With Alagie Manneh
Who is Rohey Lowe?
I came from a large family with half sisters and brothers. I am the second child of my mum, born and raised in Banjul. My parents are Isatou Sillah and the late Alagie Malick Lowe, Rest In Peace. I will take this opportunity to remember my dearest Aunt Aji Yagou Wadda (RIP) who was the first wife of my dad and a woman of substance. She, in one way or the other contributed a lot in my life and I will live to remember her forever.
I was schooled at Saint Joseph High School and immediately after graduating, I worked as a receptionist at the African Village Hotel and then at Novotel; now Kombo Beach as a food and beverage controller. I later travelled abroad and came back to start a business enterprise called ‘Wakerr Rohey’. The company was born 18 years ago and is today one of the biggest enterprises in the Gambia that supplies goods to hotels in The Gambia. Five years ago, I joined my former husband in Sweden where I did my college education at the Nykoping Campus and then I proceeded to Falun University (Dalarna) in Sweden, where I studied international relations. While in Sweden I was elected in the Council as a member of child care committee. I am the mother of the poor, and I enjoy helping people who are in need.
What is your background in politics?
I started developing interest in politics at a very early age. My late father Alhagie Malick Lowe was a politician and one time the lord Mayor of Banjul. The welfare and development of individuals and the community were always my concern and I always believe that I can make changes. I therefore decided to join the UDP when it was formed in 1996. I never learned politics from my father because my political experiences all came through my political involvements and debates that I participated with UDP of the Gambia and the Social Democratic of Sweden where I served in a child care committee, a position that I earned through election from party members. I also like to interact with other camps to learn more from their ideas. When it comes to politics, I am very stubborn and a patient person. I don’t give up easily and I always like to push all the way through. The only thing that I don’t want in politics is the insults especially when it has to involve our parents. I call it ‘cheap politics’ and ‘greed for power’. I will never be part of it neither will I allow anyone to drag me to it. For me insults in politics are waste of time. I am not saying that one should not dig the dirt on a politician but let’s take our parents totally out of it.
Are you talking to any political party to sponsor you?
I have applied for a ticket on the UDP; notwithstanding I am working with Team Rohey Lowe which is not a political party but a Team with seasoned politicians from different camps under the leadership of our campaign manager Macomba Sanneh. The team is unique as it is one of its kind where we learn to share different political ideologies and the way forward.
Why do you want to run for office?
Interesting question! As a citizen of Banjul like any other concern Banjulian, it is my democratic right to go all out to rescue the city from the emergency room or if you want from the state of emergency. I am confident that as an energetic woman with external contacts and a political experience, I can deliver by making a big change in Banjul to meet most of the expectations of my fellow Banjulians. I believe that the infrastructure and the welfare of the Banjulians especially the youths and women should be an utmost concern.
You recently dispelled rumors saying that you are not qualified. Who is spreading this rumour and why do you think they do that?
This issue has already been addressed by the Team Rohey Lowe through our able campaign manager per our press release of December 6. I will refer you back to the release which was published by different media outlets including The Standard newspaper.
Do you think you can deliver in the job because Banjul is the capital and very crucial to The Gambia?
As already mentioned, with the kind of policies and plans
we have in place, we can surely rescue Banjul from the emergency room to a modern city in terms of infrastructure, sports, health, education etc. That said, there are also plans to create an environment to upgrade the welfare of the women and youth of Banjul, those plans I don’t want to reveal here yet.
I understand you are the only female candidate. Are you worried going against men in a male-dominated field?
There are challenges but I was morally and physically prepared to deal with them, especially knowing that it is the first time in the history of The Gambia that a woman is vying for the seat. Worried? No. I’m even proud despite all the challenges in the field. Let me tell you a secret, I am the leader but I can freely tell you that there are many iron ladies and gentlemen that are fully behind me and to add on that, we the women of Banjul this time around want to change the history books from mayor to mayoress. This will mean a lot for Banjul looking at it with different lenses in and outside the box. Therefore I am prouder to be part of those Banjulians that will rewrite history.
What is your vision for Banjul women?
I have mentioned it already without being precise. This is politics. My slogan is women and youth empowerment and it does not come in a vacuum. I have been there for the youths and women long before I even thought of vying for the position.
Any message to the Banjul community?
The same message that I always advocate on our political rallies, let Banjulians accept each and every candidate. Banjul is crying and the council needs every butut that is coming into the coffers. Therefore it should be our collective responsibility to save her. To achieve this in my view is to know your candidate before voting. This culture of the “cow eats where it is tied,” should be history. Our collective interest in my view is to save Banjul for our children and their children.
How will Mayoress Lowe celebrate?
This has to be a collective decision. Let’s wait and see what their decision will be.