Tales of the Mediterranean: Gambians Recount Hellish Experience

Tales of the Mediterranean: Gambians Recount Hellish Experience

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Some Gambians who have successfully entered Europe through the Mediterranean sea, otherwise known locally as ‘backway’, have been giving their accounts of the perilous journey, thus discouraging others to desist from it.

Sulayman Sanyang, a native of Brikama successfully ventured into the journey and now resides in Napoli, Italy, but has urged others not to even attempt irregular migration as a last resort to travel to Europe.

“I came to Europe last year quitting a healthy business in The Gambia that was generating me enough income daily. I have suffered a lot during my journey and I nearly died in Libya. Upon arrival in Italy, I had hope and saw myself as a millionaire in the making but unfortunately I later realised that my condition back home is incomparable to that of here. I cannot still have documents to work and travel anywhere,” he lamented.

Sanyang advised youths of Africa, especially The Gambia, to stay home and work, noting that Europe is not what most people back home think it is. “Many of us here, especially the ones that were making money back home, have totally regretted why they quit their good jobs for Europe,” he added.

Alaige Camara, a native of Sukuta, who now resides in Germany, said they have plenty of Africans, especially Gambians parked together at one place without documents. “I was a student of The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), studying mechanical engineering but I have completely regretted quitting my education for this journey and I am urging all the Gambian youths to desist from it. I thought coming to Europe was going to make me rich but instead I have wasted my time,” he said.

Ousman Jallow, a native of Banjul, currently residing in Sicily, Italy said he didn’t expect to arrive in Italy alive, after being twice locked up and severely beaten in Tripoli and Saba. “I witnessed the killing of almost ten people in Libya, which involved three of my close friends. I was lucky to escape and entered Italy hoping that it is all over and time had come to enjoy but little did I know that the struggle hasn’t even begun. I still haven’t got documents to freely live in Europe and I can’t do what I used to do for my family when I was in The Gambia as the breadwinner,” he lamented.

Ous urged young people of The Gambia to stay home and work for the interest of nation building, saying venturing into the perilous journey will only give you hope and not glory. “The journey is too risky; I was not going to take it if I had known the dangers involved. Honestly, I am so frustrated here without documents and if things continue like this, I will choose to come back home and continue doing my work as a tailor,” he concluded.

by Modou Lamin Jammeh