Following the announcement of the death of prominent journalist Pa Ndery Mbai of Freedom Newspaper, Gambians on social media are paying tribute to the founder of the popular online news platform.
Pa Ndery Mbai passed away Monday afternoon in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he lived and news of his sudden death has sent shockwaves across The Gambia, and the Gambian diaspora.
Pa Ndery Mbai’s was instrumental in the fight against the Yahya Jammeh dictatorship.
Mbai began his journalism career in the Gambia with the Daily Observer before joining The Point newspaper and later settled in the United States, where he became famous for his controversial reporting on affairs in his home country, The Gambia.
Omar Bah, a former colleague in The Gambia, now based in the United States, paid him an emotional tribute:
“Today I lost a great friend, Pa Nderi Mbai. I am in shock. I fought with him, confided in him, struggled with him; we advised each other and showed so much care for each other.
“He was a true legend who stood tall in his flight for The Gambia; a true journalist who cannot be used for any agenda.
“I have known him for over 20 years. I remember his brave coverage of the Commission of Inquiry of April 10, 2000; his lead stories at the Daily Observer, The Point, and his regular reporting for the Voice of America. A true national hero and legend have fallen.”
Coach Pa Samba Jow, who worked with the late journalist in the fight against the Jammeh dictator, said “The Gambia has lost a man who was fearless in his beliefs, and a patriot who never relented in fighting for the oppressed”.
Makam Sowe, another Gambian living in the United States added: “The Gambia has lost a truly industrious son, Pa Ndery Mbai. Two weeks ago, I received a call from Omar Bah of Rhode Island inquiring about the well-being of Pa Nderi.
“Little did we know that our friend is about to leave us for good. Pa was a great friend of mine, and I am really devastated by this loss. But as they say, every one of us will answer the call sooner or later.”
The Gambia’s Minister of Information, a former colleague of the late journalist, also sent his condolences to the bereaved family.
“I’m deeply saddened by the news of the sudden death of my dear brother and colleague, Pa Nderi Mbai. Journalism will never be the same again in The Gambia.
“We pray that Allah SWT forgives all his shortcomings and grant him Jannatul Fridawsi. Ameen.” Minister Ebrima Sillah said.
Abdoulie Lowe of Alaska also said: “I don’t usually agree with him or his ways, but Pa Nderi Mbai was a legend in his own right.
“He was instrumental in the fight against Jammeh’s tyranny. And, I liked how he would always give Jammeh sleepless nights. May he rest In perfect peace.”
For journalist Fatu Camara, another colleague of Pa Nderi: “Honestly my brother, I have no idea what to say or where to start. I sent you a text this evening at 8:07 pm Gambia time checking if you are ok bcos you haven’t updated your Facebook page since November 12th.
“Ya Allah please forgive Pa Nderi’s shortcomings and grant him the highest Jannah”.