Tribute: Tribute to the late Alh. M.B Njie: A Senegambian "Prince"
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
"When beggars die, no comets are seen but the Heaven themselves blaze forth the death of Princes"
The above Shakespearean saying aptly describes the death and funeral of Alh. Momodu Baboucar Njie, which occurred on the 3rd March 2009 at his residence at Kairaba Avenue, in the Kombo Saint Mary's Division.
Alhadji Momodou Baboucar Njie, fondly called TATA by his own children and other close members of his family including myself, a nephew; Dodou Njie campaigne, a reminder of his glorious days at the C.F.A.O Banjul, The Gambia; Njie B.P, during his tenure at British Petroleum and Speaker Njie as speaker of both the Gambian National Assembly and for a short while speaker of the defunct Senegambia confederation Assembly, was born on the 10th day of February 1929 to Alh. Baboucar Njie and Ajaratou Fatou Secka.
Looking at the above Aliases, one wonders how and why the late M.B Njie has them attached to his name at different times of his eventful life. The answer is certainly found in the man's character which was one of sincerity and commitment to the success of his children and the different institutions he worked in, from June 1947 when, he completed his formal education to 1994, when he retired from active service as speaker of the National Assembly.
He gathered a lot of experience both in private and public office, which he used to benefit mankind particularly in The Gambia. The appreciation of this was manifested in the state funeral given to him by His Excellency Professor Alhajji Dr Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh. I join the other family members and friends of the late M.B. Njie to express our gratitude to and appreciation of His Excellency's recognition of this glorious man's service to the nation.
Alh. M.B. Njie died and was survived by 8 (eight) children, five females and three males and it is instructive that his first child, a female, was named after his own mother Fatou; thus Mrs. Fatou Njie-Senghore, wife of a renowned medical doctor, Tijan Senghore and the last male child was named after his own father, Alh. Babucarr Njie (Mam Babou).
I empathized and sympathized with these children for the loss of such a good father; This tribute cannot ignore his relationship with Alh. Momodou Saho of Saho Kunda in Serekunda, commonly known as Papa Saho or Uncle, in our family circle. He is the head of the family, a fact which the late M.B Njie appreciated so much that all major decisions pertaining to Mr. Njie's immediate family and other matters were always taken with the consent of Papa Saho. Papa Saho was late M.B Njie's cousin/elder brother which made him ultimately his KALIFA, a fact which continued to inspire the late M.B Njie up to the time of his death.
The entire Mogean family extends their condolences to Papa Saho-Sigilko Papa Saho. Alh. Baboucar Njie's generosity has a long hand, it reached both Muslims and Christians especially the Catholic Choir group known as "Baati Lingurre"; he was the group's honorary life patron. To the Muslims in the country, the number of mosques he built, the number of charities he contributed to, not to mention the number of families he maintained and sustained financially and morally and of course the Koranic School in Brikama, which he sponsored as its patron since its inception in 1980, shall forever to be a testimony of his dedication to Islam. He attached a huge importance to alms giving and helping of the poor.
Mr. Njie had a garden at Kanifing, which I jokingly called the Garden of Eden., because of his generosity with the yields of the garden and the number of times the Holy Koran was read there in a year. It was also a place of meditation for him, where he spent many hours daily, after he had retired from public services.
At his retirement, I became his public face, his representative and envoy to several engagements, like Gamos and other religious gatherings, social gatherings like naming ceremonies (Ngenteh) and as well as social family visits both in The Gambia and Senegal.
The verification and justification of the above praises were well manifested by his funeral service, the like of which has never been seen in this country for so long. There were practically all sectors of the Senegambian community, a fitting occasion for a "Prince;" no wonder 'the heavens themselves blazed forth his death.'
(May His Soul Rest In Peace)
Author: by Momodou Lamiu Secka (Elly) Nephew