Letter To My Brothers - By Alhagie Barrow
Dear Jaja, Lamin and Njagga,
It’s been three years bro. Life hasn’t been the same since that fateful day. I still struggle between speaking of you in the past tense until when the painful reality dawns. I cannot imagine how it must be like for your loved ones. I hope that wherever you may be, you’re smiling because the freedom you gave your lives for is here now.
Njagga, I wish you were still here traversing between Westfield and Lamin giving rides to those who lined the highway unable to get a ride home. I remember how you almost got in a fight because some guy pushed an older lady to the ground to push his way into your car! You went off on him and against my wishes, you gave him some money for his fare. I still remember how you arrived from the USA via Senegal into The Gambia with less than one hundred dollars because you chose to help our Senegalese cab driver fix his car! I remember how teasing you that you're slow and too kind. I still remember how you put your money in a plastic bag and put it in your pocket like some octogenarian! Oh and I still remember fussing at you for eating all my peanuts I had in my car you borrowed! I will do anything to fuss at you again Bai mu Ndow! If only we could have those moments bro. But until we meet again, your little brother you insisted must never be alone in Gambia misses you. People just don’t come as pure as you bro!
Lamin, Morro, as you call me, misses you man. You insisted all you wanted was for Jammeh to leave. You were not supposed to be part of the team that went to the state house but you chose to lead from the front. You knew the risks. You knew of the challenges especially since those you trusted betrayed you one by one. I miss you calling me right after iftar to talk for hours about any and everything. I still long for the plasas you promised to cook for me man. I’ve known you to be a man of your word and I hope when we meet again, you will still hook me up with that plasas. I remember you insisting that I must stay back and help out in the transition and as I come back home today, I wish I was able to come and visit you at your command to share in the new freedom. But I hope you’re looking down on us as we bask in the freedom you dreamt of. I miss you Sarro! It’s painful when the kids call me daddy and though I’m yet to meet any of them, I can only hope that I’m a quarter of the father figure you’ve been to them.
Jaja or Tom as we call each other, I hope you’re resting in peace my brother. I will be forever indebted to you for showing me around and helping me as I gathered information that will come in handy and saving my life. I remember how you went off on me the first time we met because I chose to throw you off on our meeting place and time. You scolded me and gave me a piece of your mind and you even wanted to quit because as you put it, I am full of shit. I explained my reasoning to you and respect was born between us that day. We rode together looking for high value targets within Yaya’s Circle and your knowledge of Gambia and who is who is amazing. How I wish I could be riding with you again Tom! Your no-nonsense attitude and uncompromising attitude kept me on my toes. You’re a soldiers soldier Tom.
M brothers, please note that I’m extremely proud and honored to know you and that I miss all of you dearly. It’s hard for me to talk to some of your loved ones because I cannot imagine what it must be like for them. There’s a certain element of guilt I will always carry for the rest of my life and it’s only recently that I’ve been able to start managing it. Your loved ones miss you and a grateful people pray for you to continue Rest In Peace. Musa Sarr broke down for the first time because he saw some of us without you. I could not console because I was too emotional and didn't want to lose it. Momodou Njie cried for you too. If only we could turn back the hands of time and be with you again. Until we meet again, I thank you all and love you dearly.
B