Encomium on Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara


Sir Dawda Kairaba Kairaba Jawara, first and former president of The Gambia

When people of virtues who have been loved for playing their part depart from the face of this earth many cry for the loss, eulogise for admiration, celebrate or build their bronze statues to immortalise them.

Gambia’s former President Alhagie Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara now joined the ranks of the departed virtuous ones that we can never forget.

A true democrat and a strong disciple of democracy and human rights has left and no more in our midst.

The man, husband, father, grandfather, and the leader, Kairaba will be missed with everything, including his entrancing and living smile of a humanist but his beautiful and eternal footprints on the political sandy bank of the Gambia and beyond shall never be effaced.

The genuine peace maker who mediated between the former President Leopard Sedat Senghore of Senegal and former President Ahmed Saikou Toure of Guinea to make peace was so relentless in peace building around the world.

Jawara also led the mediation between Iran and Iraq in the Middle East and facilitated a peace talk between Cote d’Ivoire and Angola.

As a promoter of political pluralism, he built a multiparty democracy with tolerance for his political adversaries.

The man who made us proud to raise our heads high as citizens of the capital of human right by making The Gambia the host of the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and proposing the establishment of the Commission at the OAU summit in Kampala, Uganda in 1975.

He refused to be a slayer by willingly walking the path of a constructor and made democracy his watchword of governance.

A leader who wore his democratic heart on his sleeve to champion a worthy cause for posterity

The nation honours you with state funeral, interment at the Parliament premises, lowering of national flag at half-mast, a week of national mourning, opening of book of condolence and the beautiful of all eulogies.

Remarks by the president, friends, family, many dignitaries, and the comments on the social media, the echoing of your inspiring words and recollection of your good deeds through the microphones of radios, screens of televisions and the pages of the newspaper are all in memory of Kairaba.

Your demise caused the nation a deep feeling of loss as if you were cut off in the prime of your life.

The catastrophes of the 22 years dictatorship that replaced your constructive period in office has increased our knowledge of authoritarianism being a nonstarter.

We pray to God to shower his family with his guidance, protection and ability to endure the loss of the great elder who refused to live by only eating, drinking and to grow old and dies but rather dedicated his service to the nation he loved dearly.

Adieu Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, the man filled with the joy of serving humanity who lived and died as a symbol of democracy for The Gambia and beyond.

May your gentle soul rest in perfect peace!


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