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Beatrice Allen: A Gambian Woman of Distinction

Aug 5, 2009, 3:15 AM | Article By: Mathew K Jallow

They are positions well earned and her recognition well deserved. The shy little girl from Pignard Street has arrived, but her story is unique in so many ways, and her calling as the Gambia's international sports ambassador, mirrors the humane vibes dying to get out as a gift to the world. Just like the rest of us, she too faced challenges growing up, but she also overcame and now the whole world is her playground.
But, far beyond the challenges, is her uncommon beauty, poise, character and above all, her personification of elegance and grace. Beatrice Allen had the audacity to dream and think big, and the probity to incline and recalibrate her humane impulse to move far beyond some of the mere empty rhetoric inherent in empathy and hollow idealist platitudes. Like someone touched by an angel,
Ms. Allen's life is a shifting paradigm, in constant motion; drawn deep into the vortex of the human sensitivity of her Catholic upbringing, challenged by the imperial goodness of her heart, motivated by her benign human impulse for a legacy, driven by self-validating need to stand out, and above all, drawn to a calling to serve the world by magnifying the values that define us. With an elegant refine and rare gift of charm, she is set on a journey towards a new sunrise and Africa and The Gambia could not be prouder of their reverend native daughter.
The world has her as our gift, with her manifestation of qualities hard to replicate, the captivating eloquence of her character not to ignore, and an easy smile that radiates loudly on a proportionately chiseled face. With her enigma defined by her beauty and brains, she sucks one in by the power of her mythical demeanor.
If ever the women of the world needed an exemplary representation on this male dominated international platform, the unassuming, unpretentious and coy Ms. Allen, is the perfect prototype; a woman made for showcasing; one not to ever be judged just by her extraordinary beauty alone, but by the power of her brains and her accomplished and enviable public service record.
First, Beatrice Allen dedicated her life working for United Nations Development Program in The Gambia, where she served with distinction and uncommon dedication. Like other local UNDP employees, Beatrice quietly helped extenuate the chronic poverty that has become a fixture in the lives of our countrymen. And behind the imposing walls of this international agency, Beatrice Allen gave her all to mitigate the ruinous poverty that has degraded the pride of our people, which made Ms. Allen's work at the UNDP necessary, but now she faces new and far more exciting challenges in which she is poised to excel with characteristic imbuement and diligence.
 Ms. Allen is now in good company; in the league of extraordinary Gambian women who have carved out a niche for themselves; who if the story of The Gambia is written, have itched out a place on the preface, rather than as an appendix of our country's narrative; strong women like the venerable Fatoumata Tambajang, the indomitable Dr. Isatou Touray, the ingenuous Godwin Sonko, among a few others; women who have chosen to insulate themselves from the selfish world of politics and pursued causes greater than their self interests. Like all these ladies,
Ms. Allen's story needs to be told and celebrated too; for her legacy will forever be a part of The Gambia's storyline. As newly elected fourth vice-president of the African Olympic body; the first female member of the International Olympic Committee, the recently appointed Commissioner for Culture and Olympic Education; International Softball Federation Executive Council member, and President of the Gambian Softball Federation, Beatrice has her work cut out for her.
But, as she now helps to advance and move the global agenda towards the gradual fusion of traditions and apparently insidious homogenization of cultures, Beatrice Allen, will in a small way help shape at some level, the way humans interact with each other for generations to come.
For now, her journey continues, her role model exemplifies, her tasks plenty, her ability doubtless, her patently latent challenges enriching, and her place in Gambian, African and world history assured.
It has been a long journey getting here, and Beatrice Allen can take the liberty to look at her image in the mirror with pride for all she has achieved and hurdles yet to conquer and for the rest of us, we will just celebrate her remarkable and humbling achievement and raise a toast to a remarkable woman; Beatrice Allen.

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