Page 1


May 2013

D100 • $4 • €3 • £2



Miss West Africa International 2013... and the winner is MARIA SAWANEH from…

5 Simple steps to a Healthier Life

Isha & Muhamed celebrate arrival of baby in Paris

Kawsu & F’mata tie the Knot in British Boxer New York Patrick “Tiger” Sentenced 20+yrs Mendy to a Life in USA …with pages of events held in USA, UK, Banjul and more…. A Facebook styled magazine connecting you to Africans home & abroad Available FREE online www.jojosmag.com


Banjul International Airport (BIA) is state owned and is located in Yundum about 24km from Banjul, capital city of The Gambia, West Africa. The airport is operated and managed by Gambia Civil Aviation Authority. KEY FACTORS FOR CHOOSING BANJUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT • Location - Proximity to active markets • Modern Infrastructural Development • Liberal Air Transportation Policy • Compliance with safety standards (TSA/ ICAO Certified) • Regional co-operation – Secretariat to Banjul Accord Group • Political Stability in The Gambia • One Stop Shop – GCAA manages & operates the airport • Competitive airport charges • Special incentive package for airlines INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES The Gambia is an investment haven and Gambia Civil Aviation Authority actively solicits partnership with potential companies and individuals who wish to engage in business at Banjul International Airport. Our vast landside area provides you with investment opportunities in real estate, bars and restaurants, shopping centres, children playground, airport hotel, fast food chain, fitness centre and many more.

CONTACT INFORMATION Gambia Civil Aviation Authority, Banjul International Airport P.O.Box 285 Banjul, The Gambia, West Africa Tel: 00220 4472831/4472893 Website: www.gcaa.aero Email: dggcaa@qanet.gm / dg@gcaa.aero / info.datrac@gcaa.aero


Jojo In this issue

In a previous interview, I did mention that I would like to see Jojo’s Mag represent a partnership. As a result, I am glad to share that we are now working in partnership with Miss West Africa International through which we intend to bring you coverage of the annual beauty pageant competition which brings together winners of the various regional and national Miss West African queens. I believe such partnerships will truly add value to the success of initiatives like Miss West Africa International.


Miss West Africa International 2013 Queen…

10 Ladies Page 12 African Outfit 14 Gentlemen’s Page 16 Gambia 2012 New Year’s Bash

I would like to thank Nana, Phil and the rest of the behind the scenes stars of the Miss West Africa team and sponsors. Through Jojo’s Mag, we try to tell you stories of Africa in pictures. But for those who like to read, we provide bespoke read on-the-go stories on immigration, health, sports and anything of interest, which we hope will leave a lasting memory. You told me in your personal emails, Facebook inbox and Wall messages that you liked “the consistency of the magazine”, its “all-inclusive approach” and that “we do what we say”. Again I thank you all for your interest and words of encouragement.

It is our goal to compliment whatever is out there promoting Africa. I strongly believe that in the publishing business, there is very little anyone can achieve on their own hence the quality of what we produce will reflect our positive relationship with other people.

I hope the Ghana, Songhai and Mali empires of Africa are evidence enough to show that all West Africans are people of the same ancestral origins. We would therefore like to build up on that link through collaborative work in line with the essence of our motto: “Projecting an image of African excellence”. But I will also keep my promise of including regular picks from Facebook and those emailed to me, so keep on sending.

While demand for coverage is increasing, you should expect nothing less in quality and content. We are encouraged by people buying pages to share memories of their happy days, as you can see is in this issue, and we hope you will be next in line to feature your special occasion. So, while I continue to try to meet your expectations, I shall remain available by email jojosmag@sky.com or office@jojosmag.com and on Facebook for the regular chats.



27 Washington DC Hunting 28 Seattle, USA 2012 Party 29 Sentenced 20+ Years to a life in the USA 30 Couples Page 32 Old School Party

17 5 Simple Steps To A Healthier Life

33 British Boxer Patrick “Tiger” Mendy

18 Kawsu & F’mata tie the Knot in New York

34 Mapenda Seck March’13 UK Tour

20 Trendy Makeovers 21 Africa Alive 22 Sawalo Couture 24. Isha & Muhamed celebrate arrival of baby 26 Pap Diouf in Banjul

Jojo’s MAG


Miss West Africa International 2013 Queen is Gambia’s Maria Sawaneh from Germany


iss West Africa began in 2008 making history with the crowning of its first ever queen. The event was established by young entrepreneur, Nana Tamakloe, with the objective of creating role models, future world leaders and goodwill ambassadors. In 2010 the concept of an annual Miss West Africa International was introduced with the goal of discovering various regional and local Miss West Africa queens to compete for the ultimate Miss West Africa International title. The 2013 competition was held in Cape Verde and it showcased great contests between 17 beautiful and intelligent ladies of West African origin. The event was aimed at promoting West African culture, beauty and lifestyle to the foreign world. The winners of Miss West Africa act as advocates for the various West African countries and charities they represent. This year’s winning queen is an outspoken Gambian born Maria Sawaneh who went into the competition as the winner of the Miss West Africa Germany local competition. She took the most popular African pageant title Miss West Africa International, when she was called centre stage on Saturday 23rd March 2013 to be crowned between Zalia Maiga, the 1st Runner-up from Mali, and Hawa Kamara, the 2nd Runner-up from Sierra Leone.


Jojo’s MAG

The beautiful Queen Maria is the first Gambian to take the international title and also the first Miss West Africa queen with a foreign title to be recognized as Miss West Africa International. Maria who had her traditional dress made by a Sierra Leone designer, evening dress made by Ghanaian designer ‘Hall of Peters’, confidentially strolled the stage to a song by a Nigerian artists proving to all that she was ready to be an all round Miss West Africa International Queen. According to the event organisers, “Maria is an amazing winner, her being a foreign queen is the right step to showing unity amongst West African’s in and outside of Africa, and also showing that everyone of West African descent has a chance at being the international queen as long as they are capable of achieving a title in their host country. Our aim is to promote tourism in Africa, promote the beauty, the land, the culture and more, so embracing West African’s abroad helps us accomplish this task a lot easier, and that’s what makes Miss West Africa different.” Zalia Maiga (Miss West Africa Mali 2012) gave Mali its first appearance in the top 3, whilst Hawa Kamara (Miss West Africa Sierra Leone 2012) secured a comfortable third place for Sierra

Leone. Youma Sall, (Miss West Africa Senegal 2012) received the Miss Photogenic award, and Aissatou Sakho, (Miss West Africa Guinea 2012) was crowned Miss Congeniality. Speaking about the outgoing queen, MWA International CEO Nana said, “We are very proud of Vanny, she really set a great path for the Miss West Africa queens, just as those before her did, but I am very sure Maria is going to take it further, she is very charitable and has great media personality. We can’t wait to begin working with her”. Miss West Africa continues to thrive on its founding idea of promoting a positive image for West African countries by creating awareness of the social, cultural, health, wealth and the beauty issues within West Africa. MWA do not abide to the mass media’s portrayal of beauty but that which is judged by its own panel of expert judges with their unique understanding of the different characteristics of beauty associated with West African women. Miss West Africa International 2013 was organised by Africaribes, Lda with support from Miss West Africa Ltd. MWA has not endorsed any other forms of Miss West Africa beauty pageants, spin offs nor sub sectors that may have been projected as such in anyways. For regular updates about upcoming local/ regional MWA events and for general enquiries visit www.misswestafrica.com.

International beauty pageant for West African tourism & culture‌.

A Pen Picture Provided by Maria before the competition:


was born in the city of Serekunda, The Gambia and moved to Germany when I was just 2 years old. My mom is Ayesha Sissoho. She is my role model and supports me in everything I do. I am a final year law student and am totally in love with my major. I am planning on becoming the first Gambian born lawyer in Germany. I have won a few pageants such as Miss Photogenic Hessen in 2011. I was also the Miss Gambia representative at Miss Globe international, making it to the Top 15 out of 45 countries. In March 2013, I will be representing The Gambia as a Miss from Germany at the Miss West Africa International pageant in Cape Verde and I am really looking forward to doing that. It is always an honour for me to represent The Gambia in beauty pageants and therefore I always try to put in more than my best! As a model I have been quite successful, working for big companies such as Wolford, Nike and Online suppliers. It’s my passion to be in front of the camera and I enjoy doing that as long as it is possible. Interest-Apart from modelling, I love to travel, explore new countries and cultures. I also love Sports, since my elder brother Ibrahim Sawaneh is a well know soccer player I love watching his games and soccer in general. Brief statement-Laughing, I give my best to anything am involved in, but I think my greatest strength is in my communication skills. I am capable of connecting with people from diverse backgrounds, which I find to be a great opportunity to broaden my knowledge in all kinds of fields. Photos provided by Phil Antony, story courtesy of Miss West Africa Ltd.

Jojo’s MAG


Night Gowns

Gambia (from Germany)- Queen Maria Sawaneh

Mali 2013- Zalia Maiga (First Runner up)


Jojo’s MAG

Sierra Leone- Hawa Kamara (Second Runner up)

Senegal -Youma Sall (Miss Photogenic)

Guinea Conakry- Aicha Sakho (Miss Congeniality)













Jojo’s MAG


Swim Suits


Jojo’s MAG

Traditional Dress

Jojo’s MAG



10 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 11


12 Jojo’s MAG



The Insurers you can trust HEAD OFFICE

5, OAU Boulevard, Banjul (first Floor Duwa Jabbi Building) P.O. BOX 1254, Banjul, The Gambia E-mail: iic@gamtel.gm / info@iic.gm Website: www.iic.gm Tel: (220) 420 27 60 / 61 / 65 Fax: (220) 4202763




14 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 15

GAMBIA 2012 NEW YEAR’S BASH hosted by Jatou & Ndeneh Faal-photos by Siaka Sarr

16 Jojo’s MAG

5 Simple steps to wellbeing & a healthier Life


nce a a visitor from Africa commented that, “Supermarkets in the West are always full of fresh and healthy food”, but did he actually mean to say fresh and healthy looking food which perhaps unknown to him, may have already been genetically modified. In Africa and in most part of the developing world, where the idea of buying food from a supermarket can be easily associated with a luxury lifestyle, the daily staple on the other hand, is almost always guaranteed to be fresh from the farm and or the butchers, free from any human manipulation, and nothing can beat that. Wellbeing is about people making choices about what is best for them and their communities. It can give an indication of how an individual and or communities are flourishing. According to the findings of a report published by the New Economics Foundation , a whole range of factors determine an individual’s level of personal well-being but evidence indicates that the things we do and the way we think can have the greatest impact. The foundation has researched and developed 5 essential step listed below, which when combined with healthy eating habits, can make a difference in your life.

1. Connect

There is strong evidence that feeling close to, and being valued by other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world. It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages. With this in mind, try to do something different that will keep you connected. • Talk to someone instead of sending an email. • Speak to someone new. • Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you. • Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is. • Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.



Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being. But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise. Get physical with these few ideas: • Go for a walk, run, cycle, dance, or play a game. • Take the stairs not the lift or walk to work with a colleague, and while at it get ‘connected’ as well. • Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey. • Organise a sporting activity or have a kick-about in a local park. • Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, once every morning. • Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.

3. Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness. Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities. Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations. Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas: • Get a plant for your workspace. • Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day. • Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting. • Take a different route on your journey to or from work. • Visit a new place for lunch.

accessed 2/11/12 at http://www.neweconomics.org/sites/neweconomics.org/files/Five_Ways_to_Well-being_Evidence_1.pdf

4. Learn

Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression. The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing. Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas: • Try something new or rediscover an old interest. • Sign up for a class, read the news or a book. • Set up a book club or try to fix something like fix a broken bike. • Research something you’ve always wondered about. • Learning new things will make you more confident as well as being fun.

5. Give

Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research. Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy. Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing. • Do something for a friend or stranger • Volunteer your time • Seeing yourself, and your happiness, linked to the wider community can be incredibly rewarding and creates connections with people around you

Healthy Eating PLUS all of the above: i. Reduces blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks and strokes ii. Lowers cholesterol iii. Regulates blood sugar levels by providing steady and slow-burning energy sugar levels iv. Burns fat

Jojo’s MAG 17

Kawsu & F’mata tie the Knot in New York page sponsored by Awa Sillah-Ceesay

18 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 19

provided by Aji Amy

20 Jojo’s MAG


Departments of transport, entertainment & social affairs

Jojo’s MAG 21

SAWALO COUTURE African designs

22 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 23

Isha & Muhamed celebrate arrival of baby Muhamed in Paris

24 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 25

Pap Diouf in Banjul

Feb 2013-as guest of Aziz Corr, photos by Siaka

26 Jojo’s MAG

Washington DC HUNTING

with former USA Ambassador Haley-photos provided by Saidou Ndow

Jojo’s MAG 27

SEATTLE, USA 2012 NEW YEAR’S PARTY Hosted by Oulay & Sir Yus Production

28 Jojo’s MAG

Sentenced 20 years to a life in America


t was the news I had always been waiting for when my father came home with a passport bearing my picture and a valid student visa to American. That just proved to all that his political connections have finally paid off. I was to become a college student in the USA, to study a course that was chosen for me without my knowledge. But I was a very happy man that day, and my dad a proud one. It cost him a prized plot of land in a prime location which he reluctantly sold to a politically connected businessman in exchange for a visa for me to the US. Two days later several family members were invited to dinner. Word had already spread around that I was going to America. That was it, am going to America. Nobody cares why, it was what was expected. I landed in New York on an Air Afrique night flight. Several of us arriving on the same flight were picked up by a Senegalese van driver who had a list of our names and addresses to drop us at. I was taken to a place I later understood to be Harlem, in a neighbourhood that could hardly convince any new comer that they were actually in America. The next day I was put on an eight hour bus journey to my college in North Carolina. I was met at the other end by a young Sierra Leonean who was to become one of my roommates in a 3-bedroom rented apartment shared with several other African students from Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, and Kenya, most of them on some form of student scholarship. Within a week I registered for classes and got to sort out some essential paper works like Social Security number and state ID. My first term college fees were already paid in full, but I was expected to work and pay for the remaining years like most people did before me. However, by the end of the first semester, I could not earn enough to pay my college fees or rent. So I decided to move back to Brooklyn New York, to live with some distant cousins I had found out about. In Brooklyn, fifteen of us were sleeping in shifts in a 3-bedroom house partitioned into individual sleeping cabins using cardboard. We each paid $50 a month towards rent, which was the only way to make it affordable. The boys soon got me a job cleaning dishes in a restaurant. I kept taking on or moving from one odd job to the other until I discovered street vending. All one needed was a good reference from an established street vendor who would introduce you to one of the Jewish shop owners with whom we had built a good reputation as “the honest West African Muslim boys”. This relationship provided the

shop owners guaranteed additional sales. On the streets, we try to sell everything else except drugs. It was good business, and on an average day I could easily earn my month’s share of rent. The only risk was the threat from the notorious snatchers like drug addicts and petty thieves who knew very well that we, the African street vendors, will never call the police because we are undocumented immigrants. Three years later, I switched to a newer and much more lucrative street business of selling bootleg movies. This business enabled us to offer New Yorkers new movies on the streets days before they even appear in cinemas, and they seem to love the opportunity. So again we, the West Africans, mainly from Senegal, Mali, Guinea and Gambia, were at the forefront of the street distribution chain. The Jews with their connections to Hollywood, we were told, provided the Arabs with master copies of the movies on VHS tape for mass production, and the Arabs working in partnership with the Spanish, managed the street level distribution. It was the best business there had ever been for street vendors in New York. The police never bothered us because they were busy chasing real criminals. That was all before 9/11 and during Mayor Giuliani’s reign. I first arrived in New York a few years before Giuliani ran for office to become a two term Mayor of New York City. I then went on to witness him contest in the Republicans presidential primaries for the election that resulted in Barak Obama becoming the first Black President of America. It was through street vending that I met Mira, my Spanish lady, ten years older. She was a good client who soon became my secret lover. Things moved on so fast, next thing I was living with her. Two of her oldest sons were in jail doing Mayor Giuliani Time, while her youngest son was in foster care. After one year, she offered to marry me so I can get my residency papers. I hired the service of a Nigerian immigration lawyer only to find out that Mira was still legally married to her former husband. So I had to go deeper into my pocket to cover unexpected legal cost plus two wasted years just to get the divorce completed before I could start any immigration application process. But after all, it was Mayor Giuliani Time, the streets were good to us, time went by unnoticeably and I could afford it. A few months after filing my residency application, Mira’s two sons were released from jail. They move straight back into her house, occupying one of the two bedrooms. They did not like the fact that I was there. First they complained about my cooking which their mother loved, and because she wouldn’t cook for them, they blamed me for turning her lazy. Then they started stealing my stock of movies and when I complained they get upset and threaten me with words, until the day they beat me almost dead. I woke up in a hospital with their mother on my bedside. I pressed no charges, but when I got discharged, I moved back to live with my African brothers in Brooklyn. With all my complicated life in America, back in Africa, I was the celebrated success story. Though a street hustler in New York I managed to build a comfortable modern two story building for my parents, while I continued to live in a cramped apartment with several other single men. My clever father on the other hand, wilfully acting ignorant of all the realities of my life in a virtual open prison in America, forged yet a new plan. He managed to arrange a marriage for me with one of my cousins, got her a visa and called to informed

me that he was bringing her to join me. Although I understood the role of our tradition of arranged marriages, I could not believe it was happening to me! Who was she? Does she love me? Can I refuse her? But the thought of the last question would be a sign of disrespect towards my family. But for the more practical questions, I asked myself. Where was I supposed to stay with my new wife? How was I going to maintain her, given that business was no longer as good because more people are now selling movies which brought the prices down? I couldn’t sleep as the thought of having to be responsible for a wife seemed daunting. The reality for me seems to continue to be that dad always makes life changing decisions for me. But, dad of all people should have known better. He had visited twice and he knows the condition I was living in, which was why he had to stay with an old friend of his who has been living in the USA since Abraham Lincoln’s time. Clever dad however managed to execute his well thought out plan without a hitch. He brought my wife to me and successfully claimed all costs. With the help of his friend, they had already found a spare room for me and my wife in a Chadian Muslim couple’s three bedroom house. It was one thing to question my dad’s choice of a wife for me that I have never seen, but it was a different challenge to reject a beautiful and intelligent woman in flesh and blood. I fell for her the moment I saw her. We soon moved in together. After I was beaten up by Mira’s children, I had not been seeing her as often except to occasionally meet for a meal and give her some money to keep her happy, while waiting for an interview date with immigration. We were later invited to two interview appointments. On the first occasion, it was cancelled because Mira claimed to be unwell on the morning of the scheduled appointment. The next time she forgot to bring some essential documents. Finally my lawyer warned me that perhaps my wife was no longer serious about the marriage. I could have guessed that, partly because her children are against it and mostly for the fact that I was no longer filling the essential gap of paying her rent and putting food on the table, so I had to abandon the idea of getting my papers through Mira. Up until I had that eye opening conversation with my lawyer, I have been living in America just to make other people back in Africa comfortable. My Nigerian brother, as me and my lawyer started calling each other, managed to apply for an Advance Parole on my behalf, which is a time dated exit and re-entry type of visa that the USA immigration issued to people who have pending immigration settlement decisions. This enabled me to travel to Africa and back within a month. No one I knew was aware of such a loophole. It was the morale booster I needed, as it had given many people the impression that I had received my papers. I eventually received my American “Green Card” and then citizenship. My Spanish wife had since been out of my life, and she had played no further role in helping me secure my papers. I moved on with my wife and three children to another state at a time when America had been transformed by the aftermath of 9/11. I now work full time paying taxes, an opportunity I have not had for nearly 20 years because I was undocumented. My dad’s plans had in effect sentenced me 20 years to life in the USA, and it is only conceivable now to thank him for it.

Jojo’s MAG 29


30 Jojo’s MAG

In the next Issue, know more about the following people as we launch a Who’s Who page

Jojo’s MAG 31

Old School Party Jan 2013 provided by Martin Monday

32 Jojo’s MAG

BoxerPatrick Mendy the “TIGER” a Prizefighter


atrick1 is a 22 year old British boxer originally from the Gambia where he started as an amateur. Before becoming a British title holder, he was the first Gambian to win a gold medal in the Zone II West African Boxing games. It was an uncle back home who discovered Patrick’s potential and encouraged him into boxing before he move to the UK where he further develop his boxing career. While living in Reading, UK, he joined a local Boxing Club called T.N.T. He went on to win several local trophies before beginning his professional boxing career in 2009 with his first signing under then manager Jim Evans. Patrick went through the beginner ups and downs follow by steady wins in two fights, against other local title holders, Matt Jack and Luke Allen. Patrick lost a fight against Jez Wilson, but followed that up with three consecutive wins, against Marlon Reid, Sam Couzens and Ally Morrison, this in effect got him the recognition he deserved to get into the Prizefighter category. As a Prizefighter, he won his first fight against Sam Horton in the 1st round by technical knockout and broke the record for the fastest ever knockout in Prizefighter at 82 seconds. In the semifinal he beat Daniel Cadman by unanimous decision, and then won the finals against Paul David by unanimous decision. This was followed by five wins which rightfully got him the titles of: • Youngest ever Prizefighter contestant at 19 years • Youngest ever Prizefighter winner at age19 • Fastest ever knockout (Vs Sam Horton in 82 seconds (1:22)

Reacting to his victory as Prizefighets, Partick said: “The moment that I got the call to do Prizefighter I started the hardest training of my life - it pushed me so hard, and that’s why I believed that I would win. I need to show people back in the Gambia what boxing is like – I was the first Gambian to win a gold medal for boxing for the country – and that helped me when I was going for the win in Prizefighter as it reminded me of that feeling. But now I am fighting for my supporters and friends here in England, and that is the most important thing.” For his latest competition, Patrick ‘The Tiger’ Mendy travelled to Denmark on the 9th February 2013 to take on WBA Intercontinental champion Patrick Nielsen, who has won all 17 of his fights, eight by knockout. Ptrick Mendy unfortunately lost his latest fight on points against Nielsen in Denmark. Patrick Mendy recently become a proud father of a baby boy in 2012. In his free time he contributes to the community by training young children in boxing. He believes teaching kids the discipline of boxing helps them stay in shape and keep out of trouble. Patrick “Tiger” Mendy Country: United Kingdom Hometown: Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom Division: Super Middleweight Age: 22 Born: 26th September 1990 Stance: Orthodox Record to Date Won 14 (KOs 1) | Lost 6 | Drawn 0 | Total 2 1 This article was collated at the direction of Patrick Mendy, who provided the pictures and commented on the final text.

33 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 33

Mapenda Seck 3 cities Tour of UK, March 2013 provided by Yaram Arts

34 Jojo’s MAG

Jojo’s MAG 35

Profile for PM

Jojo's mag issue 3  

Jojo's Mag Issue 3

Jojo's mag issue 3  

Jojo's Mag Issue 3