ALHAGIE MANSOUR NJIE TOLD THE STORIES OF SO MANY PEOPLE AND NOW, ALHAGIE ESSA JALLOW, A BRAODCASTER, WRITER, MOVIE DIRECTOR AND MEDIA CONSULTANT TELLS HIS STORY
“As I sat quietly in the office sorting out letters, a towering figure of a man entered the room. Dressed in a light blue shirt and tie and white pair of trousers, with a cup of tea in his hand I noticed the quality of his wrist watch. It reminded me of my dad’s Seiko 5 which he loved so much. In a deep but soft voice he exchanged greetings with me and warmly welcomed me to the family of broadcasters. This was my early days at Radio Gambia in 1992.
I was buzzing with excitement of not only the prospects of speaking on the radio but meeting the people behind the actual voices I heard on radio. As the years gone by I had countless times with the man who was loved by everyone. One day while we were in the newsroom, he left us in awe with his knowledge of culture and history. A colleague whispered to me “this man is an ocean” in Wolof. In those rare occasions like the independence anniversary celebrations and Eid, this great voice would fill the air waves to the excitements of both young and old.
Although a typical Jollof from Banjul, his Mandinka is as good as an old boy from Kiang. He would translate at ease not only from English to Wollof but also Wollof to Mandinka vice versa. His many encounters with the late Alhagie Bai Conteh in their history program proved his proficiency in both languages and demonstrated his sea of knowledge in our history, culture and religion.
As the family continues to mourn him, I wish to express my deepest sympathy with them. They lost a dad, a grand dad, an uncle, a friend and a colleague but above all The Gambia lost an archive.”