By Yunus S Saliu
The book titled – A Legend Seyfo Mama Tamba Jammeh was unveiled on Saturday, 28th January 2023 in Illiassa, North Bank Region (NBR), the book narrates the history of the legend Chief Mama Tamba Jammeh’s lifetime, his district, and life achievements before and after his enthronement as Paramount Chief of Illiassa.
This new book co-authored by Ambassador Alieu Kebba Tamba Jammeh, ORG, and Hassoum Ceesay, ORG discusses Seyfo Mama Tamba Jammeh (CH, MBE, OBE) Paramount Chief of Illiassa who was born in 1880 and served as chief of Illiassa District in North Bank Region (NBR) for about 30 years before his death in 1987.
A Legend Seyfo Mama Tamba Jammeh’s book is another pace set for historians, politicians, literary critics, and young generations among others interested in understanding the history of The Gambia.
The book as can be found in Timbooktoo and other bookshops across the country is a ten chapter-book among the chapters are Baddibu: An Old Gambian Polity; Gambian Chiefdoms: An Overview; Mama Tamba: Icon of Traditional Leadership; Mama Tamba and the Famous 1935 Commission of Inquiry; Annual Chiefs Conference (Mansabengo).
Other chapters include Mama Tamba: A Scion Among His Peers; Mama Tamba: A Trailblazer in Nationalist Politics (1947-1960); Mama Tamba as Seen By The British; Mama Tamba, Chieftaincy and Relevance to Current Discourse and Mama Tamba In Blissful Retirement: A Reminiscence.
Commenting on the book and its launching, Ambassador Alieu Kebba Tamba Jammeh, ORG, said the book was launched in Illiassa where Mama Tamba Jammeh came from “the same place he did everything during his lifetime. And the launching was well attended by different people starting from the level of the presidency, people from the Greater Banjul Area, Banjul City, and other regions.”
The Co-author disclosed his relationship with Seyfo Mama Tamba Jammeh, saying Mama Tamba was his grandfather he lived for over 100 years, and during his lifetime, he spent about 30 years or so and served as chief of Illiassa District in North Bank Region (NBR).
Seyfo Mama Tamba, Ambassador Jammeh explained, was highly celebrated for many reasons because he was one of the greatest traditional rulers of modern The Gambia and has embodied tradition, modernity, sagacity, and innovation.
“At a time when only European colonial officials were capable of owning and driving cars, Mama Tamba owned lorries and cars which plied the roads and causeways he built in his area; when Europeans thought Africans were incapable of increasing the yields of their crops, he boosted rice production in his district making it the first Gambian region to be self-sufficient in food,” he explained further.
The written and unveiled of the book, according to the Co-author, was prompted by many admirers that always talk about him since he died in 1987 “but unfortunately nothing has been documented on him during this period that has contributed to his legacy, because of this importance we committed ourselves, myself and colleague, Hassoum Ceesay, a renowned historian who has a huge interest in Mama Tamba and has done some tangible works on him over the years took up the research to publish the history and legacy of Seyfo Mama Tamba Jammeh.”
Hassoum Ceesay, ORG, a Co-author of the book disclosed that the book is to use the story of Mama Tamba Jammeh his illustrious career to send a message to “Gambians about a man that has answers to all challenges we are facing today. He was a master farmer who produced enough food to feed his district. He was authoritative who has authority and believed in his authority and embraced modality. And was the first Gambian to own a car, he had sent his children to western education to achieve and became a very important personality in the country.”