As the academic fraternity mourns the death of one of the leading intellectuals of our contemporary era, I hereby join hundreds, indeed thousands of sympathisers to pay tribute to Dr Alieu Badara Saja Taal who has answered to the call of God.
He has done his part as a good son of the soil. Here is a man who has played his role in the advancement of knowledge across the frontiers of the continent. He was indeed a true son of Africa and humanity as a whole. He is admired by many particularly his disciples. One thing I personally admired most about him is that when he speaks you are impacted with knowledge and wisdom
Dr Taal was such a generous man, open to all his disciples and has worked tenaciously to instill hard work, commitment and determination in his students and equally to be excellent thinkers and rational beings, for man is created as a rational being.
I was fortunate enough to do my first political science course with Dr Taal when I was enrolled at the University of The Gambia in August 2010. It was ‘political philosophy in theory and practice’ where I was introduced to great political philosophers of ancient Greek society such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, later to middle age philosophers like Machiavelli and others then to the enlightenment philosophers like Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel and others.
He has inspired many to study political science at the UoTG. It was part of Taal’s teachings to inculcate the idea of morality in the minds of his students. He helped to introduce his students to standard in academia. I would not hesitate to voice this out – Dr Taal thought me proper referencing when I submitted my first assignment that he gave us in political philosophy. Then, nobody was there to guide me through in standard referencing. He told me “Young man, this is not the way to do standard referencing,” and then he helped me out. This is what a good tutor will do for his disciples.
He was indeed such an indefatigable son of the soil; a man who sacrificed for his country, his continent and humanity at large. Dr Taal was a man of dignity, respect and above all, down to earth. His death is not only a great lost to the Taal family or Gambia as a nation but humanity as a whole, academia in particular. As commented by one of his disciples, Samba Bah, a graduate assistant at the UoTG, “A whole library is gone” Yes he is gone but his teachings and ethos shall continue to linger in the minds of many. Rest in peace Prof Taal.