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Gambians in UK mourn Babou Jaw

Mar 1, 2011, 12:23 PM | Article By: Alhagie Mbye, UK Correpondent

The Gambian community in the United Kingdom is currently mourning with deepest sadness the sudden demise of one of their countrymen called Babou Jaw. Late Mr. Jaw, in his 40s, was living in London for many years, and was very much known by many Gambians and non-Gambians alike.

Commonly known as Jaw Fara, the deceased had worked in the security industry in London, and was instrumental in organising programmes and serving as a personal emissary for his people and other Africans living in the city.

Mr Jaw was last seen around Woolwich in the London Borough of Greenwich, where he was working very hard. During that day, he suddenly started to crack jokes, as usual, and introduced this correspondent to some of his friends and colleagues, where we spent time talking.

But the call from the Metropolitan Police, highly commended for their diligence and quick response, in identifying Mr Jaw's body through his immediate contacts a bitter shock, and totally broke the hearts of many people.

As a person who was interested in current and international affairs, Mr Jaw always loved to speak with people from all walks of life, and always enjoyed debates and discussions.

Fondly called 'the gentle giant' by this correspondent, Mr Jaw was tall, physically-built and looked absolutely healthy. He was also friendly to many West African nationals in London and knew them either through his work or by association. The deceased was also welcoming to many Somalians and Middle Eastern people living in his area.

One of his friends, an Afghani businessman, where the deceased used to do his shopping in 2004, always called him ‘Ibrahim’; and regularly commended him for his 'easy-going' attitude.

In a message to this correspondent, Sulayman Bah, the President of the Gambia United Society (UK), said he knew the deceased in his area, and added that Mr Jaw was also a 'family friend'. Mr Bah added that since the news broke, his family was equally devastated.

Before coming to the UK, Mr Jaw worked for the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC) as revenue collector, and later moved to the Tipper Garage in Bakoteh as a sub-contractor where he was also well-known for his thoughtfulness.

A Londoner who knew the deceased very well told The Point: "Despite anything, he was a very nice guy; he loved life and had no quarrel with anyone... Also I never witnessed him having any ill-intention against anybody or trying to misrepresent anyone at any time... He was so nice."

Meanwhile, the Gambians in the UK are frantically joining hands together to see to it that the body of the deceased, who died from natural causes, be returned home as soon as possible.