“Sayerr Jobe’s name cannot be easily forgotten” Says a descendant


By Sailu Bah Saikou Suwareh Jabai The recent renaming of the Sayerr Jobe Avenue, the road that runs fromThe renamed Sayerr Jobe Avenue Westfield junction to Bakoteh, to Yankuba Colley Avenue, as part of the activities marking the AFPRC/APRC regime’s celebration of Gambia’s 50 years of nationhood, has generated reaction from diverse people residing in the Kanifing Municipality.This road, which also stretches to Sukuta, is a 7.7 million dollars road project, funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Sayerr Jobe is the founder of the settlement which has now become a metropolis which many call “Serekunda”, derived from its original name “Sayerr Jobe Kunda”, while Mayor Yankuba Colley is the current Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality, which includes SerreKunda and is also the National Mobiliser of the ruling APRC party. Commenting on the name change of this major road from that of the founder of Serekunda to that of the present mayor of Kanifing Municipality,  Ndey Jobe, a descendent of Sayerr Jobe, said they are not happy with the development but added that even though she could not speak for the family, she feel that since the family has  no power to undo what has been done it has to be taken in good faith. She said this over the weekend when the Foroyaa reporter visited the original home of Sayerr Jobe, which is situated in the middle of Serekunda opposite the old mosque. Madam Jobe, who said she is a great, great granddaughter of the patriarch, explained how her great, great grandfather came to settle at this place called Serekunda which is named after him. According to her, Sayerr Jobe came to this particular area at a time when Sukuta was the only nearby settlement. She said her grandfather was not only the founder of Serekunda, but played a part in the founding of such settlements as Bundung, and Ebo Town in the Kanifing Municipality, Serrekunda Nding in Kombo Central and Jambur in Kombo South. Madam Jobe said Mam Sayerr came to the Gambia from a village called Korki in the kingdom of Kayor in present day Senegal and founded the village named after him which was situated in a thick forest at the time. “It is this former village which has now evolved into Serrekunda which is among the biggest settlements in the Gambia. The founder has already made a name which can never be forgotten in the history of this country,” said the descendant. Other family members who are also among the great grandchildren of the founder of Serekunda lamented the development but admitted that there is nothing they can do to undo it. Another resident of Serrekunda from the Touray Kunda compound, one of the original settler families, said the concerned authorities should rethink this move and return the name to Sayerr Jobe Avenue as it is befitting of him as the founder of the settlement. “People are already used to the name Sayerr Jobe and it will be very difficult for them to get used to this new name,” he added. Mr. Muhammed Faal, a resident of London Corner which is an extension of Serekunda, said this name change amounts to a total disregard of Sayerr Jobe who was not only the founder of Serekunda but was someone who has played important roles in the community and helped in the expansion or development of the settlement. He also called on the authorities to reverse the move and return the road to its original name. A shopkeeper along the avenue, Sadibou Jatta, who sells mobile accessories, said it is a good move as the tenure of the Mayor has registered major developments in the municipality. While refusing to comment if the renaming of the street by replacing that of the founder of Serekunda with that of the mayor was a wise decision, the gentleman maintained that the government knows what is best for the country and that its decisions should always be embraced. One Mr. Dampha, a School Teacher and resident of Serekunda, said he could not believe the information when he first heard it. He said he questioned the rationale behind the name change as Sayerr Jobe is someone who deserves to have a road named after him. “I have nothing against naming a street after Yankuba Colley, but I just cannot see the rationale behind replacing Sayerr Jobe with Yankuba Colley, who is the Mayor of the Kanifing Municipality,” he said. A taxi driver, Saidu Bah, was asked about his opinion on the renaming of the road but he responded that he is not aware of the development. He said he cannot say that he has objections against the move but noted that a name change may cause confusion among the passengers, citing himself as an example of someone who was not aware of the name change. Hence if someone were to ask him to take him to the new street name he would not have known where to take the person. As for Essa Johm, the renaming is not justifiable no matter what Yankuba Colley might have done for his party, the APRC. “He can be honoured by his own party but not in this way by trying to efface the memory of someone who has selflessly served the entire community,” he added.]]>