Hon. Demba Ali Jawo

By Momodou Jarju

The former Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Demba Ali Jawo, has on Saturday launched his autobiography in a book titled “A Day With Destiny” at a local hotel.

The book which has 157 pages and divided into 21 chapters is published by Fulladu Publishers of veteran educationist Foday Baldeh and is selling at D450.

The occasion attracted people from all works of life, including journalists, university lecturers, politicians, government officials and friends and families of the author.

Mr. Jawo, affectionately called DA has now published his third book. The first “A Living Mirror: The Life of Deyda Hydara” was co-authored with the Nigerian journalist Alota Ahmed Alota and the second is Focus: Birth Pangs of The Gambia’s Transition to Democracy.

Madi Jobarteh, the head of the Westminister Foundation national office who reviewed the book, said the author narrates his childhood as a young herdsman (called gainako in Fula), his adulthood and gave an insight into his convictions and the trials and tribulations he faced in the first and second republic and life as minister.

Mr. Jobarteh said DA’s ‘A Date With Destiny’ gives an extensive information and analysis of his personal experience and perspectives as a minister in the current regime of President Adama Barrow, highlighting the challenges and missed opportunities.

“But more importantly he has also given lot of suggestions to the President and his Government including local governments in terms of how to better govern, build institutions and serve the people of the Gambia,” Jobarteh said.

He said the book also highlights DA’s opinion on foreign travels of government officials including President Barrow which he believed were too many and offered an alternative.

A Day With Destiny also revealed DA as a founder member of the People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS). Jobarteh said DA’s principles and dedication to being a journalist made him abandoned all political affiliation to PDOIS and never aligned himself to any political party.

“This is a trait of all great journalists who wish to remain independent and credible in the eyes of the society that one cannot belong to any group, no matter how well meaning they are! Journalism is DA’s destiny and he has fixed a date with the profession for which he does not wish to betray!” Mr. Jobarteh stated.

As a close friend of the gunned down veteran journalist, Deyda Hydara, DA’s book has also recounted his life as a journalist and the people he encountered in the field.

“A Date with Destiny is hugely about journalism and one cannot find a more up to date account of the trials and tribulations of the Gambian media than what is provided in this book, particularly with the advent of the military coup in 1994. Not only is the account quite detailed but it is also glaring for the fact that DA was himself a key participant in all of the ups and downs that the media went through under the dictatorship,” Jobarteh said.

The vice chairperson of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), Madam Adelaide Sosseh who taught DA at Crab Island and Gambia College was the chief launcher of the book.

Madam Sosseh expressed her gratitude and elation for being recognized by her student to launch a book for the first time. She said her relationship with DA spanned over five decades.

“Every educator wants the person that you have taught to succeed and to excel,” she said.

Alhagie Cherno Jallow, a doyen in Gambian journalism, Imam Baba Leigh, prolific novelist Baba Sillah and others made comments about the author’s good character and experience.

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