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Profile: Masters graduate Musa Manjang braces for challenges in the job market

Musa Manjang, a Gunjur native has become the latest in a dizzying array of people bagging academic achievements in various fields from the sprawling coastal settlement of Gunjur. On November 23rd 2017, he graduated with a Masters’ degree in Islamic Banking at USIM(University of Science and Islam Malaysia). In an earlier academic endeavor replete with success, he toiled and moiled at the University of The Gambia between 2010-2015 where he graduated with Bachelors in Islamic studies . Loathe to lapse into complacency, Mr Manjang nurses ardent wishes to shoot for higher academic achievements, but his provenances from a financially challenged family has proven a temporary snag. And being a realist rather than a fantasist, Musa has taken the more practical path to making his brain and brawn available to the world of work. “ I almost secured PHD admission in my current university. Nothing is in my mind but to continue research on Islamic finance and banking. However, lack of funding which is an integral part of any research or study, has changed my plans and I decided to join labour market ”, he said. However, Musa hastens to point out that his achievements have not been a result of sudden flight, neither was it an individual endeavor adding: “ Mbam-Bolong Manjang my late father, has been my source of support and inspiration since childhood. His love for me was the love of Jacob for Joseph.This was expressed by him through his continues support during my Islamic and religious studies. He has expressed his desire not only in my Islamic education or Arabic but conventional system of education ”.

Despite lack of conventional education, the late Mbang Bolong Manjang was a man of vision ahead of his time. Musa further traces his educational trajectory: “ On my part, this has given me much courage by expressing my desire to my brothers namely; Lamin Mama-sally Manjang and Abdoulie Manjang to register me at Kotu junior and senior secondary school after completion of my grade 12 in Arabic school in 1999/2000. I completed junior and senior school within four years, one year in junior and three years in senior secondary. Thus I sat to my WASSCE exam in 2004. In January 2005, I was enrolled at Trust Communication Training Centre, Fajara for 5 months basic IT and basic computing course. In September 2005 to December 2006 I studied AAT Level one and two foundation and intermediate at Management Development Institute (MDI) with competence in all subjects ”.

Despite the litany of academic accolades, Musa is not entirely bereft of valuable work experience: “ In 2007, I volunteered for Polio vaccination campaign for one month. In the summer of 2007, I was employed as a cashier by Tadamun (a bi-lingual junior and senior secondary school where Arabic and English are offered with other relevant courses like general science, mathematics, S.E.S ". “I was highly trusted by my employers. In 2010, while on the job I had admission at the UTG where I had an opportunity to further develop my English and strengthen my knowledge in Islamic sciences and economics ”. Musa was later entrusted with the role of management and control of accounts and all financial transactions after the demise of the school’s accountant. He recalled of the challenges and opportunities on the job:

“ This was a challenge and test of responsibility to manage petty cashbooks, record school fees and payment of monthly teachers’ salaries. Through hard work and trust-worthiness ,I was given the role of signatory to the institution’s bank account a few months later . These periods of experience taught me how to combine family, work and schooling ”. Musa is married with three children, 2 boys and a girl. 

With a masters’ degree in Islamic Banking, Musa feels abundantly blessed to have a spouse who is currently pursuing her first Bachelor’s degree in Quran and translation 

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