Dec 18, 2013, 10:24 AM
Emmanuel Paul Borbor-Deen, a man with true love for helping others that struggled along a hard path himself and through his struggles sacrificed for his family to do higher education while he worked. Upon completion Borbor-Deen eventually went to college to educate himself for a wider assistance of others. He left his home country Sierra Leone during the war to The Gambia. With the influx of refugees from his country, he thought highly of empowering his countrymen willing to learn to secure their future. He set up the Institute of Professional Administration and Management (IPAM) and the institution quickly gained a professional name that has placed the institution among the five best of learning institutions in the country. Borbor-Deen has provided lots of scholarships to needy students of his institution and now thinks of extending it to President Jammeh's office to empower his men. Read on as Kanjia talks with him in detail, read on.
EIG: Could you tell me about your humble beginning please?
Borbor-Deen: I am a Sierra Leonean by nationality I attended St. Francis Primary in Bo and later attended Christ the King College (CKC) Bo from 1975 to 1979. Due to my brain and acumen I was made to start in Form Two doing four years in secondary school. When I completed my secondary education there, I worked with the Ministry of Public Works till 1997 then I went to College.
EIG: Could you have gone to college at an earlier time than this?
Borbor-Deen: I could have gone earlier to college but I had to educate my family until 1997 when I entered college. Just after college due to the war I left for The Gambia to put in practice what I learnt by opening a tertiary institution in The Gambia.
EIG: What do you call the tertiary institution you set up, and why did you set it up in The Gambia?
Borbor-Deen: It is called Institute of Professional Administration and Management (IPAM). It is found on Kombo Sillah Roadat Church Hills Town. I single handedly established it in The Gambia. Why you may want to ask? The motive was purposely for refugees who ran away from the trauma of war to educate themselves. It was established solely as an NGO to savage the situation of refugees who wanted to educate themselves. I find pleasure in helping mankind. Since its inception I have helped a lot of people, including Gambians and other nationals. I give scholarships to some government departments. I have somehow helped The Gambian government in my own little way by making sure that the president realises his Vision 2020. At IPAM we give quality education. I thank God today IPAM is among the best five academic institutions in The Gambia.
EIG: Do you have any concept about education?
Borbor-Deen: My concept about education is; one should learn something. Not only by going to college because when you are educated you can go to any part of the world, in this light I had to open the IPAM to let others see light.
EIG: People say you do not advertise, do you at all?
Borbor-Deen: Actually at the institute we don't advertise, it is the students that advertise for us because the administration is packed with qualified staff. I employ both Gambians and foreign nationals. Infact my IT coordinator is a Gambian called Mustapha Faal. I have gone through lots of huddles but thank God I have put it behind me now. I was able to do that because of the dedicated staff I have at the institute.
EIG: Are there any scholarship plans this time round?
Borbor-Deen: Yes! I have plans to extend scholarship to President Jammeh's office in my June session. I always consider myself a Gambian because since I came to the country I have been blessed with almost three children although the third one is yet to be born.
EIG: Is there any secret behind your success?
Borbor-Deen: Actually, I am coming from a very, very poor background. I didn't relent because I believe that once you are honest and hardworking you will make it in life. Back home when I was in college I slept on garri and cola nut. I was bitten by mosquitoes but today I thank God for making me what I am today.
EIG: How does it feel helping others freely?
Borbor-Deen: Eh! I always feel happy and infact it is a pleasure to me to help mankind. That's what my father of blessed memories used to say, "You should not be partial" because when he was bringing me up with other relatives he did not treat me as his son but treated us equally. I have lived on that principle by treating everybody equally and will live on that principle forever. I have helped people back home and they are doing what I am supposed to do today. When I finished school as I said earlier, I helped others by investing in human resources. I sponsored the education of other children back home, so helping people is a hobby to me. Even those in The Gambia who know me will attest knowing me. I am a man who is not carried away by any external factor I take things as they come, one day at a time as they say. When I am with my staff you will not know who the boss is.
EIG: Do you wish to give such help back home?
Borbor-Deen: Yes! I have plans for establishing an institution in the 2nd city Bo, my motherland. But before that is done, I want to affiliate it to FBC as I have done with other institutions like ICM, ABE, LCM and ACCA and IPAM. The setting up will take me some time but I am tenacious, it must happen. That is why I am taking my time. I want The Gambia to be the parent home. I also have plans of opening a Commercial Secondary School like that of Bo Commercial in Bo. I hope a lot of people will benefit from that.
EIG: Do you see yourself as a man who takes challenges and accomplish them successfully?
Borbor-Deen: Of course! As I was going to school, I was faced with lots of challenges but I faced them squarely. You know man will not stop facing challenges until he goes to his grave.
EIG: Have you ever succeeded in some of your challenges?
Borbor-Deen: Yes of course! Tremendously so! I am proud of my achievements. God has never let me down in my achievements. God has never let me down in my undertakings; I will always praise and thank him as I aspire to do more in life for others.
EIG: Have any regrets in your endeavours?
Borbor-Deen: No! I have never regretted no, not once!
EIG: Would you accept bigger responsibilities?
Borbor-Deen: Yes I will! One thing I admire president Jammeh for is that he is steadfast. His appointments of Secretaries of State are good. Look at Fatim Badjie, she is young and doing quite well. If my country should appoint me like that I would be able to handle the position effectively well. I have handled responsibilities that far out weigh ministerial jobs.
EIG: Do you have advice for the young generation?
Borbor-Deen: I will advise the young generation to copy our footstep especially when the world is running at a fast pace in terms of technology. Students and workers who want tertiary qualification should come to the IPAM and ask for the principal. To students, they should hold on to
They are pursuing, they will surely benefit tomorrow. We have trained a lot and a lot have come back to say thank you, they are holding good positions in the country.
EIG: Any word to you professional staff?
Borbor-Deen: Actually I am not advertising my staff but people outside know that IPAM has a very good staff. I will advice they continue their good work, especially the principal, Mr. Mohamed Forna, who is a graduate from the Fourah Bay College (FBC). The Human Resource Development Department headed by Mr. Sulay Davies, alias .Com including a host others who are highly qualified from different universities. I want to thank them all for their selfless service to the institution.
EIG: Anything else you think we did not mention that you think it is of importance to our discussion?
Borbor-Deen: Yes. It is only to ask every one to come to IPAM to empower themselves to stand a chance to get a good promotion at work. We have evening to night tutorial and you study at your own pace but quite effective.
EIG: I thank you for your time sir!
Borbor-Deen: You are welcome but I must thank you too. Bye then.