D100 • $4 • €3 • £2
Interview @ inuguration of International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Gambian Fatou Bensouda
Diabetes & HBP in Africa They tried to deport me Interview with Scorpions Jojo of FC by TMC 3 times
A Gambian Facebook magazine connecting you to people home & abroad Available FREE online www.jojosmag.com
In this issue
4 Jojo’s Mag interviews GambianFatou Bensouda during her inauguration as the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hauge, Holland 6 European outfit 7 African outfit 9 Gentlemen’s page 11 Ladies Page 12 London Never Sleeps COVERAGE provided by Musa Sarr 13 Pap Diouf UK event GuestCOVERAGE provided by Musa Sarr 14 Interview with Jojo 15 Mix Page 16 Sa Hew-Sona & Abdallah naming ceremony 17 Sweden Summer Festival 18 Africa Alive-a selection of humorous and real life images from around Africa 19 Diabetes & High Blood Pressure in Africa 20 USA ALD Celebrations Pictures courtesy of Tijan Masanneh Ceesay 22 Anna’s Fashion Show 23 Makeover Fashion Page 24 The Semester’s StoryThey Tried to deport me 3 times 25 USA-Provided by Saidou Ndow 26 COUPLES PAGE 28 GRADUATES PAGE 31 SPORTS by Guest Columnist Tijan Masanneh Cesay
Jojo Jojo’s Mag may be news to several of you but not to those who have been in touch via Facebook. But even for my Facebook contacts, “Seeing is believing”, so here I present you the first issue of Jojo’s Mag, and I hope you Like it! In every issue, I will try to include coverage from around the world of Gambians from all walks of life. The inspiration for the mag came from my love of LOOK, a womens’ fashion Magazine and because I always wished we had something like it for the Gambia. Above all, perhaps it is because of my conviction that I could add something different to what is already out there as a Gambian magazine, and modern technology seems to make all that possible. So if you already like Facebook then you probably would like it, but if you are a busy executive or someone not into Facebook, you may still love it for its diversity and inclusiveness. The mag will above all be a showcase of Gambian lifestyle displayed through our culture, fashion, ceremonies, real life, and the creative ideas that I hope to explore through this medium. Jojo’s Mag will be made available free online for all to access, and that’s because I believe all essential things in life should be made available for free. I also intend to have hard copies for sale, but whatever happens you can be rest assured of an online version.
In this issue, I have decided to offer all the ads included for free, so that potential sponsors will have an idea what to expect, and if your organization was not included, that was not my intention, so do go ahead and contact me or at least don’t be surprised when I contact you. Content wise, the index page should give you a hint of what to expect. I also have a dedicated 3-page website where you can access the magazine in its entirety at www.jojosmag.com For the past months, I have been in touch with several people and was further encouraged by all the positive responses received. Over 99% of the people who responded agreed for me to use their pictures, and to all of you I extend my sincere appreciation. I also understand why some do not wish to be included, and thank to you too for being straight up. This magazine will not be about what I have to say, so my apologies in advance because future editorials will not be as long. I would like to focus my attention on getting you the best selection so that you can enjoy and reminiscence and not be bothered with rhetoric. I would also welcome contributing authors and ideas, so do go ahead and send me your wonderful ideas. Editorial guidelines are available on request. Finally I would like to repeat that Jojo’s Mag is different because it will be an all-inclusive mag that will showcase Gambians from all walks of life throughout the world and it will be available free online. Thanks to you all. All comments and feedbacks welcomed. Likes! !
Welcome to Jojo’s Mag, new and available free online. I hope as you flip through the pages, you will fully appreciate what’s on offer. Through this mag I will try to keep you connected to Gambians home and abroad.
Jojo’s Mag will be about everyone and the images and stories will at best portray Gambians in how they would like to be seen just as they would share it on Facebook and in other public mediums. Hence, all the images used in this first issue were the ones I got consent for, so excuse me if I have not included you, but don’t despair, just get in touch, because more will be coming.
Jojo Jojo’s MAG
“It is possible.... “It is possible.... I believe we [women] can go as high and as far as possible” said Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, the 51 years old Gambian who took over as the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court on 15th June 2012 in The Hague, The Netherlands (Holland). Jojo’s Mag was at her inaugural ceremony and below is an extract of an interview with her. 1. Thank you for sparing time on your special occasion to provide an interview to Jojo’s Mag. Could you kindly tell us what this day signifies to you being inaugurated today as the new Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC)? • Thank you very much for this interview. I think it is very significant to be appointed to this position at the ICC. First and foremost it is a recognition, by the Assembly of State Parties of The International Criminal Court, 121 of them, of my contribution so far to international criminal justice. It is indeed an honour for me which I have accepted with total humility to serve as the next prosecutor of the ICC. It is also significant in that this is the first time a woman, and from Africa is also occupying this position as prosecutor. I am looking forward to serving, to give the job my best, always in the interest of the victim and also for accountability for the serious crimes concerned to the international community, being war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Together with my team, I aim to contribute to the execution of the mandate bestowed upon us under the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court. 2. I know you have been the attention of the media from all around the world, you must have been asked several questions about your life, but we would like
you to tell our readers something different about yourself that you probably have not shared with anyone before. Could you kindly tell us a little bit about your life journey as a prosecutor before you joined the ICC? Something that most people don’t know about you. • I think I have to say that working in international criminal justice or even working for accountability and for the protection of victims is something that goes deep to my heart. It is something that I have looked at and thought about and decided on at a very early age. I grew up in the Gambia. I did my primary school there and attended The Gambia High School. But even before I completed my education at The Gambia High School, I had this inclination of doing something in relation to giving the victim a voice, making sure that those who do not have justice, have it, and at a very early age, while in high school, I remember spending some of my time at the lower courts, just to watch the proceedings and to listen to what was going on. This was something that was of much interest to me. I think that this is part of what has really informed my career and has given me the drive. I also recall when I finished high school, even before going for further studies, I took a job as a clerk of the court in The Gambia, and I used to sit in and watch proceedings, and also be part of it, because as a clerk of the court you help to organise the documents submitted and ensure that the file before the judge was in order for proceedings to take place. Through such experience, you begin to
realise the problems that the courts and the victims face. The more and more I sat and observed those cases, I had absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is my calling, that this is what I want to do, and of course I went on to study law. Upon my return to The Gambia, I was immediately attached to the prosecutions division of the Attorney General’s Office. I was first a public prosecutor appearing only in lower courts initially until I was called to the Gambian Bar. As a result, I was appointed a State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Office. I would over the years be appointed to various other positions, incremental in responsibility, moving up the ladder right up to the positions of Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, (a position that was created for the first time), Solicitor General and Legal Secretary and finally Attorney General and Minister of Justice. I have never regretted or looked back and think that I am in the wrong field or that I was doing it just for the sake of doing it. I liked what I was doing, and I still like what I am doing. I love it actually and as I said, this is what my calling is. 3. What was it like being the Deputy Prosecutor of the ICC and what were your main responsibilities? • As you may recall, I was elected back in 2004 by the Assembly of Member State Parties to serve under Luis Moreno Ocampo, the first Prosecutor of the ICC, a person whom I have the honour to serve with during the first formative years of the court. This was at a time when the office was in its very infant stages. The Court was established in 2002, and from 20022004 we really did not have any case. We were busy setting up the office, recruiting the best people, and setting up the strategies and policies of the office. Then in 2004/05 we had our first referrals from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and later on from the Central African Republic. So, these were the formative years of the Office of the Prosecutor. I have since worked very closely with Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo together with other executive members and staff of the office
to forge the way forward. I have also taken a big part, in that as Deputy, in establishing the office and advising Mr. Ocampo. When the cases started, I also played a big role, for instance I led the proceedings in the Lubanga case, which as you know is the first ICC case, and which meant that I was always in court. At the same time I had a lot of representative [diplomatic and others] functions to make on behalf of the office in my own capacity as Deputy Prosecutor in the international community -when I say representative, I mean outside the office, outside trial. I made such representations in my personal capacity as Deputy Prosecutor and head of Prosecutions Division. But also when the need arose, I represented the then Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo in these areas. Most of what I am going to do as prosecutor, I have to say, I have been doing already in lots of ways. The ultimate [prosecution] decision, you will recall, was always with the Prosecutor, [Ocampo]. I have worked with him very closely, and I think together with the team we have been able to shape the court as it is today. 4. Your appointment has been noted widely as a victory for Africa, but also as a symbol of women’s empowerment. What would you like to share with your fellow women? • I always say one thing, “It is possible.” It is possible for women to do this and it is possible for women to get here. I think over the years we have seen that most of these areas are widely dominated by men, because there is always an assumption that there is this glass ceiling, and we think women should stop somewhere and no further. Unfortunately because of these stereotyping, most women think that there is a limit to how far we can go. But I think over the years and in the recent past we have seen that women are capable, that we have the capacity, the qualifications and experience and are able to occupy important leadership positions in this world. We have seen examples, especially now talking about the African continent of women elected President and women taking up key leadership roles. We have seen just recently, the President of Malawi, has come to join Ellen Johnson Sirleaf [President of Liberia] as another President
on the continent. The Gambia has had a woman Vice President for several years, and women continue to occupy important positions in the cabinet and Government of The Gambia and elsewhere on the continent. Women can and will continue to show that we are capable, to show that we can do it, that we can occupy these positions and make a success out of it. So I would just want to encourage other women, especially young girls and women coming up, that really “it is possible” for us to do it. We have to equip ourselves and by equipping ourselves, I mean, we stay focused on our objectives, struggle to educate ourselves, and whatever we set our hearts and minds to can be achieved. “It is possible.” 5. What have you learned during your lifetime that you would like to share with the younger generation? • It’s very similar to what I have just said. As a woman once you start to restrict yourself and say this is so much I can get, this is so far I can go, then you will not really be able to realise your full potential. I think that we need to sit back as women and look at the role that we have played in society, that we continue to play in society and also to make society sit up and realise that [women] almost always about half of the development force of any country, and if that half is left behind in pushing forward, then maybe it will take twice the time for us to get to where we aim to go. We need to join hands with our other half, our male counterparts, and move forward and also continue to demonstrate that it is possible to occupy this post and when we do occupy it, we can make a success out of it. We should not see any glass ceiling because there is none. As a woman, I believe we can go as high and as far as possible. 6. Is there anything else you would like to add? • I just want to encourage the magazine. I know that it is going to be the very first issue, and I am encouraging you that let it not be the last. I think there is a lot we can all gain out of it both as Gambians and as Africans, but also for people from other parts of the world. I just want to mention that it requires hard work and am sure you are all capable of doing that. I strongly encourage you to do that. It is very important for people to know, in fact they have a right to know, hence you have magazines, books and films, documentaries that let people know. So I think this is a good thing. Keep it up. 7. Thank you Auntie Bomm, this concludes our interview. • Thank you and thanks for attending the ceremony and good luck.
Also present, this trio in 1990/00 served The Gambia government, from L-R, as: Solicitor General-Mrs. Janet Sallah-Njie, Attorney General & Minister of Justice-Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, and Deputy Director Public Prosecutions-Gloria Aciba-Pubies.
Extracts from impromptu interviews with other family members and friends • Comment from Husband Mr. Bensouda: We have been together well over 29 years. I have seen her climb the ladder from a simple state counsel at the ministry of Justice in The Gambia ...then to Tanzania and then to the Hague in 2004. I have always know her to be a very standing wife in the sense that she has been very responsible, very open minded and accessible to everybody, but at the same time a very firm person. I am proud of her. I wish her the best in her profession which she loves dearly. • Friend, Janet Sallah Njie -thank you for giving me the opportunity to say something about a very good friend and colleague. I have known Fatou for a very long time. We were school mates and she was my senior and a role model for most of us as she was our school head girl. She had a leadership role at a very early stage of her life so what we are witnessing today is not something that is just happening. She has been exhibiting her leadership traits for a long time. She has a very rare character, and one thing I like about her is that she is very consistent. Because some people, as they progress in life, they change their attitude and drop old friends, but that is not Fatou, and everybody likes her for that. She is very hard working, and also a very good and strong prosecutor. She is also a very kind person and humorous. When you get to know her, you will get to realise that when the occasion calls for it, she has a very good sense of humour, but when it is time to be serious she can be very serious. • Elder Sister, Jainaba Nyang-Njie - well I know she is a very special person and she is very caring and loving. She is like a pillar for the family ... she likes to bring all of us together. She helps everyone and we can only wish her well and success and all the support she can get from friends, colleagues and family. We had a very normal childhood and we grew up in a very happy and supportive family. We lived in one big happy family with all our halfbrothers and sisters, cousin and uncles who all loved each other. Our parents were determined to get their children educated. We wished that they were here today to witness the fruits of their labour. But we thank Allah for the success.
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London NEVER SLEEPS COVERAGE by Musa Sarr
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Pap Diouf UK event Guest-COVERAGE provided by Musa Sarr
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Interview with Jojo • Who is Jojo’s Mag? It is a team, so I think the right question should be what’s Jojo’s Mag. It is about showcasing Gambians home and abroad. It is, for lack of a comparable term, a Facebook style magazine connecting people, mainly Gambians around the world, available free online. • Why would anyone want to have a Facebook kind of magazine if they can just join Facebook? I think most people already know that you only get to see people on Facebook who are your friends, which can be limiting, but when you can have a Gambian online community captured in one magazine, that is different. Now think about that in the context of content design, style and high quality print and you will get yourself a magazine providing Gambians with a time capsule album that can be shared with generations to come. And as an ordinary Gambian woman, I think I have an idea what Gambians would like to see in a magazine. • Why a magazine when similar ideas have either failed or are struggling? I think we have considered that question seriously. The reason for such a question is partly based on the assumption that magazines are about how many copies are sold. Though a relevant point, the most important factor for any magazine is its readership, because without readership you cannot convince a potential sponsor to buy ad space. By making Jojo’s Mag available free online we will be opening the doors to an unlimited readership. Let me relate this to the previous and current Gambian magazines of similar nature. I have to first commend the people behind both NICE and Elegance for testing the market and above all for wanting to place Gambia on the map, that is an honourable thing to do. After all, what we all have is a product for which each of us is convinced is needed, but one which lacks a strong customer base in The Gambia. I understand most Gambians don’t buy the daily newspapers let alone a magazine, but I am equally aware that almost all Gambians with access to the internet spend some time of their day online, which includes time visiting
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a Gambian related medium. So in effect we already have an existing market, what we need it to engage people in an accessible way. We hope by joining the market with a free magazine, we will attract more people to Jojo’s Mag. The fact is magazine business is tough because it costs money and it can be time consuming. And because it is highly dependent on ad sales, you have to convince your sponsors by means other than how many copies are printed or sold. That is why I decided Jojo’s Mag will be made available free online to guarantee readership. Like I said before, to convince an advertiser you need to show them that there is a readership, essentially a market for your product, if not you will be struggling, because business are also struggling in these hard times. So you can see why it is a struggling market, but I am convinced a free magazine is one solution to the problem. And because it will be free with limited hard copies for sale, advertisers will be convinced without doubt that their message will reach a wider audience. I don’t believe in printing millions of copies that would gather dust on shelves? The selling point of Jojo’s Mag is based on multiple factors one of which is the fact that it will be available free online, so that anyone with access to the Internet can access it. That means there will be no limit to how many people it can reach. With all credit due to others who have been in the business before us, Jojo’s Mag will be different because it will be all inclusive of Gambians from all walks of life. Jojo’s Mag is not going to be about the same people that seem to appear in most of the mags and lifestyle features about Gambians. Jojo’s Mag will be about everyone. I think the content of this issue will give people a flavour of what to expect. People should not be surprised to see an ordinary Gambian on the cover of our next issue. I promise you, there will be something for everyone to like. So as you can see, this is a question we have given serious consideration to. Don’t get me wrong, to be honest with you, I wish we could print and sell as many copies as
we can, but that is not a realistic approach given the market share of the print media in The Gambia. I am convinced the way forward is the e-market and that is the route I have chosen. We have other selling points which are best discussed with our potential sponsors. • What does the future hold for Jojo’s Mag? I will leave that to the future and the Gambian people to decide. My realistic plans are to continue to make Jojo’s Mag a household item for all Gambians. For the first year, I intend to have three issues each to be timed around when most Gambian events are happening. I know producing hard copies is cost intensive, but the sustainability of the production of hard copies will be determined by the quantity I can sell, however I will remain committed to making the online version available for free. In fact the first people who had the opportunity to view the draft of the online version asked me why I would need print copies with such a quality available online. But as an optimistic, I am sure there are people out there who would like to have a hard copy for several reasons. Sadly with the print media you only break even by selling more copies, because the less copies you print the higher your unit cost. But I am willing to take the risk of making hard copies available for the start. • You keep saying we, who do you mean by we? That’s my team. The people who back my project, plus my friends and supporters who continue to believe in this product. Although I take full credit for the magazine, I think it should be obvious that I am not alone. My special thanks goes out to my chief editor, whose wants to remain anonymous and whose idea it was to interview me, to give more clarity to the idea behind the magazine, and to whom I dictate some of my thoughts. To my 9 year old daughter who inspired me in part to turn the hours I spend on Facebook into something more meaningful. My husband who has been tolerant and encouraging of the project. To my designer, a very patient but creative man, thanks Tom. Musa Sarr, the first professional Gambian photographer to unreservedly buy in. Saidou Ndow and Lamin Faye, for pledging their commitment as key links in the USA. Tijan Masanneh Ceesay for volunteering to be our guest sports columnist and an essential link in the USA. I encourage more photographers around the world to feel free to join me. To all those who had faith in the magazine and pledged to be article contributors, I encourage more like them to join us. Anyone reading this magazine is welcomed to contribute an article. So you can see how the team can expand. It is a true partnership and that is what I want the magazine to represent in part. But of course I have a core team. My final word is for people to share their upcoming events, feedbacks and comments through the website contacts page or via firstname.lastname@example.org • Thank you for your time Thanks
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Sweden Summer Festival
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Diabetes & High Blood Pressure in Africa “By 2030, The Gambia is projected to have 61,000 people with diabetes” this is according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This story is cullied from different sources on the internet including the Global Diabetes Community website accessible at www.diabetes.co.uk. We believe this article would be of interest to our readers because of the increasing cases of diabetes amongst Africans, and because we believe that sometimes most people miss out a lot of useful information that is readily available on the internet.
What is blood pressure? Blood pressure means the pressure of blood in your arteries as it is being pumped by the heart. Higher blood pressure is linked with a higher incidence of diabetes complications. But blood pressure control is important whether you have diabetes or not, because having high blood pressure is a key risk factor in developing heart disease, stroke and other complications of diabetes. Diabetes and high blood pressure are often associated, and many people with diabetes take medication to lower their blood pressure. What are the symptoms of high blood pressure? Most diabetics with high blood pressure have no symptoms. However, very high blood pressure or rapidly rising blood pressure can cause headaches, vision problems, nose bleeds, trouble breathing, fits and black-outs
What is Diabetes? Diabetes is the name used to describe a metabolic condition of having higher than normal blood sugar levels. There are different reasons why people get high blood glucose levels and so a number of different types of diabetes exist. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in the blood. Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations.
What are the symptoms of diabetes? Diabetes is predicted by a clear set of symptoms, but it still often goes undiagnosed. However the main three diabetes signs are increased thirst, increased need to urinate and increased hunger.
Concern for Africa Diabetes is becoming increasingly more common throughout the world, due to increased obesity - which can lead to metabolic syndrome or pre-diabetes leading to higher incidences of type 2 diabetes. The WHO and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimate that the diabetes population will double over the next twenty five years in Africa. This raises enormous healthcare questions, as all African countries are already struggling to cope with the diabetes burden. Awareness is regarded as being poor, and the concentrations of the disease vary considerably between different ethnic groups. The number of diabetes sufferers in Africa remains uncertain, but the IDF estimates from 2000 put the figure at 7.5 million diabetic adults between 20 and 79 years of age. It is thought that this figure is now much larger. i The world health organisation estimated the diabetes populations by country for 2000 and 2030 places the Gambia 2000 figures at 22, 000 with the projections for 2030 placed at 61,000. According to Tsiko (Dec 2006), The number of people seeking medical assistance for diabetes is rising in Africa at a time when health experts say the continent’s overburdened health care systems are ill-equipped to diagnose the disease and the majority of the poor cannot afford the cost of treatment. ii
Other key points noted by Tsiko: • In Senegal, the National Centre Against Diabetes reported an average of 200 new cases each year in the 1980s. However, this figure has increased more than 10 times with 2411 new cases reported in 2005. • “We face a very difficult situation in trying to manage obesity. We are up against social and traditional norms that being fat is a sign that you are wealthy, you are successful, you are happy, that your husband can feed you,” says Krisela Stayn, a retired professor with the South Africa Medical Research Council. “We have gone from under-nutrition to over-nutrition without ever having passed healthy nutrition.” • “There is more eating out, rising consumption of fried foods, brochettes and fritters, which are now consumed more often than proper grain-based meals,” Stephane Besancon, the director of programmes at the French NGO Mali Diabetic Health. “The problem of over eating (in Africa) is progressing exponentially.” He says the disease is more prevalent in urban areas where traditional foods are being replaced by Western foods high in fat and sugar. • In the past, the disease was thought to be a disease of ‘affluence’ mainly found in the rich north. WHO now says that 75 percent of the world’s diabetics will live in developing countries by 2025. • The International Federation of Diabetics (FID) projects that the prevalence rate will shoot up by 95 percent by 2010 from the current 0.5 to 3 percent range across the continent. • Analysts say more than one-third of African women and a quarter of men are estimated to be overweight and WHO says this will rise to 41 percent and 30 percent respectively in the coming 10 years.
• WHO also reports a growing number of people seeking medical assistance in West Africa. It estimates that more than 3.3 million people in West Africa suffer from this disease. • Most African countries, …face problems …[including] critical shortages of diabetic medicine, the rising cost of drugs and treatment, competition of resources by HIV/ Aids, tuberculosis and malaria diseases which often get priority and the general lack of equipment to diagnose the diabetes has hampered efforts to manage and control the disease. • Health experts warn that the high cost of medicines means that the majority of the poor often go untreated or have no regular treatment. • In Mali, insulin chews about 20 percent of monthly household income while in Burkina Faso, health experts say, a monthly minimum treatment for diabetics costs between US$16-24 excluding examinations and follow-up health care. • Health experts also say that the poor with no electricity or refrigerators face the added problem of how to store insulin. • “Even in relatively sophisticated cities…a number of diabetes sufferers with amputated feet due to late diagnosis and poor treatment is distressingly high,” says a South African-based health commentator. • Adds Jean-Claude Mbaya, director of the Cameroon National Obesity Centre: “It’s not true that only the rich have problems with obesity and weight. The poor even suffer more.” • The promotion of traditional African diets still remains a powerful weapon in the fight against diabetes. But for now, it’s difficult to stop rapidly urbanising Africa from the appeal of high fat, high sugar fast foods, the snacks and the fizzy drinks.
i Diabetes in Africa (2012)- Retrieved 24.4.12 from http://www.diabetes.co.uk/global-diabetes/diabetes-in-africa.html ii Tsiko, S (Dec.2006) Diabetes in Africa-Retrieved Jan 2012 from http://gibbsmagazine.com/Diabetes%20in%20Africa.htm
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celerbations courtesy of Tijan M Ceesay
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hey tried to deport me on three occasions. My ordeal started in 2009 when the UK Border Agency immigration officials made a routine visit to my work place and discovered that I was working illegally because I overstayed my student visa. I was fingerprinted, arrested and taken to an immigration detention centre. Twelve years before my arrest, I arrived in the UK as a student with the support of my father who had the means to do so at the time. With a student visa, I had permission to work and I worked in different jobs, cleaning, early morning shift, and security jobs, until I found permanent work six years ago with my employer where I was arrested. I think I noticed that my luck was coming to an end when the illegal working legislation came into force in February 2008 which in short required employers to ensure that their employees have permission to work or face a stiff monetary fine. My boss was nice but became concerned when the arrest and fining of employers was becoming news of the day. One day he came and said “Listen, I know I have a copy of your passport from long time ago, but I will need to see the original visa. You have two weeks after which you have to stay home until you can bring me your valid visa.” Sadly I did not have two weeks, four days later I was arrested. I tried to do the honorable thing and informed the UKBA that I had lied to my boss, which saved him a fine of £5000. After three days in detention, I could not hold my pride any longer, then I confessed my identity as a Gambian, and made some calls to people I knew on the outside. I became concerned and worried. Concerned that more people will hear the disgraceful news of my arrest, because many must be assuming that I already had my papers, but more worried that I was going to be deported. What my boss at the time did not know was later figured out by the UKBA: I was actually working illegally using the valid documents of a cousin. My student visa ran out years ago shortly before I was due to sit to my final year exams. That was also when my father’s financial status changed and the whole family had to look up to me for support. I could not pay my university fees and was conditionally withdrawn from my course for failure to pay, which they recorded on my final transcript as “voluntary withdrawal”. However, the UKBA were not convinced that I was from Gambia, because they could not find my file which I guess played to my advantage as it frustrated their attempts to get me an emergency travel certificate from the Gambian embassy as soon as they hoped for. I was interviewed over the phone on different occasions by people I was told were staff of three different embassies: Gambia, Guinea and Senegal. I barely opened my mouth in response to the questions over the phone. Although I was willing to cooperate with the UKBA, at no time was I willing to play an active role in assisting them to deport me. In detention, I was deemed a model detainee by the centre staff and was treated with respect which was the only kind of respect I thought I probably had left. My thoughts and mind were scattered all over. Deportation would be the end of my life.
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The Semester’s Story – They tried to deport me 3 times
I have lived and work in the UK for the last twelve years paying taxes, never took anything from the government but mainly put into the public purse, yet I see criminals being granted permission to stay. What a world I ask? My only crime was to come to study, with the hope of returning home to work, but in a matter of months my fate changed all of a sudden. Three weeks into my detention, my legal aid appointed lawyer told me that I would not be able to make a successful asylum claim and that he was there to represent me with my criminal case for working illegally and for using false documents. I eventually pleaded guilty to the charges, was sentenced to 18 months which was reduced to six months for good behavior and time served in detention. By now I had been moved around to so many different detention centres, until I failed to notice the difference between when I was in a prison and in an immigration detention centre. At the end of my six months jail sentence, I was moved to what I was told was an actual immigration detention centre near one of the airports. The first attempt: One early morning two men in plain clothes came to escort me to a flight to The Gambia. At Heathrow Airport, I got checked in and handed a boarding pass and escorted to the gate of the plane. While in the plane I noticed that they had actually left me on my own to go home, which was not my intention. So I approached the air hostess and demanded to get off. My request turned into a commotion and finally an order came from the cockpit to remove me. The flight was delayed for an hour and I was disembarked and met at the gate by two police officers, who later handed me over to the immigration officers who were recalled back to the airport. The officers looked dismayed, but all I had to tell them was that I do not want to go back, and that if they want to remove me, it will not be at my own will. The second attempt: A month later, by now I had been in detention for almost a year, and thirteen years in the UK. I was escorted by an officer to Belgium who made a similar mistake of putting me on a flight to Dakar and walked away. When I refused to board on my own, the Belgium authorities had to detain me for two days while I waited to be collected by the UK authorities and returned to detention in the UK. Final attempt: One of the escorting officers
on my journey from Belgium engaged me in a conversation and questioned why I had not claimed asylum. This time on return I claimed asylum and was assigned a lawyer. My case was fast tracked because The Gambia is on the “asylum white list” which is a list of designated countries that are deemed to be safe. My asylum claim delayed the deportation proceedings but was eventually refused all the way to the High Court, all within three months, with no further opportunity of appeal. Apparently all this time they have been working on getting me some documents to return me home. During both previous attempts, I never get to see the identity documents being used to remove me because they were handed to the flight crew. The day after I was served my final decision and informed that all my appeal right were exhausted, I got another dawn raid invasions while I was sleeping in my detention cell, which is what those early morning visits were for me. Three smartly dressed men this time. We boarded a flight and to my surprise it was bound for Guinea. Upon arrival, the Guineans immigration refused to land me for two reasons which soon became obvious to me: I was not Guinean as the papers they had purported, and because the UKBA officials required a visa to enter Guinea which they did not have. Apparently they had planned to drop me off in Guinea and continue on the same flight to Dakar, where they were to have a night stop before heading back to the UK. But to Dakar we went as a team again, three escorts, one deportee. We stayed in Dakar in a five star hotel for two nights where I was actually keeping watch on the officers because I was concerned that they will leave me behind and disappear. Little did I know they were enjoying a few days of vacation while trying to find us all a return flight back to the UK. During our brief stay in Dakar, I acted as their guide, translator and guard-but above all they acted very professional, and treated me with respect- a second time respect during my ordeal. The hotel staff referred to them as my friends, but had they known! A day after we landed in the UK, I called the lawyer who represented me in my asylum claim, who apparently had been trying to locate me but was informed that I was deported. He had actually applied to the courts for a humanitarian discretionary grant for residency under the 14 year long residency rule which he thought I could qualify for. The 14 years rule is sort of an amnesty for anyone who has been in the UK for that long. He sounded very optimistic with emphasis that it is not an automatic right considering that there was a removal direction served on me. Somehow he managed to get me released on bail within days. I celebrated 2011 with a new status having been granted permanent residence called Indefinite Leave to Remain-ILR. Throughout all this time I was morally supported by friends and family and I cannot thank my lawyer enough. When I went back to my former employer, he offered me a new job but at a lower level and pay. I settled for it while looking for something better. I have since visited Gambia, and to date I kept thinking I could have been there years earlier as a deportee instead of being a semester.
USA Provided b y
Saidou Nd ow
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26 Jojo’s MAG
A selection of Businesses in The Gambia
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s e t a u d a Gr Page
Mariama Sillah – University of Wales, Grad Year-2011, Degree 1- First Class in BA (Hons) in Accountancy, Degree 2-2012 Final exams MSc Finance and Investing Management at University of Hertfordshire
Awa Sissoho-Njie-Wilmington University, USA; Grad Year- 2012; Degree-Bsc Organisational Management
George Paul F. Mendy. Bishop McDevitt High, USA, Senior Class 2012
dedicated to This page will be aduated with gr o Gambians wh ound the world. a degree from ar to submit their Ever yone is invited ng wi es th the followi graduation pictur e, leg ol e, University/c information: Nam n. tio ua ad gr d year of degree granted an iversity of …, (e.g. Fatou X, Un 2011). BSc Economics, by email to nt se be All entries to com jojosmag@sky.
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Amina Touray (with parents)Heriot Watt University, UK; Grad Year-2011; Degree-BA Business Administration
Kololi, Senegambia P.O Box 2679, Serrekunda, the Gambia Tel (220)4460510/11/12/13/14 Fax (220)4460515 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org / website: www.sargehotel.gm
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We also acknowledge the presence of the following Gambian related businesses and more…… Banjul Breweries Limited – Julbrew Tel: 220 4374622 Bayba Financial http://www.bayba.co.uk/ Comium http://www.comium.com/ Gambega Limited Tel: 220 4392893 Gambia Experience http://www.gambia.co.uk/ Gambia tourism Authority http://www.visitthegambia.gm/ Gamcell http://www.gamcel.gm/site/ Gamdirect Money Services www.gamdirectllc.com IIC insurance Gambia www.http://iic.gm/ Leigh Direct Money Services www.leighdirect.com Moneygram Services in Gambia http://www.moneygram.com/MGI/EN/GM/Market/Market.htm?CC=GM&LC=EN QuantunNet http://www.qanet.gm/ Red Coat http://www.redcoat.org.uk/id21.htm Seaview Garden Hotel & it associated business interests – /Duplex/Spades/Cotton Club – Tel: 990 2855 Sheraton Hotel Gambia http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1975 Skye Bank Gambia Limited http://www.skyebankgm.com/ or email@example.com or Tel: +220 4414370 – 4 SN Brussels Gambia http://gambia.brusselsairlines.com/ Standard Chartered Bank Gambia Ltd. http://www.standardbank.co.za/portal/site/standardbank Tresor – The Closet & Beyond – FIB Building Kairaba Avenue, Tel: 220 9888 444 firstname.lastname@example.org Western Union Zenith Bank http://www.zenithbank.com/ 30 Jojo’s MAG
1985 Team BACK ROW, From Left, Alhagie Njie Biri Biri, Abdul Aziz Corr, Babou Touray (RIP), James Freeman, Dodou Saine (RIP), Amadou Adams, Pa Mu Ndow Gomez, Alahagie Sarr (Captain) FRONT ROW, Paul Ogoo, Joe “Tennis” Gomez, Goalkeeper Babou Saho, Garba Touray, Sheikh Ndure and Pochi Sarr
The Gambian National Football Team & The history behind the name
SCORPIONS by Tijan Masanneh Ceesay-Guest Sports Columnist
he campaign to find a name for all Gambia National Teams came through efforts made by key stakeholders in Gambian Football in particular in 1984 and just to name a few, then Sports Director, Alhagie Omar Sey, the late Housainou Momodou Musa Njie, Alhagie Ousman Bassi Conateh, Momodou M Dibba, GFA Secretary General at the time, Mr Boukary Fofana, FA president at the time and his Veep, Mr Mustapha Ngum, Mr Edmonson Shonobi, Assistant GFA Secretary, Alhagie Bobou Cisse, Mr Cherno Touray, Kwame’s Omar Amadou Jallow and of course Radio Gambia’s great Saul Njie. At the time they had the full endorsement of the first Woman Sports Minister Louis Antoinette Njie who was a regular at national team practices at the newly built Independence Stadium at the time given the proximity of her residence within the area. It became imperative that the team then known as Gambia Eleven needed a name like its counterparts in the sub region but most importantly on many international outings our team was referred to in not too pleasant names for example in 1979 in Liberia the team was nicknamed the Groundnut Boys by the home fans which really resonated The Gambia given the fact that groundnut was our leading export
and to date I think it was not a bad name but some did not like it anyway and others thought it was disrespectful in a sense. In order to obtain a name like say Sylli National, Teranga Lions, Leone Stars etc, a public notice was put on the sports page of The Gambia News Bulletin, Page 8 to be precise for all Sports fans around the country to send in suggestions and the response was extraordinarily great, thanks to then Director of Information Swaebou Conateh who ensured the notice went out three times a week. Many names made it to the Bedford place Building Offices of The Gambia Information News Agency (GINS) and a man named Alieu Sanyang made sure every mail was read. There was one particular suggestion from a fourteen year old from Georgetown who made what I thought was a clever suggestion in the sense that he suggested IFANGBONDI WARRIORS. He went on to make a case that the INFANGBONDI was part of Gambian culture and that the name was already known worldwide because of IFANGBONDI BAND and looking back twenty four years later, the kid from Georgetown made a lot of sense and I think, the latter would have been a perfect nom de guerre. After a good four weeks all the names were tallied and the name BLACK SCORPIONS edged
out all other names submitted. Black Scorpions was not a new name in Gambian football because at one time, it was the nick name of a young Banjul team.. However, the word “BLACK” had to be omitted because there were Political and diplomatic implications involved. If anyone followed the Nigerian Biafra war, a bitter period of Nigeria’s illustrious existence, one will remember how Colonel Benjamin Adekumle was referred to as BLACK SCORPION during that period. Like always, Sir Dawda was always the consummate diplomat and The Gambia took the high road to the utter disappointment of many fans, and named all our national teams THE SCORPIONS. Many people asked then why Scorpions, it had nothing to do with Gambia, well as Louise Antoinette Njie, then Sports Minister put it on February 11th, 1985,”like The Gambia, the Scorpion is small, but when it stings, you know it’s no joke.” Since 1985, the Scorpions have represented our country with integrity and class, winning two African U 17 championships, beating Brazil in Peru and winning many track championships in the sub region, but more remains to be done and it is my hope that the first line in our national pledge, “It is the combination of government and people”, will be put in perspective to build a better Scorpions Football team in the future
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Jojos Mag Issue 1