Grandson of Queen’s Gambian interpreter sends tributes to Elizabeth ll

Queen Elizaberth with late Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, First President of Post Independence Gambia

As Britain and the world mourns Queen Elizabeth ll’s death, Gambians are also sending tributes to the UK’s longest reigning monarch, who died peacefully at the Royal Balmoral retreat in Scotland at 96.

The outpouring of tributes on social media includes special condolence from Lamin Dampha, Lecturer at the University of the Gambia, who claimed his grandfather was Queen Elizabeth’s Gambian interpreter.

“My late grandfather was the official interpreter during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Gambia, which was part of her Royal tour of West Africa in December 1961. In the early 1990s, Queen Elizabeth II invited Second World War veterans to London for an award of medals. My late grandfather was part of the three-man Gambian delegation to Buckingham Palace.
On behalf of my uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters, I extend my condolences to the family and people of the United Kingdom for the death of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Dampha, who lectures accounting at the UTG, wrote on his social media page.

Queen Elizabeth was a global icon of resilience and longevity who espoused and promoted equality, fairness, and voluntary service with a hold on the stability that saw Britain enjoy a golden era under its longest reigning monarch, a seasoned Gambian diplomat told Alkamba Times.

Another prominent Gambian, Dembo Fanta Bojang, also wrote:
” In 1961, the Queen attended a Mansabengo in Brikama Ba Lang Comma(Lamin Comma’s father) was an interpreter at the Commissioner’s Office in Western Division. He played a major role in the interface between the young Queen and the Seyfolu.”

Buckingham Palace issued a statement confirming the Queen’s death at the age of 96, reported the Beep, which had an extended program on the event.

It also broadcast the statement of the UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who announced that the Queen’s successor is King Charles III (age 73), who waited that long – and said to be the longest successor-in-waiting in British history – to fulfill his destiny.

“Long live the king,” declared Truss outside 10 Downing Street, where she moved into just 48 hours before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Observers say it is a shame that State television in the Gambia did not interrupt its programs to link up with the BBC to convey the breaking news about the death of a monarch who was the country’s pre-independence head of state of The Gambia, and the head of the Commonwealth.

The late Queen visited The Gambia when her aircraft landed in the country in the early 1950s (1952?). During her visit to Africa, when her father passed away, she had to rush back to the UK to be crowned Queen.

A TV viewer in Banjul told TAT he had to tune in to Joy News to follow the running news.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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