Tribute to Saikouba Sisay

The Late Saikouba Sisay
By: Momodou Sabally
This is just one of those obituaries that I find it hard to accept. By default I get into some sort of denial mode before it really sinks in.
Saikouba Sisay was a brother (his late dad was a close friend of my late dad).
Tragic loss it is.
This one hit me real hard.
Saikouba was a brother and a mentee at the Central Bank where we both worked at the Economic Research Department.
A decent young man I really got fond of. This hurts. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannah.
He is just one of those people who knew that they can say anything to me.
He hardly agreed with me on anything. But it was all in good spirit. He would read an essay I wrote and tell me in the face that what I wrote did not make any sense; and I would laugh about it.
I was privileged to attend his marriage ceremony at the mosque; which he made sure I was a part of.
Here’s a young man that I truly loved; whose company I truly enjoyed.
We worked together at the Central Bank of The Gambia and we both left later. Even though he lived and worked in the US, we maintained our connection.
He went into a different profession but kept a keen interest in economics.
When I recently criticized my former boss at the Bank who is currently a top policy economic policy wonk in this country, this was Saikouba’s feedback on my commentary:
“Hi bro, I saw your comments about [your former boss’s] call to ask commercial banks to lend money to Government. I am surprised, I thought he was your man and you agreed with him for the most part. I am with you on this one, I don’t think it is sound policy, you have the crowding out effect and stifling of private sector growth, unsustainable government debt etc.”
Yes. Saikouba made a great point, well rooted in sound macroeconomic theory.
Here was a man who settled comfortably in a foreign country; who could have cared less about what was happening back home. But he remained interested.
We had exchanged many private conversations about pertinent issues pertaining to our country; but I do not deem it meet to share those exchanges here.
It suffices that we all know that the young man, Saikouba; from a great family whose father the late Sheriff Saikouba Sisay toiled and moiled for his country and gave The Gambia his all; did not also turn his back on his country despite the physical distance.
May Allah forgive my good brother Saikouba and grant him blissful repose in Jannatul Firdaus.
This hurts. It really hurts. But from Allah we came and unto Him we return.


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