By: Foday Manneh
Five years on, life is no more as usual for the Jobe Kunda Family of Basse Santa Suu, Upper River Region (URR) of The Gambia who have been running helter-skelter in search of their one-time breadwinner of the family who had gone missing through the perilous “back-way” journey to Europe.
In 2016, a 30-year-old Pape Gorri Jobe sets on the most dangerous “back-way” journey to Europe with the sole aim of easing the sufferings of his family but little did the family know that the journey of their beloved son seems to be a journey of no return.
His father Papa Jobe and sister Mai Jobe recently expressed the dire situation of the family who is left with little hope of finding Pape Jobe after an unsuccessful five years of continuous search, adducing that the breakdown of communication between the family and their Pape for close to six years makes them believe that “all is not well with him”.
“He was in Mali when he called me and asked for help. Then, I sent him some money and he proceeded to Algeria where he was stranded again. I supported him until he reached Libya,” Papa Jobe, the father of the missing migrant disclosed to TAT.
He added: “After a few months, he wanted to cross to Italy. He told me to pay the fee to his agent in Latrikunda( in The Gambia). While on a boat to Europe in the waters, they were intercepted by Police who returned them to Libya. They demanded additional money, so since then in 2016 we haven’t heard from him.”
Pape’s sister Mai Jobe, said the family has never relented in their search for her brother, adding that anytime her brother’s issue comes on family discussions it is habitually followed by tears and grieving.
“He is ambitious and determined to help his family even before he left as a migrant to travel to Europe. He was motivated to learn tailoring where he makes little money to start his journey for Europe,” Mai Jobe highlighted.
Despite being informed by traditional means that their son is still alive, all efforts so far to trace Pape have shown fruitless.
“We went to a lot of marabouts, and they used to tell us that ‘he is alive, well, and safe’. I am pleading with the government, international agencies, and everyone who knows his whereabouts to help us connect with him again. I only want to hear my son,” the father appealed.
Pape’s family continues to search for their loved one in an irregular situation thinking that he has died but never knowing.