By Tijan Masanneh Ceesay
Today, May 16 is founding president Sir Dawda Jawara’s birthday. He would have been 98. The former president died on August 27 2019.
He was born in Barajali in the then McCarthy Island Division and became the country’s first Prime Minister on February 18th, 1965.
In 1970, he became the country’s first president and famous for his ferment belief in democracy and respect for human rights. On the eve of The Gambia’s independence, Sir Dawda famously told his compatriots not to expect honey and milk but made it clear that there were challenges ahead. He however stressed one thing: “Even as a small country, Gambia can demonstrate to the rest of the world how a group of people with different ethnic origins and backgrounds can live together in peace and harmony,” and indeed this was the hallmark of his leadership. Rest in peace Sir.