Tribute: Abdoulaye Saine & Baaba Sillah
May 22, 2020, 12:56 PM
I can’t believe Pa you’re gone
As I write your name, every verb turned to was
Over this the snow of death chill
Once was fun, now done the thrill
My bones are crying with tears of cracks & creek
Tired of the sun and its hide & seek.
Pa Nderry Mbai,
‘Hol la di yalla fey’
May your abode be ‘Firdaus’ in Jannah
For being miraculously
A national asset.
You were the YES to all NOs
The shelter to runaway Gambians
The newspaper to the voiceless
The truth and reparation commission
The commissioner of reconciliation
The image of investigative journalism
And the true defender of nationalism.
When I heard you died,
It sounds so divine;
It runs within my nervous system;
It blocks my auditory system on hearing it to prevent other incoming words;
It energizes me purposefully;
It’s the religion I want to belong to;
My heart fastens to my soul.
I feel ecstatic,
I got so much static,
Or maybe, it’s all this plastic fear of no more Freedom Newspaper
That’s making me feel elastic.
I’ll tell you a story
Of my Pa Nderry in all his glory,
Maybe some parts will be glory,
But for that, I am not sorry.
Pa was a freedom fighter
He was the news, the broadcast,
And the eye of Gambians in the Diaspora.
When I look at you
I see a fortress of dignity
I see the impeccability of God
I see the idyllically made saint
I see a congenial soul of journalism
I see the effect of beautification
I see the light you’ve put in humanity
I see the reason The Gambia is not Gambia
I feel a little bit not Gambian
You should not be buried in Zambia
When I look at your photographs,
I can’t take my eyes off your religious face
I can’t resist your godly smiles
I can’t seize to admire your bright teeth
I can’t get enough of your aroma
I can’t control my stammer.
When I look at you, Oh Pa Nderry!
I can’t blink, for you’re professionally eyeful
I can’t speak, for no words can describe you
I can’t feel my nerves, for your deeds are infectious
I can’t hear anything else, for it’s your voice I want to hear on Freedom Radio
It is your news I want to read on Freedom Newspaper,
And it is your presence I want to feel online.
Sobriety keeps me drunk
The illusion of life
Holds me abound
Life is a carcass of dreams
A theatre of illusion
Beneath the streets of my scream
Death as a reality lives in a world of dreams
Take a break from eternity
Forget about dexterity
Run wild within these fields
Let caution set itself loose
A stream of agony follows
Screams come in loud hollows
The ground slips beneath my feet
My wings dare to break
As my back bends in wake
But to roam I must
On this dammed Earth’s crust
Felling my toes itch
Falling to a ditch
Savior above reach
But to forgive
Self, not to heal;
Beloved Pa Nderry:
Heart, pure as snow
Your tainted soul
Dwells in a heart of gold
May Allah forgive you, I pray
I swear to God
I only wish you feel what I felt
If only you had,
You will knee where I knelt.
Loving you is melting me,
Daily I melt;
I only mean to do what I meant.
But if prophets can die, tell me,
Why not you, Pa?