By Muhammed Sidibeh
alias The Magnetic Poet
Neither I write this article to be fame or gain some sort of cheap popularity, nor am I here to create a fiction or delusion just to achieve what I want. But rather I am exactly here to narrate what repeatedly happened to me for three consecutive times. I mean the gospel truth.
I could recall vividly that on all the three occasions, it was Friday evening I arrived at his vicinity. A low-keyed welcoming was done as I was continuously being asked intelligently as to why and how I was given the green light.
When I arrived at his well-to-do compound and proceeded to the sitting room accompanied by his men and women, I actually found no one for the first five minutes upon my arrival there. Those warmly faces engaged me in conversation that I equally enjoyed. As the clock ticked the fifth minute according to my watch waiting, I saw this handsome face with sedateness and humbleness, walking towards us and greeted Islamically “Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatulahi Wabarakatuhu” and I equally replied accordingly “Wa Alaikum Salam Waramatulahi” with pride. He was dressed in his “hafftan” i.e. robe gently. The voice was golden and melodious and he said this to me: “Hello Mr Muhammed Sidibeh! Welcome to Faal Kunda. Well, I’ve being informed by some of my close associates that you’re part of those I’m endeared to. This information of yours kept coming as I tried to find out why. But I later realised by myself that this young man has good intention. In fact, I learnt that you dedicated a poem to myself which I listened to yesterday. Brilliant job! But could you tell me more about yourself, if you don’t mind?”
Gladly, I replied: “Sure. But first and foremost, let me thank you Mr Faal endlessly for granting me the approval of meeting you in your own home. In fact, as I speak to you now, all my intestines are even happy. Again, thank you so much for reading about me and of course, my poem dedicated to you being listened in. Mmm… to answer your question: My name is Muhammed Sidibeh originally from Keneba Kantora, second to the last village and simultaneously the last district to the Eastern part of the country, the Gambia. I attended my Lower Basic School at Sotuma Kantora and proceeded to Fatoto where I did both my Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School level in the year 2005-2015. In 2016, I was admitted to The Gambia College to be trained as a qualified teacher on a programme dubbed ‘Advanced Diploma Secondary in Education’. “Alhamdullilah” i.e. “All praise is for Allah/God.” I completed the Programme in October 2019. For now though, I’m a teacher at Nasir Junior and Senior Secondary School in Basse. Equally, I’m a writer and a poet.” After my background information, he also took me through his personal and educational life at the time as he journeyed through different hurdles in his career and as well as his personal lifestyle. What was really striking here is that, he verbally told me he completed his primary, secondary and tertiary education without using any of the social media handles. This for me was special and unique.
So, as his deliberation on his educational journey got to conclusion, he told me: “Well, as a poet and a writer, remember, you need to create your own world. There are others who would hate you because of what you say or write against even though they know it’s the truth. Just be consistent and give deaf ears to those category of people. Thank you,” he concluded.
We later walked out of the sitting room and positioned ourselves at an open place of his compound as he seemingly tried to see me off. I pleaded with passion: “If you don’t mind, could we take some pictures, Sir?” He greeted that question with a smile and certainty. “Yes, no problem…” Pictures rained and scattered as if I won an Oscar Prize. After all this, they bade me with a befitting farewell.
As my mind kept saying this godly language “Alhamdullilah” severally, happiness could be felt everywhere on my skin and in my skin.
I later boarded a vehicle to my recent residence, Basse, anticipating and broadly optimistic to narrate my non-fictional story to family, friends and loved ones. Sadly, I got a tap on my back by one of my bedfellows: “Sidibeh! Sidibeh! Wake up! It’s time to go to school. Remember, you’re invigilating today.” I was fumed with my bedfellow and of course myself. Hit the cushion with my fist for seven times. Endless teasing. “Bullshit… nonsense!” I further asked myself, “Why can’t this be real? Three consecutive Fridays of similar dreams? Ohhh! I wish this become realistic one day.”
At this juncture about my non-fictional dream Mr Faal, it is important to note that, the dream is a perfect reflection of how I feel about you internally and externally. Therefore, I would be the happiest person in my own world if you could at least give me ten to fifteen minutes of your busy schedules to meet you in my own flesh.
Once again, it would be gravely misinterpreted by anyone that I am beginning to feel the pinch, and this is why I want to visit Mr Faal in person. But rather for that dream so endeared to me to be partially if not completely proved realistic one fine day. Calmly waiting on any opportunity to be grasped as far as meeting with you is concerned. Good luck to myself…