Caliph Sheriff Kebba Hydara – Brufut

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The late Sheriff Kebba Hydara was born in Kanikunda in Baddibu-Sanjal, where his father the late venerable Sheriff Nano Hydara stayed before moving to settle in the coastal town of Brufut in 1929 with young Kebba and other members of his family.

Sheriff Kebba Hydara grew to become a great scholar of his father, always demonstrating the unbending virtues of the old man which was hard work, reading and service to humanity.

In no time, he became the closest son to the dad, more so because his other brothers were often away.

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When the old Sheriff Nano Hydara died in 1960, it was unanimous that despite his relative younger age among few others older than him, Kebba Hydara should be proclaimed Caliph.

He stayed as Caliph for 54 years until his death in October 2014, after establishing a caliphate whose influence transcends borders and nations, making him a bastion of morality and one of the few human faces of a decadent world.

It was said that during his time, Sheriff Kebba never mediated conflict that remained unresolved. He prayed for the poor, the rich, the lame, the blind and even the outcast.

The late Sheriff Kebba Hydara did not believe in worldly wealth, sharing almost everything he had with those who needed it around him and beyond.

His annual Gamo held mostly in May is the most well attended in The Gambia.

When news of his death filtered through the nation, he was already buried apparently for fear of emotional disorder and overcrowding of funeral attendees.

“Even some people in the compound here did not know about it until when the coffin arrived,” said another of his sons, Sheikh Tijan Hydara, a former state minister.

“But by the time we laid him for prayers, the news spread so widely that the burial was jam-packed despite our initial efforts at concealing the bad news until later,” he added.