This was in the late 80’s at a time when computers were and how the IMF can help in this process. cars and offices, we positive side of the The Mozambique conference was a follow-up forget that we are African story not in widespread use in The Gambia. As a to the 2009 Tanzania conference which was actually working for result of that interest, I subsequently went organised to gauge the impact of the global that woman selling vegetables or roasted on to do a masters degree in Information economic crisis on Africa and to determine peanuts in the local market, whose daily profit Technology at the London School of how the IMF can engage with and continue to is perhaps less than ten Gambian Dalasis Economics. I also completed a chartered (about $0.25) a day. So the challenge is support Africa to mitigate accountancy qualification in London around how we make sure that the value of the the crisis. the same time. political meager earnings of that market woman So, the 2014 Africa and economic Over the years, I have worked in several Rising conference in governance on the is stretched and preserved as much as departments of the central bank and in possible. We can sit in our offices and Mozambique was partly a African continent 2004 I was appointed to the position of complain about the little money we think stock taking process. Over have improved General Manager with oversight of all the we are being paid or that we have not departments of the bank, and number two to the past two decades, quite significantly been promoted, but ultimately, we are African economic growth the Governor. In a subsequent restructuring has been quite strong and African economies working for people like the woman in the of the bank, I was appointed one of the have proved to be relatively resilient in the market. I think sometimes we become so far Deputy Governors and finally became the face of the 2008 global crisis. Sub-Saharan removed from the economic realities of our Governor in 2007. Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in own surroundings. No matter how fortunate the world right now, and as a result there is we become with our jobs we should not • Can you elaborate on your a lot of optimism about Africa. This is partly forget that we are working for the ordinary recollection of the introduction of due to the fact that political and economic man down there. computers into the banking system? governance on the African continent have Did you introduce computers to the improved quite significantly. So you have Central Bank? Mrs. Amie Jobe-Saho this optimismm about Africa Rising, and we When I went back to the Gambia in 1988 from thought that this was an opportune time to Malaysia, we already had IBM computers. So meet to exchange ideas on how to sustain I did not introduce computers to the bank. the momentum. Although the poorer countries have We had an adviser from the UK, Mr Bigwood, who was responsible for the operations and weathered the global crisis relatively well, management of the computers. I remember personally, I get worried that the optimism might lead to complacency. that the storage on the computers There are still significant at the time was a paltry 20MB, Although the remaining whereas nowadays just one small file poorer countries challenges extending economic can take that much space. This was have weathered in the time of Lotus 123 DOS-based the global crisis opportunities to large parts of the populations. Many Subspreadsheet programme, if there are relatively well, Saharan African countries need enough people who still remember personally, I what that means. I immediately took get worried that to grow significantly faster and for many decades in order to an interest in this area of work, so we the optimism transform their economies soon started incorporating some of might lead to and reduce poverty. First and the banking and accounting functions complacency foremost I hope we were able into the computer system. This made a significant difference to our productivity. It to tell the positive side of the African story, to was obvious that we had to switch to some encourage investment. We have also sought to achieve a more form of automation to make things more manageable, because we just could not dignified engagement of African countries have been able to continue with the manual with the IMF. And I think this can be achieved processes which were leading to lots of through improved dialogue so that African errors as transaction volumes had grown countries can engage with more dignity and • What you like to be remembered for? over the years. But thinking about it now, confidence, and not just continue to be viewed although applications we developed were in a creditor-debtor relationship. As more and This thing about legacy and assuming that fairly basic, they did get the job done. Years more African countries graduate to middle- one person can make a big difference is later, we have implemented some of the most income status the future relationship between sometimes not realistic in many contexts. modern computerised banking and payment Africa and the IMF [said with emphasis], will Sometimes you can only make small systems in the central bank and I am proud be greatly influenced by a change in the differences. Much of what we have achieved to say that the people at the bank continue to perceptions that continue to regard African in my work at the IMF over the past four years countries simply as borrowing members. has been through a process of collaboration take that process forward. Only then will African countries fully embrace with government authorities, with fellow Directors, and with the management and staff the Fund as their own. • Can you comment on the significance of the IMF. In the past four years, we have of the Africa Arising conference held taken some important steps to enhance the • What are you most passionate about? in Mozambique? global safety net and make sure that the IMF One of my main roles here as a Board That is actually quite a difficult question has enough resources to support countries Director at the IMF is to help strengthen the because I am not necessarily very strongly around the world in the aftermath of the most engagement between Africa and the IMF, and attached to any one thing. Family is of course significant global economic crisis since the to advance the interests of African countries very important to me. On the work side of 1930s. That was a major success of the IMF things, I do however believe that public policy over the last few years. in the IMF. In addition, we also managed to make the The Africa Rising conference, held in May should be conducted as much as possible 2014 in Mozambique brought together with a view to including as many people as Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, the IMF’s government officials, the private sector, civil possible in the benefits of economic growth. concessional lending vehicle for low income society organisations and the IMF to discuss I remember that I used to tell my colleagues countries, sustainable over the medium term issues such as natural resource management back in my day as a banker in The Gambia by allocating part of the profits from the sale and how sub-Saharan Africa countries can that we should never forget the “man in the of IMF gold to this fund. The IMF now has continue to implement sound policies to street”. Quite often while in the comfort of more money to lend to poor countries. I think
this is something we can be proud of. Personally, I am especially proud that we were able to make the IMF move expeditiously in providing assistance to the three Ebola hit countries in West Africa. I worked with my fellow directors to bring forward the IMF response to the crisis. In an unprecedented move, all of the directors signed up to one joint statement to show how strongly they support the Ebola initiative and as a result the IMF allocated $130 million to the three most Ebola affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. However the three
on the planet is a great responsibility, and also a privilege and an honour. I thank His Excellency President Jammeh for giving me this opportunity. It was serious work during difficult times for the global economy. I have now completed my tenure at the IMF â€˘ Your final words? the IMF allocated at the end October 2014. Looking $130 million to the forward, I hope to have the opportunity Being one of 24 people three most affected to continue to try to contribute, in some modest way, to promoting the sitting on the IMF Executive Ebola countries economic development of my country. Board with oversight responsibility for a global institution whose work impacts the lives of almost everyone â€˘ Thank you for your time Mr Saho affected countries and other countries in the region will continue to need more help not just from the IMF but from all over the world if we are to prevent this disease from becoming a global economic and security nightmare.
Momodou Bamba Saho Profile Brief: â€˘ BORN 1962. Married with three children. An experienced and highly adaptive central banker with a proven track record of success who has contributed to the implementation of significant reforms in the Gambian economy and to oversight of the International Monetary Fund. â€˘ EDUCATION: MSc. ADMIS (Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems) - London School of Economics and Political Science. B. Economics - International Islamic University, Malaysia. ACCA-(Association of Certified Chartered Accountants) - Emile Woolf College of Accountancy, London â€˘ WORK: International Monetary Fund (IMF) November 2012 to November 2014: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - Representing 22 sub - Saharan African countries on the Executive Board of the IMF in Washington DC with a view to strengthening their engagement with the IMF. Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the Board. November 2010 â€“ October 2012: IMF Alternate Executive Director - Deputy and understudy to the Executive Director, duties same as for Executive Director. Central Bank of The GambiaAugust 2007 â€“ October 2010: GOVERNOR - Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of the Central Bank of The Gambia. February 1983- 2007- Various positions held within The Central Bank of The Gambia: First Deputy Governor; General Manager; Senior Manager; Manager Banking Department; Principal Accountant; Senior Accountant; Accountant Finance and Information Systems Department; Banking Officer; Junior Clerk IMF High Table Meeting
! &% # ! &!"" !!
A message from Mr Almamo Fatty, CEO of SuperSonicz Money Transfer
he Supersonicz Successes is based on Steady growth, country wide coverage in Gambia; highly International; Expansion to many countries in Europe, more pay out points in Africa; Highly reliable and secure; innovative and service friendly; online transfer service; employment opportunities for Gambians; Charity support for the poor in the villages in Gambia. I feel more accomplished running my own company which has always been my intention.
If you were not running your own business, what do you think you would be doing? I am a qualified chartered accountant. So if I wasn’t running my own business, then I will be doing what the majority of the people do, working for someone else by doing their accounts. But I can’t imagine doing anything else other than running my own show.
I have already built the foundation) and make money transfer affordable, quick and reliable with a good worldwide coverage.
Your significant career accomplishment
The opening of a micro Finance bank in Gambia which I have been working on, aimed at alleviating poverty and contributing to the socio-economic development of country.
What motivates you & what’s your superpower?
My family and creating job opportunities. I was not born with a silver spoon, I work hard for every penny I get. I believe in continuous personal development. Learning from people who have done it all and are still successful.
Previous work experience?
Five things you would like to achieve?
I started my career as a banker at Trust Bank Ltd, then moved to Gambia Civil Aviation Authority as an Air traffic control cadet. We are the pioneers of Guaranty Trust Bank in Gambia where I worked before coming to the UK. In UK it has been a rat race doing all types of manual jobs before starting my own company which is now a house hold name in Gambia and Europe. I have not regretted doing any of those jobs, as they have all taught me one or two things.
Creating more job opportunities; continue to expand worldwide; Build a core banking micro finance across Africa to fight poverty; Build a charity in Gambia and Africa (for which
Besides money transfer, I always support Gambian and African events we have sponsored more than 70% in the UK, because
Who is your role model, and why? Robert Kiosaki. Since I started reading his books I become motivated and hungry for success, believed in myself and got more convinced that I also can become a successful businessman.
About your recent projects
they are the people who made SUPERSONICZ what is today. We have now launched our ONLINE money transfer which allows people to transfer from anywhere with a click, very easy and reliable.
What is your story Almamo Fatty?
I come from a poor background but with the help of family and friends, I was able to travel abroad to further my education and get myself established in business in UK. Things that some people use as a hurdle, I use it as a motivation and that’s what I credit to my success. Thank Allah and the good people. So always try and do the right thing, when people see that you putting in the time and effort, they trust you as a person and that is the foundation of any company - trust especially when you dealing with money. My story is if I can do it anyone can do it.
I appeal to all Gambians and Africans to support our own businesses. I would like to thank all my customers for the endless support they have been giving me since the word go. For SuperSonicz online money transfer register today at www.supersonicz.co.uk Receiving point: GT Bank, Trust Bank, ZENITH and Yonna Forex including Sunday’s and public holidays in some branches. With coverage to Africa, Asia and Europe. You can also send money from Supersonicz branches in Gambia to anywhere in Europe.
Ladies & Gents + Couples
10 Jojoâ€™s MAG
A Nigerian Banking Guru Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede – The brain behind the success of Access Bank Plc.
eing left behind on a tarmac in a mad rush should be enough to discourage any little boy from taking on the big boys in life. Taking over a run-down bank in a brutally competitive Nigerian Financial market should be a daunting challenge for any man in his mid thirties. Leading on a committee to probe the fraudulent fuel subsidy regime should strike fear into any banker whose business and life could be gravely at risk as a consequence. However, for Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, the [former] Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Plc, lessons are meant to be learnt from failure, challenges are meant to be surmounted, and courage is a vital ingredient of success. The story of his life is read like an interesting book. At the age of 11, he was schooled in Kaduna and always had to catch a flight to Lagos or Benin for his holidays. In those chaotic days of the now defunct Nigerian Airways, having a ticket and a boarding pass was not a guarantee of getting on board the aircraft. On one of those days, amid the rush, little Aigboje was outmanoeuvred by bigger bodies. He watched in pain and in tears as the flight took off without him, his little suitcase weighing him down physically and emotionally. He dusted himself up and promised himself he would never again be left behind in life. There and then, a neversay-die spirit birthed in him. A competitor was born. A winner had arrived. Nevertheless he went through the mill, he passed his O ‘Level in flying colours at the Federal Government College, Kaduna. He got properly prepared for the bigger challenge in life. He obtained an LLB (Hons) from the University of Benin in 1986 and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School to bag BL (Hons) the following year. He is one of the youngest Nigerians ever to be conferred with the Honorary Fellowship of the Chartered institute of Bankers in Nigeria (CIBN). He obtained a PMD qualification from Harvard Business School and as testimony to his knack, he was selected by his peers as the Class Speaker for the PMD. As one of the founding staff of Guarantee Trust Bank Plc (now GT Bank) between 1991 and 2008, he enjoyed merited rise through the organisation; excelling in almost all the roles available to banking professionals. He was appointed Executive Director at Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) in 2000. As an Executive Director of Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) in 2002, Aig-Imoukhuede saw bigger challenges to be tackled and could not remain in his comfort zone. He led a team of visionaries, including his colleague, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, to take over the management of Access Bank Nigeria, a bank that was in the “relegation zone” of the industry, rated No. 65 in the sector. They had a dream to transform Access Bank to become one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions within five years. By 2007, he led the bank to the
No. 8 position in a consolidated and much stronger industry. The bank’s share has appreciated by 1500%. The bank had 80 branches and expanded into Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Today Access Bank Plc is a tier 1 [now No. 5] in Nigeria and has over 300 branches across Nigeria and other African countries. It is also in the top 15 in Africa. The bank is now a global brand with a banking subsidiary in the United Kingdom. In addition, under his insightful leadership, Access Bank has become a globally recognised institution with evident local and international awards for its continued adherence to global best practices, sound corporate governance and contributions towards ensuring the stability of the Nigerian and African banking industry. Due to his dynamism and high level of professionalism entrenched in integrity, Aigboje has served as the chairman of a number of companies including Associated Discount House Ltd; WAIPC Insurance Plc; FMDA plc. He is [/was] also a Board Member of Commonwealth Business Coalition; African Finance Cooperation (AFC); Nigeria Private Sector Health Sector Alliance Steering Committee and Council Member, Nigeria Stock Exchange. Over the past decade, he has rendered himself as an ardent advocate of responsible business practices and sustainability. He has demonstrated commitment towards addressing critical societal needs via participation on global alliances, played defining roles in global workplace health initiatives. He was appointed the first African co-chair of the GBC Health, a leading global coalition of private sector companies focused on addressing health issues. In recognition of his commitment towards the eradication of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Pandemic, he was appointed as the Chairman of Friends of the Global Fund for Africa and is a member of the Private sector Advisory Group of the Global Fund. He is highly sought speaker on leadership and entrepreneurship. Aig-Imoukhuede, 46, has also served his fatherland in various capacities. He is the holder of the National honour of the Commander of the Order of Nigeria (CO), a member of the National Economic Management Team and incumbent Chairman [was] of the Bankers’ Sub-Committee on Economic Development and Sustainability. One of the most important national appointments he has handled was heading the Federal Government’s Committee on Fuel Subsidy Payment Verification and Reconciliation, a position that brought him in conflict with vested interests. He discharged his responsibility professionally and with every sense of patriotism and received commendations from far and wide. He has won various awards nationally and globally in his glittering career, he was named the 2011 winner of Ernest & Young West African Entrepreneur of the year. He was
also named in 2002 among the top ten most respected CEO’s in the PricewaterCoopers Most Respected Company and CEO Survey. He is the recipient of the National Productivity Order of Merit. ThisDay Newspaper’s “Young Global Champion Award”; and the “Sarduna Award of Excellence” by Leadership Newspaper, and he is a Pastor at the Promised Land Ministries. During the time leading to the publishing of this article in Jojo’s Mag, Aigboje was one of the top favourites for the position of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, but instead he was appointed President of Nigeria Stock Exchange succeeding outgoing president and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote. His appointment was regarded in Nigeria’s Business Day Newspaper with the following words: …the most famous alumnus yet of one of Nigeria’s “too-big-tofail” banks, Tier-1 Access Bank Plc as many see him as one that will provide a new and energizing chapter for the Nigeria Stock Exchange. This belief is largely founded and driven by the fact that the man, who along with his friend and current Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, transformed Access Bank to what it is today, is known for his deep and elaborate application of innovative change management principles, and particularly for bringing an exciting leadership style in his many previous roles at the top, the most famous of which is the transformational leadership that took place in his 12 years at Access Bank.
Famous Quotes by the man: Before we came in, Access Bank was between the 70th and 90th bank in an industry that had 90 participants in 2002. When we came into Access Bank, we were very clear that we wanted to rank with the Zeniths and so on. And so we have enjoyed a journey that has seen us basically leap from fourth world to first world. I didn’t want to be just the manager or a CEO of a well established bank. I wanted to have on my track record or CV the establishment or the creation of a world class institution or at least that I tried and I failed in the process. I convinced Herbert who was a highly respected executive director of a high performing bank as well. I said to him let’s do this together, and he saw the opportunity, he bought into the dream and so we crafted a vision of basically a world class commercial institution run by Nigerians, owned by Nigerians as well as any other investor who found the story compelling. Article sponsored by Access Bank Plc via World Business Media, the latter taking sole responsibility and credit for its content. (The article was first published as a supplement in the Guardian Newspaper of UK)
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London Gambia Week UK 2014 Cultural Show Photos by Arthur Cates & Musa Sarr
Crowned Queen of the event Lady M Johnson
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Jojo’s MAG 135 B-Me VOICES
London Gambia Week UK 2014 Night Dance Photos by Siaka
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Gambia Week UK 2014 Park Event Photos by Musa Sarr
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Rahasu Bi (Finale)InterFace Gambia TV Coverage of London Week Guest Talk Show hosted by Bai Eli Photos by Arthur Cates
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Gambian Christians in UK Celebrate Sang Marie (Ascension Day) Photos by Arthur Cates
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B-Me Mag3.indd 3
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Youssou Ndure in Gambia April 2014 Photos by Siaka
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Visit the Gambia Good Reasons
to go to Africa’s “Smiling Coast”
By Martyn Dean
he Gambia is the smallest country in Africa, but quite possibly offers the warmest welcome. Situated on the west coast of Africa it has been dubbed as “The Smiling Coast” and it is easy to see why. As soon as you arrive the locals meet you with a warm genuine smile. The Gambia is surrounded by Senegal to the north, south and east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Tourism plays a huge part of life in The Gambia and I have compiled a list of good reasons as to why you should visit. 1. There is no jet lag. The Gambia is just a six hour flight from the UK.
2. For the weather, Gambia offers guaranteed sunshine with average daily temperatures over 30°C! 3. There are an excellent range of restaurants in the Gambia, from local takeaway to Chinese, Indian, Lebanese and Italian 4. The Gambia is one of the safest destinations in the world, with a very low crime rate and attacks on tourists are extremely rare 5. The Gambia offers a good choice of hotels - from 1* no frills to 5* luxury spa hotels. 6. The Gambia offers good nightlife, Kololi (or Senegambia as known locally) has a excellent range of lively bars 7. Fantastic beaches. The Gambia offers some of the most beautiful beaches in Africa to enjoy the hot sunshine. 8. Good range of flights from UK airports.
Flights to The Gambia are now available from London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester airports. 9. Over 500 different species of bird and is one of the best destinations for bird watching. 10. The Gambia is excellent sea and creek fishing. The Gambia is a former British colony and only gained independence on the 18th February 1965 so English is widely spoken by local people. The Gambia is a peaceful country and has a population of around 1.5 million people. Religion is made up by 90% Muslim and 10% Christian and other religions. Have a look at Gambia destination guides for further information on the various resorts you can visit. If you do go I can guarantee you will return home with a smile on your face!
Gambia Holidays Are Out of This World
f you are looking to experience a truly unique and different holiday experience then a trip to Gambia should definitely be considered. If you have grown tired of holidaying in places without any sense of identity, such as Europe beach holidays, and are looking for a trip that gives you more for your money, then consider a Gambia holiday. You will experience a trip like no other on Gambia holidays. Embrace the culture of the world’s most diverse continent and take the opportunity to see truly magnificent creatures in the wild. No holiday to Gambia would be complete without going on safari where you can see lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants and more. If you enjoy trying new cuisine then do sample the simple, yet delightful, local Gambian dishes. Why not take part in a cookery class so you can recreate your Gambian holiday back at home and make all of your friends jealous. Not only is the culture of Gambia unlikely to be anything you have experienced before, but you will be amazed at the hospitality of the people. And if you still need your beach fix, then a holiday to Gambia can help here too. Miles and
By Graham A I Taylor
holidays to Gambia offering very reasonable rates, but it is also possible to travel on a shoestring budget. With the Euro exchange rate as dire as it currently is, maybe it is time to consider further afield - go on a Gambia holiday. Graham Taylor has worked in the travel industry for over 15 years. He particularly enjoys writing about package holidays.
miles of golden sand, empty beaches and not a Irish bar in sight. Gambia Holidays need not cost as much as you think either. There are plenty of package
All photos for this article were provided by Robert Whitwell a dedicated Bird watcher who has been to the Gambia on numerous visits. Dear Jojo, here are some photos from some of my visits to Gambia. For the interest of bird watchers on the lookout for the Egyptian Plover, I hope it would interest them to know that the best place to find it is in the town of Basse, but some have sighted it in other areas like Bansang at a quarry site. I believe a lot of people visit Kenya or Zimbabwe where the bird is commonly seen but it cost less going to Gambia, something many don’t know.
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Matthew & Oley
Two International Models tied the Knot
atthew John is a Gambian born high profile Irish model. He has been living in Ireland since 1992. His modeling career started at age of 22 when he was discovered and the rest is history. He has since done lots of international modeling jobs in and out of Ireland and made great impact in the fashion Industry. He still models on the side while working as a sale and marketing consultant for a reputable Irish company. Ndey Oley Taal is another stunning Gambian model who is the former 1st runner up Miss 22nd July scholarship Queen, Face of Gambia and Miss Commonwealth International. She also went on to represent Gambia on the prestigious Miss West Africa UK 2012. Ndey Oley, as she is fondly called, is a fashion Icon, international model, fashion designer, public figure and a trend setter who is a household name in The Gambia. Matthew and Oley met in 2013 and instantly fell in love. The two have so much in common that they could be described as: absolute soul mates. Named the Gambiaâ€™s sexiest couple of the year, we can only imagine how fabulous their life together will be. Wishing them luck and loads of love with blessed children. Source: Story & Photos Submitted
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Do you really know how much a lady is worth in appearance?
o men really know the real cost of asking a woman out. Is it as simple as picking up a dress and jumping into a pair of shoes-the men’s style-or is there more to it? For most women, going out to an event, be it a party, clubbing or dinner, the real cost of going out is far more than the combined cost of the dinner , the gate fee and the taxi fare. Although most men can almost wear anything to go anywhere, a day out for a woman is another journey deep into their pockets-or maybe for some into the man’s pocket. So do you really know what it takes to get a lady out? This article is written by a man. The findings below are based on conversations with five different women who could be described as conservative, inbetween and a high roller. And the calculated figures an average of the five respondents.
5. Nails - cost £20-£40. Nails for most ladies are an “if you care to do” item. But it can become a must do thing for a special occasion. 6. Eyebrow waxing -
do. I realised that I have lots of clothes in my closet gathering dust. I see a lot of girls making the same mistake of not wanting to go out because they do not have the new dress they wanted. I have done that but not anymore.” “I have been in the UK since age 17, and I have partied. Been to all sorts of clubs and if you look at me now you will swear that I have never been out. I think becoming a mother with responsibilities changes your priorities. But I still put a lot of efforts in making sure I look good for the few occasions I go to, which is never cheap.”
2. Shoes & Bag cost £150-£250.
1. Dress - cost: £50-£400.
The dress is definitely the most important. The price will depend on the brand mark, the shop you bought it from and whether it was bought at a discounted sale price. The average most women would spend on an ordinary dress/ outfit is between £40-50. This statement seems to be repeated by each of the people interviewed. They all agreed that a dress can look different depending on who is wearing it. For some, how you look is further enhanced and defined by the accessories you are wearing plus makeup and other finishing touches. And don’t forget the bra! African outfits are always very expensive. According to one respondent, most women dress for other women not for the men. “Depending on the occasion, my target dress can have an original price tag of up to £400 which I can get for less at discounted sale of £200. This would mean making several trips to the shop until the price goes down, which is why you see us always out window shopping.” Repeating a dress seems to be a no, no, unless there was an emergency. For example your dress got burned during the final ironing or a delayed delivery. A lot of the women interviewed said they would cancel unless their presence is vital, like going to a best friend’s wedding or being the guest of honour. Borrowing is not an ideal option. However, repeating a dress seems to be ok for the most conservative. “I never used to repeat the same outfit, but now I
The shoe is the next most important item and it must match the dress because it is meant to complement the dress. If you get the dress and miss the shoes, you might as well forget about the effort put into getting the dress. And if you are to carry a purse, it must match with the shoes. “This is because those are the first things people will notice.” According to one respondent, “I don’t really care much about shoes, that is because I am not the outgoing type, but for the average girl it does matter. I know of girls that have over 100 shoes, each worn perhaps once, and for just a few hours. Now as a woman, I find that ridiculous and wasteful.”
3. Hair - Cost £100 - £500ish.
Perhaps considered the third most important element. Spending such a sum on good quality hair that could last you for years is considered a good investment. But don’t forget the extract cost of the hairdresser’s fees which is an additional £30-70. The easy option is to make a wig out of your expensive hair. Hair has different qualities and brands. Human hair is by far the best quality, and European, Indian and Brazilian human hairs are by far the most expensive. The most common human hair in use is Brazilian. A bunch of Brazilian human hair for example will cost nothing less than £70 to over £100 depending on the length measured in inches. Most girls prefer the 16-18 inches range. You will definitely need more than two bunches especially if you are not hairy.
4. Makeup - cost £10-£150. Although there is a price tag for makeup, this is mostly self applied.
cost £5 -£40. A simple eyebrow fixing could cost up to £5 and add waxing, it could go up to £40. Again this is ranked similar to nails, not essential but can make a difference in showing up for the effort put into the event, if that really matters.
7. Transport -
cost Free or £20-£40 This is a hidden cost that most women may not have to worry about. But if you don’t have anyone to give you a ride, taxi would be the preferred choice which cost will depend on where you live and how far you going.
8. Accessories - cost £20-£100
Here we are talking about necklaces, b a n g l e s , watches, rings and earrings. Depending of the type of outfit, accessories could be used at the minimum. Some simple but in-fashion dresses simply require a necklace or a watch. For an African outfit, a gold chain is the preferred match.
Some quotes and comments from the people interviewed: • Men don’t see the real beauty or the cost and effort put into a woman’s appearance. At best, they will remember the cost of the item they paid for. • I think most of us women dress to impress our peers, because we notice everything from head to toe. • Men can be very basic so don’t expect much from your partner other than “You looking good or beautiful”. • I think appearance is very important for all women, which is why at best they should be complemented for the courage, effort and time put into the final look presented. • You can fool men with your appearance but most women can tell how much you are worth in appearance. • Time spent getting the outfit: Several hours on the internet and in shops and talking to friends. It could be somewhat embarrassing going to an event and find more than one other person wearing the same outfit. Message from the author - The word out to the men out there: I hope next time you ask a lady out, including your spouse, you will remember the real cost of having that proud woman standing next to you. For you ladies, you should congratulate yourselves, but at the same time recognise the efforts of others who don’t have a similar spending power. But am sure you are doing that already. Written by a man!
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Sweden Gambia Week June 2014 Photos by Buharry
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DRESSING ALIKEThis Thing About ‘Ashobies’ More Than the Dress and the Chic, Culture and Identity Take Center Stage
he Ashobie (group-wear or dress alike) is a hardy perennial of Gambian social gatherings. On special occasions, say, weddings, christenings, Christmas celebrations, Muslim festivities, end of circumcision rites, political campaigns, folks can be seen dressed in similar, breezy outfits. On the surface, it looks as if the intent is to engage in glitzy, fashionable wear, and by design, preoccupy the minds and eyes of on-lookers. But behind it all, the Ashobie has become synonymous with culture and identity, a purveyor of cultural motifs and sensibilities. From what it seems, the concept of wearing similarly in The Gambia came elsewhere, perhaps from Sierra Leone, where in the Krio language, Ashobie means “uniform”. But among the Yorubas of Nigeria, who are believed to be the originators of the practice of Ashobie, the name for it is aso ebi (group-wear). Perhaps, the word Ashobie is a derivative of the original Yoruba name. Sierra Leoneans of Yoruba descent (a lot of Muslim Yorubas from Lagos and Abeokuta settled in Sierra Leone in the 1700s) claim to have started the practice of Ashobie in Sierra Leone long before anyone latched onto it. Could the idea have also migrated into The Gambia following the arrival of the Akus or during the times Gambian affairs were being managed from Sierra Leone at certain inflection points of British colonial rule in West Africa?
Gambian Women at an Independence Day Celebrations in Banjul
Its ambiguity of history notwithstanding, this practice of wearing alike, of being collectively outfitted to impress, has a genuine social function, if abstractedly, in the way we live as a community. The idea of uniformity in dress communicates a shared identity, a sense of connectedness, and a sense of belonging to one another. “The idea of Ashobie signifies equality,” Jojoh Jobarteh, the publisher of the London-based fashion and culture magazine Jojo’s Mag told My Basse recently. “In Ashobie, everybody looks the same. It breaks down the barrier between those who have and those who don’t.”
Taking the Culture Overseas: Celebrating Gambian Cultural Week in Stockholm, Sweden
Well, at least, temporarily. Wearing the Ashobie for a day or two, has a way of masking the boundary lines between the haves and the have-nots. But the yawning chasm in social standings soon returns. In these days of hard economic times around the world, the choice of amassing resources for short-lived flashes of sophistication or for a ceremonial exercise in community-togetherness, is becoming an increasingly painful one to take. The economics of it, factoring in the scarcity of resources, the pecking order of needs and wants, and the biting realities of poverty, makes it all the more imperative for a re-imagining of priorities. But the Ashobie’s push-pull effects are such palpable that the practice will not go away. And nor should it. There is still a strong case for the Ashobie in our communities. The cultural significance in a group-wear, and exclusively in traditional, African styles and fabrics, cannot be overlooked. The dress is still pretty much an avatar of cultural uniqueness. Communities and peoples are also differentiated by what they wear, and known for in both personal and public accoutrements. True, although the economics of the group-wear is increasingly becoming untenable, but the sociology of it still runs deep. Yet, one of the glaring misgivings of the Ashobie is its inability to move the needle on the gender divide. Still, it is mainly women who tend to gravitate towards the idea of group-wear. Men tend to be standoffish. Perhaps, it is a male thing; their psychology about Ashobies is imbibed differently.
According to one keen follower of African fashion trends, “Over the years, African politicians have used the Ashobie to show their popularity among the women folk rather than the men.” Electoral politics and the Ashobie have often gone in tandem in many parts of Africa. The Ashobie is often associated with the carefree and highspirited aspects of campaigns, particularly when “Big-Man” politics, embodied by the Omar Bongos, the Mobutu Sese Sekos, the Siaka Stevens, held sway over much of Sub-Saharan Africa. “The Ashobie is associated with dancing and activities, and women tend to be more geared towards it than men, especially in Islamic communities where men are not often seen dancing in public like women,” said Jaw Manneh. But that’s just in the political arena. Even in other areas, it is still the women and not the men, who are more drawned to the allure of the Ashobie. In his article, “Remembrance of Basse Christmas” on this website, our colleague Momodou Billo Krubally gives a searing anecdote about the implicit gender lines within his childhood group pertaining to the way an Ashobie outfit was chosen during the occasion: “The final decision on the chosen fabric lied with the core group of ladies within the club. The boys, as we proudly called ourselves in those days, would pretty much go along with the ladies’ decision.” In The Gambia, it is mainly the men (tailors) who make and alter the garments, and it is mainly the women who get to wear them. There has hardly been any shift in this cultural practice. Not that this matters immensely adversely, but would that many more men, especial of the younger generation, got as much interested in the art and the practice of the Ashobie. It is not even about the dress and the glamor associated with it. It is about the culture.
Looking for a Miss Fulani in Brussels, Belgium
Story submitted by the Editor of My Basse online publication
The Ashobie, a West African Fancy; a Miss Soninke Beauty Pageant, Abidjan, The Ivory Coast
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Gambia Edinburgh Event 2014 Photos by Steve Wills
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Do You Need an Immigration Lawyer or Not? By Brandon Gillin
here is no situation which absolutely requires a private immigration lawyer. Be careful not to misread that. I didn’t say that immigration lawyers aren’t valuable; they just aren’t required. The fact is that hiring an immigration attorney is a matter of preference. As an immigration attorney myself, I can safely say that some immigration matters probably do not need the attention of an immigration attorney. If an individual needs to renew her green card, there’s a form for that that can easily be found on USCIS’s web site, and she can fill it out herself and pay the fee. It’s that simple. Don’t waste your money on an immigration attorney to do this for you. Other immigration matters, while seemingly straightforward to the untrained eye, can turn into an immigrant’s worst nightmare if she omits something in her paperwork or admits something that gets her into immigration trouble that she wouldn’t have otherwise been in. For example, an individual with a criminal record (such as a conviction based upon shoplifting a pack of gum five years ago!) who applies for naturalization could be put into removal proceedings. Please don’t let that happen to you. Then there are the incredibly difficult immigration matters that individuals usually have absolutely no idea how to handle, such as submitting complicated waiver applications, navigating all the different types of employment-based visa categories, or (heaven forbid) being placed in removal proceedings which necessitates at least several hearings in Immigration Court. That being said, there are several very good reasons why people hire immigration lawyers:
(1) Immigration law is complex. In 2005, the Congressional Research Service reported: “The statutory scheme defining and delimiting the rights of aliens is exceedingly complex. Courts and commentators have stated that the Immigration and Nationality Act resembles ‘King Mino’s labyrinth in
ancient Crete,’ and is ‘second only to the Internal Revenue Code in complexity.’ Finding someone who can navigate the complicated immigration laws can mean the difference between being able to live and work in the U.S. and being forced to leave. Legacy INS Spokesperson Karen Kraushaar stated that “immigration law is a mystery and a mastery of obfuscation, and the lawyers who can figure it out are worth their weight in gold.” There are, however, some immigration attorneys who either cannot or at least have not yet figured it out. In a law review article written by Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and Northwestern University Law Professor Albert Yoon, it is noted that a panel of judges were asked which area of the law had the lowest quality lawyers. The judges “agreed that immigration law was the area in which the quality of representation was lowest.” The lesson from all of this? Yes, immigration law is complex, but it is important to find an immigration attorney who can figure it out.
(2) Immigration lawyers can fend off future immigration problems. Because of the complexity of immigration law, it’s difficult for individuals attempting to handle an immigration case by themselves to get up to speed on the immigration laws. This is especially important if time is running against you, which it almost always is in immigration matters. Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens has stated in the context of detained immigrants that “the need for legal representation for immigrants has grown so acute and the consequences so drastic that something must be done.” If immigration attorneys are useless, then a U.S. Supreme Court Justice would never have made such a remark. People sometimes think they do not need an immigration attorney because they don’t have any immigration problems. For a lot of people, that may be true. But for some people, it’s not that they don’t have immigration problems, but it’s that they don’t know that they have immigration problems. “Oh? You mean that if I leave the U.S. right now I won’t be able to come back for 10 years?” Yes, I am sorry. If that individual had seen an immigration attorney a year ago, there may have been something the attorney would have advised in order to prevent her current immigration predicament. Not seeing an attorney when in doubt can result in a lot of “could have, would have, should have” statements.
(3) Immigration lawyers do it better (statistically speaking). Statistics can be dubious and misleading, so I don’t like using them lightly. However, the
statistics that I am about to share with you are verifiable and are worth your attention. Lawyers cannot guarantee a successful outcome in any case. In fact, lawyers should specifically say to every new client that “I cannot guarantee a successful outcome in your case.” The lawyer can then offer these statistics: In the context of removal proceedings (where the immigrant is not detained): • The immigrant is successful in immigration court 74% of the time when represented by a lawyer; • The immigrant is successful in immigration court 13% of the time when NOT represented by a lawyer. In the context of asylum cases: • Out of 37,266 affirmative asylum cases, 36.8 percent of claimants who were represented were granted asylum, compared to 4.0 percent who were not represented; • Out of 16,180 defensive asylum cases, 25.9 percent of claimants who were represented were granted asylum, compared to 7.4 percent who were not represented. These statistics are not meant to be used as a sales pitch to a client wondering whether or not she should hire an immigration lawyer, or whether to hire you or I as her lawyer. Rather, they are meant to provide a wakeup call to the client, in essence saying, “Immigration law is complex. You can do this on your own or you can hire a lawyer to guide you.” If staying in the U.S. is important to the client, the choice is clear. Immigration lawyers do much more than simply fill out immigration forms. We can spot immigration problems before they occur, and advise a client accordingly. When we believe the client does not have a good case, we tell them, and suggest ways in order to build a stronger case. When we are forced to fight the government, we prepare legal briefs in support of our arguments and make appearances in immigration and consular officers with our clients. We offer strategies for successful outcomes at immigration interviews, and inform clients of potential pitfalls to avoid at these interviews. As you can see, all the evidence supports the case that immigration lawyers are invaluable. Contact Brandon Gillin Genesis Law Firm, PLLC 2918 Colby Avenue #211 Everett, WA 98201 Toll Free: (866) 631-0028 Local: (425) 212-1789 http://www.genesislawfirm.com Everett Immigration Lawyer
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Gambia United Society’s Jaliba Show Guest in London June 2014 Photos by Siaka
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Jojo’s MAG 31
MARIE KUMBA GOMEZ
a Nollywood Movies Superstar
arie is a Young UK based multiple award winning actress from Gambia. She is very well known as the Gambian princess who wins the heart of Nollywood UK fans in her very thrilling and moving performance in the movie Shameful Deceit. She is a professional who has appeared in over 6 films including Shameful Deceit, Battered, 18 Carat Mama, Single and Searching, Café Afrik, Life Beyond and London Na Wa. Marie is fast becoming movie directors’ delight. The Budging actress is the one to watch out for.
Marie shared extracts of this exclusive interview with Jojo’s Mag. My name is Marie Kumba Gomez, I am an Actress and I come from a family of 5 comprising of 3 girls and 2 boys but sadly lost the oldest brother to Knife Crime in 2005. I am a daughter of a renowned playwright, author publisher also a well know fashion icon in Gambia Mr George F Gomez. I live in the UK with my mother, Sai Samba-Gomez, and my siblings. I started Acting for a charity organisation called Join Hands when I was about 9 or 10. We helped to raise funds for Gambia. As I grew more confidence, I took on roles as an extra in UK TV adverts for Schools. I was introduced to Nollywood about 3 years ago when I won a talent hunt competition called Class Act. I first appeared on the big screen in 2011 in my debut movie The Past Came Calling directed by Ruke Amata in which I was featured alongside major Nollywood stars like John Dumelo from Ghana and Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha
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from Nigeria. Working with these two brilliant artists will remain to be one of the best experiences I have had. I have since appeared in many movies including Shameful Deceit, Battered, London Na Wa, Life Beyond, to name a few. I still remember my first audition at about age 10 or 11. I was not prepared for it. I remembered shaking and being so scared. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the role, and I cried because I felt rejected and I decided I was going to give up on acting. In most of my films, if not all, I have always played the role of a victim. My most challenging role was playing Vivian in Shameful Deceit, a movie based on a true story. Vivian was a character raped by her dad at age 15. During the movie premiered back in July 2013, people in the audience actually cried in the cinema, and this just goes to show how touching the story is. My biggest achievement was being nominated for three Awards in the same year and winning two. As a beginner, I find that to be very encouraging in such a very competitive industry. I consider myself to be a fulltime actress. I love drama and comedy On Flight to Denmark
movies. I don’t know anything else apart from acting. It’s my love, my life without acting there is no Marie Kumba Gomez. But if I had to really choose it would be an Air Hostess because I think I’ll look cute in the uniforms (Laughs). As an actress and a fulltime university student studying Tourism Management means not having as much time as I would want to have with my family and friends. I think a good actor needs to be unique, ambitious, motivated, determined creative and above all have a passion for acting. Acting is a very challenging and demanding job that can drain you so quickly. Being in this industry takes a lot from you and my advice to newcomers is to always remember where you come from and how hard some people are working behind the scenes to make you what you are. Appreciate everything little, because most times is the little things that makes the different. I love all my fans so much. Thank you all very much for always being there and supporting me. You guys never let me down I love you and God Bless. Awards-Winner 2011 UK Movie Talent Hunt Competition; 2013 Best Upcoming Actress for African Women Of Substance; 2013 Best Actress UK Beffta Awards; 2013 Best Newcomer for ZAFAA Global Awards; 2014 Goodwill Ambassador for the Nigerian Volunteer Corps; 2014 The Best Emerging Actress of the year. Special Recognition Being invited to Denmark for Afrowood film festival. Source - Story & Pictures submitted
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Sickle Cell & Malaria If you are from a country where there is malaria such as in Africa, you are more likely than people from other countries to have Sickle Cell. So what is sickle cell?
symptoms? Symptoms of sickle cell anaemia vary from person to person. Common symptoms include: • Swollen hands and feet (often the first sign of sickle cell anaemia in babies)
Sickle cell disorder - Sickle cell
disorder (SCD), is sometimes called sickle cell disease or sickle cell which reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen around the body. It is an inherited disease passed down through generations. It can result in a risk of various life threatening complications. It is believed to be prevalent in countries where malaria is common, and most of the people vulnerable to this disorder are of African heritage. Research revealed that if you overlap a map of the incidence of sickle cell disease with a map of the incidence of malaria, there is a strong correlation. This is linked to the fact that the gene strangely enough has some benefit in resisting malaria. It is also known to be common amongst people from Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian communities. The most common type of SCD is sickle cell anaemia. People can be carriers of sickle cell disorder without knowing it. Thanks to better management of the disease and advance medicine, patients can live into their 70s or beyond. But according to various health advice sources, without treatment, the life expectancy of people with Sickle Cell disease is shortened to 42 years in males and 48 years in females. In 1973, the life expectancy of people with sickle cell was 14 years.
What is sickle cell anaemia? - Sickle
cell anaemia affects red blood cells. Healthy
red blood cells are disc-shaped, flexible and move easily through blood vessels. They contain a protein called haemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen around the body. In people with sickle cell anaemia, the haemoglobin doesn’t work properly, and turns red blood cells into sickle (crescent) shapes. These can get stuck in blood vessels and therefore block the flow of blood.
How do you get sickle cell anaemia?
- People are born with sickle cell anaemia, inheriting it genetically from their parents. If both parents have the gene for sickle haemoglobin, there is a one-in-four chance the child will have sickle cell anaemia. If one parent has the gene for sickle haemoglobin, there is a 50% chance the child will carry the gene for sickle haemoglobin. This is known as being a carrier, or having sickle cell trait. People who are carriers do not have symptoms.
Testing for sickle cell anaemia - A
simple blood test will show whether a person is a carrier of the sickle cell gene. In most developed countries, all pregnant women are offered screening test or the option to complete a questionnaire to find out if they are a carrier. Where a pregnant woman is a carrier, the baby’s father is offered a screening blood test. There is also screening to find out whether an unborn baby has sickle cell disorder. In the UK, all new born babies are offered a test for sickle cell disorder as part of the routine newborn bloodspot test.
What are the
• Episodes of pain, known as a crisis, pain in the bones, joints, stomach and chest • Chronic anaemia, feeling tired and shortness of breath, vulnerability to sickness • Paleness, yellowing of the skin and eyes • Delayed growth, damage over time to the heart, lungs and liver
Treatment - Consult a specialist doctor. People with sickle cell anaemia can be more vulnerable to infections, such as pneumonia, therefore, they may be offered a daily dose of penicillin. Sickle cell crises in children need to be treated under medical supervision because of the risk of infection. Adults can treat a mild sickle cell crisis at home by keeping warm and taking painkillers, such as paracetamol. Preventing a crisis - People with sickle cell anaemia can help prevent a crisis by following healthy lifestyle advice that applies to everyone: • Eat a healthy balanced diet. • Exercise regularly (but talk to your doctor first as you should avoid getting tired or seriously out of breath). • Don’t smoke • Drink alcohol sensibly. In addition, people with sickle cell anaemia should avoid: • getting too hot or cold, because extremes in temperature can trigger a crisis • getting dehydrated (not drinking enough water) • doing activities in an environment where there’s less oxygen, for example scuba-diving, mountain-climbing or having an anaesthetic • stress Main source: NHS England
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BANJUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (BIA) – THE GAMBIA - WEST AFRICA
Managed and operated by Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, BIA is the emerging Gateway to West Africa. Fly to Banjul International Airport for your comfort. KEY FACTORS FOR CHOOSING BANJUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT • Political Stability in The Gambia and an emerging economy with expanding middle class • Destination Marketing support • Incentive package for start – up carriers • Continuous improvement and expansion of airport infrastructure • High compliance with airport security and safety standards • Realization of optimal destination travel time • Increasing feeder opportunity in the sub region • Regional cooperation – Secretariat to Banjul Accord Group • International Standards – TSA (Last Point of Departure to the United States) • Proximity to Major International Markets • Competitive airport charges • Highly ranked country as a favorable tourist destination • International business presence in The Gambia and growing business segment providing business travel opportunity • Increasing number of international standard hotels operating in The Gambia • Experienced and well trained aviation professionals
INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES There are investment opportunities in building airport hotels; shopping mall; landside petrol station; play ground for children; day care; recreational opportunity.
Gambia Civil Aviation Authority Banjul International Airport Yundum, The Gambia, West Africa Tel: +220 4472831 / +220 4472893, Fax: +220 4472190 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com