|Lady Zainab Jammeh the First Lady of The Gambia (In the background is the picture of herself and her man, Yayah on wedding day)|
In 48 hours from now or a bit longer than that, the fate of Gambia’s President, Sheikh Professor Alhaji (Dr.) Yahyah A.J. Jammeh will be determined by the Special African Union forces that will be unseating his government over his political stubbornness to gently leave power after 23 years. His 5th term attempt at power crashed like a badly piloted jet after the December 1, 2016 Presidential election in his country went in favor of his opposition, Mr. Adama Barrow. Jammeh initially accepted defeat and congratulated Adama Barrow but his instinct changed twelve hours later as he decided to remain in power, asking for a fresh election after labeling the earlier one a sham.
Since that debacle, the world and Africa have come in one voice to advice Jammeh to leave and let peace reign but he will not tolerate any diplomatic soft landing. Hence a need to flush him out this coming Friday, January 20 by the combines military team of countries under African Union.
However, on a very soft side, your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika went into archive to bring you the hidden story of Gambia’s first lady, Lady Zainab Jammeh which you have not read anywhere before. It is a story written in the best tradition of Prose by Basorun (Dr.) Dele Momodu who visited her some 17 years ago at the State House, Banjul. In this encounter, she shared the story of her love life with the leader of the water-rounded African country and how they met and fell in love. Enjoy the excerpts.The Woman, Zainab Jammeh…
Beautiful? That is not enough to capture the grace and allure of The Gambia’s First Lady. Enchanting and enthralling, perhaps, come near when describing the captivating light-skinned 21 Year old mother of a beautiful daughter, Maryam.
Her Excellency, Mrs. Zainab Yayah Jammeh’s loveliness is a sweetness that leaves a lingering taste in one’s mouth. The elegant slim woman, with a mixed parentage (Guinean and Moroccan blood) is a natural charmer.
Her disarming smiles makes you feel at ease and at home instantly. She has that magic to make you feel like a long lost friend.
|Lady Zainab Jammeh...The woman who controls Yayah Jameh|
On Tuesday, September 19, 2000, in The Gambia’s capital city, Banjul, at the spectacular State House residence of the country’s First Family, we were surprised at the simplicity and homeliness all around.
The 5:30 Pm appointment was kept. Almost. Dressed in black trousers and blouse, and a light brown jacket to match her shoes, she strode in confidently to meet us in one of the numerous sitting rooms.
Smiling and stretching her hand to each and everyone, she greeted. So polite, so polished. The sophisticated stunner who spoke French throughout the interview (There was an interpreter from the State House) greeted in English. Apparently she understands English—but her French must be impeccable.
Shortly, after brief introductions, Mrs. Zainab Jammeh, who studied Business Administration and Communication, for the first time, bared her mind to journalists.
“I think the best title in the world is to be a mother” The world’s youngest First Lady and lover of Syrian music gushed. “I have always had a very special relationship with kids, and I love them. And now that I have my own daughter, it is special”
The very active woman who has a number of projects for Gambians is taking things a bit easy right now, concentrating more on motherhood. “My child is fragile as a baby, and kids need a lot of attention. As soon as I feel she is quite strong, I will resume my duties”…”Of course, I have a lot of responsibilities but I will give my child priority”.
Named after the First Lady’s sister, Maryam Jameh, many agree, is beginning to look more like her father, Alhaji Yayah A.J. Jammeh, the admirable young man who rules as Gambia’s President (First as a soldier, and now a civilian leader in a democracy)
The First Lady’s Project…
|Lady Zainab Jammeh....A lover of babies with her child, Baby Maryam Jammeh now 17 Years old|
One of the projects of Lady Zainab Jammeh is ‘Save a Baby’—which was germinated during her numerous visits to hospitals where the plight of premature babies moved her to action—and she is still raising funds to make a lot of difference.
The Moroccan Beauty of the Gambia
|Chief Dele Momodu gives Lady Zainab and Baby Maryam a copy of Ovation Magazine|
Leaving Morocco to settle in The Gambia was not a too difficult decision for the loveable woman. “Of course I was very happy, because we love each other very much. I was of course nervous because I was very close to my family. And the marriage will take me away from them, make me start anew…”
“They say love always wins”, she re-echoes—and that emotion that conquers all took the trophy. Moreover, settling down in The Gambia was easy because she’s an African—from two countries (Morocco and Guinea). Though she grew up and was educated in Morocco, she visited her father’s country (Guinea) often, so, she’s home. “I am coping well” she smiled about her new glamorous life with the love of her life who himself is in his 30s. “I am living a good life—my husband loves me, and people show affection to me”
What she learnt from being Mother of the Nation…
|Ovation Publisher, Chief Dele Momodu gave Lady Zainab a banquet|
Since their marriage, Lady Zainab has learnt some politics, but she considers the game very complicated. Admitting that she advices her husband on many issues, that they consult each other and confide in themselves, she does not, however, influence political decisions.
Her husband’s love for nature and animals has rubbed off on her. On her part, she started riding horses from the age of 11.
As young First Families, how are they coping? “We are adapting very well. But age does not matter, it is responsibility. And life is a school. The more you get engaged the more you learn. And we are trying to improve ourselves”
Her kind of man is….
|His Excellency, Sheikh Professor Alhaji (Dr.)Yayah Jameh with Lady Zainab greets Sierra Leonian Journalist, Isha Tejan Cole in Banjul|
Peace is one of her favorite words. And her idea of happiness is “to live in peace…in perfect harmony”.
So, if she could change the world, elimination of wars, takes the prime position. For her, a very strong personality with a high sense of responsibility is what she looks for in a man. And President Jammeh is abundantly blessed in these areas.
A lover of brave women, Lady Zainab confessed that the only thing she would like to change about herself is the way she cries easily. At the slightest opportunity, tears well up in her eyes.
|His Excellency, Sheikh Professor Alhaji (Dr.)Yayah Jameh|
Her best Holiday Spot & motto…
The head turner of a woman with no blemish or spot who have traveled far and wide loves the Caribbean Islands.
In friendship, sincerity is uppermost—and her motto? “If you plant, you really harvest”
After the interview, Baby Maryam in pink attire posed for some shots with her breath-taker of a mother.
Throughout, not a whimper or grunt escaped the lips of the little baby who conducted herself like a professional model.
|Late General Sani Abacha of Nigeria...He was a mentor and Big Brother to President Yayah Jammeh in his life time|
Story & Pictures culled from Ovation International Magazine