#Article (Archive)

The color black (A tribute to Late Lamin A Darboe)

Jul 21, 2011, 12:40 PM | Article By: Isatou Dumbuya

The news came in when I had already crossed my legs under me, a pop-corn in hand ready to see a comedy movie. It was dark outside and a little bit chilly indoors. It reminded me of the color black. I propped up a pillow behind me to feel more comfortable, remote control in my left hand, I switched on the TV. I forced myself to tune to GRTS for a minute before whisking myself to the comedy world.

The news came in. Then I heard and saw at the same time over the news, a four-wheel Land cruiser-plunge-into the sea-a ferry- Lamin A Darboe - a sports journalist. A bell rang in my head –then I saw a face, late Lamin Darboe’s face. I stared at the TV openmouthed with a pop-corn in hand-in mid-air. The light in my world went off and for a moment I forgot to breath.

“I did know this man.” I said out aloud, particularly to no one. I tried to remember where I met him, where I saw him before. Then it dawned on me that it was at the Sports Journalist Association’s Congress last October!  I exclaimed. Standing and seeing to it that everybody was eating and bottle of soda in hand, I saw a square-faced, dark-skinned man with thick eyebrows, an African-sized nose and a deep-set eyes walk up to me. He wasn’t a petit man and also wasn’t a big man. He was all smiles when he finally said hello. He had just won the position of the Treasurer in the Congress. At that moment you could call him ‘The man.’ He became one of the many faceless people who have said hello to me in the past. Then the news came over the TV that the late Darboe, like any other person went to celebrate Tobaski with his beloveds, was on his way to Banjul to attend an international football match. That Darboe was a qualified teacher from the Gambia College, where he did his Primary Teachers Certificate (PTC) course and the same time was a Sports Journalist.

And all I could do was sit there and let tears stream down my cheeks for a faceless friend I have shared a minute with. Tears started blurring my vision and one by one my family came to join me to see the news, only to see the dried-eye and all –happy- girl frozen. And I sunk in the sofa, repeatedly saying out loud in between sobs to my bewildered family who were concerned about my sudden outburst of tears that, “I did know this man.”