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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Broadcaster Ismaila Manneh passes away


Hundreds defied torrential rains to pay their last respects to the man whose familiar voice told the news in Mandinka from 1979 until illness stopped him from doing the job he loved a few years ago.

Manneh was among the local announcers and producers at Radio Gambia whose general versatility saw them produce  programmes on agriculture, health, education and entertainment among others. Ismaila’s stylish delivery of the news ever signed out with his famous signature note, Alaman tankalla kata ning kato- laa, (God protect us from trouble and troublemakers) made him stand out.

Among the crowd to pay respects were staff of the GRTS led by director general Lamin Manga and former colleagues Musa Manneh, Alieu Jobe, Momodou Joof, Abdoulie Gassama and Malick Jones among others.

In his native Brufut where he was known as Ismaila-ndingo, Little Ismalia (because of his petit stature), he was an inspiration to young ones through his modesty and wisdom. 

Lamin Cham, Standard Sports editor, who also lives in Brufut said of the late Manneh: “He was the most gentle man I have ever known. He considered me as a younger brother of whom he was very proud.” 

Nfally Fadera, a young broadcaster at Star FM said Ismaila Manneh was an inspiration to him. “His demise is a great loss to the entire country. He was versatile, announcing in many languages with equal flair. He would break down complex issues for the understanding of his audience,” Fadera said

Ismailia Manneh was also known in religious circles having produced and presented religious programmes and so Imam Aboulie Fatty of State House Mosque was among the notable Muslim clerics present at the burial while social commentator Ebrima Bah of Mamakoto and former alkalo of Bakau, Luntang Jaiteh both paid glowing tributes to Manneh.

Before the last prayers were administered for him, speaker after speaker paid tribute to his long career in the public service which touched the lives of thousands of people in whose minds his name would remain forever. He is survived by two wives and children.


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