Commentary: Let’s Love Lovette Jallow
OPINION: 12 September | Omar Bah
It is comparatively too easy to give up on Gambia. The vicious cycle of poverty, broad daylight corruption and all the ills attached to the witchcraft that is poverty; one cannot help but be pained.
Gambians claim to be peaceful and peace-loving individuals, yet like newbie vampires, they would go at each other's throats. The prospects of success alone would have your name paraded at every marabout in town for a witchhunt escapade.
The art of "let us all lose is galleried at every available opportunity". It is part of who we are, and that is why some have problems with corruption only if they are not benefitting. Many have become staunch critics of the government solely because they ceased being part of that same establishment they so now hate.
While the average Gambian citizen is considerably a political animal who sees fault at every faculty of the nation hence a critic who as my inspiring brother Omar Touray would say "they would find a problem to every solution".
Perhaps we should take a step back and consider the numerous Gambians (especially the youths) giving it their all while asking for nothing in return. The Lovette Jallow's of The Gambia's efforts should be complemented by the government and celebrated by all Gambians, but not be undermined as well as painted otherwise.
In 2015, Sadio Mane scored the fastest hat trick in the history of the English Premiership. He was not only celebrated by Senegal, their President went further to award him a medal. He was a star for hoisting the Senegalese flag to a new dimension. It could probably justify why the Somali gentleman I met in Adis Ababa never heard of The Gambia, but knew the home of Sadio Mane immediately I tried to layout the Gambia's geographic location. When The Gambia filed a case against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice ICJ, few people stopped asking me where is the Gambia because they never heard of it to "Oh that's the country that took Myanmar to court" in exclamation.
In essence, I want the magnificent work that Ms Lovette Jallow, a Gambian lady who managed to return 38 Gambian women to be accorded the recognition it deserves by the government. The Gambia government should celebrate her accordingly. She did not only rescue these women by bringing them back home, but saved them from perpetual degradation and inhumane treatment. It is no secret that blacks undergo terrible intolerable treatment at the hands of the Arabs in the Middle East. I was recently moved to tears when I read an article detailing out the dehumanising maltreatments blacks are encountering in Saudi from the Telegraph.
A few years ago, CNN brought the world's attention to the sale of blacks for around $400 in Libya, Samuel Eto'o the Cameroonian football legend did the same. He managed to get his fellow compatriots back to Cameroon. I see no difference between what Eto'o did and what Ms Lovette Jallow has done recently. If Eto'o gets heralded as a hero of his people, why didn’t Ms Jallow receive such from the government whose work she has done for them effectively and efficiently? Let us, therefore, start celebrating the people who are positively impacting our lives while they are here with us rather than wait till they die.
To Ms Lovette Jallow, long may you live, prosperous shall you be and I pray for your wellbeing. To the Gambia government, acknowledge Ms Lovette Jallow's efforts and give her that medal not as a payment (you can never) but as appreciation. To my fellow Gambians let us love Lovette Jallow. It is the least she deserves from us!
Omar Bah is a GunjurOnline columnist based in Malasia.