Tribute to a Friend – Momodou Ceesay

Sep 15, 2020, 12:33 PM

I join the family, relatives and friends in The Gambia and abroad to mourn the death of Mr. Momodou Ceesay. I have known Momodou Ceesay (I call him Big Mo) for many years. I know we all miss him and I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about how we are going to remember him now that he is gone. I first met Big Mo in the early 80s when we came back home as young graduates in different fields and from different countries. We automatically built up a very good relationship in Banjul which grew stronger during our post-graduate studies in Scotland at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Big Mo was big, strong and gentle in manners. During our youthful student days, he would protect us from Glasgow hooligans in the streets and at night clubs with his towering structure. The late Kaliba Senghore (R.I.P.) would have testified to that.

He was a lover of jazz music which reflects the calm and coolness of his steady mind. I always remember him when I hear the music of George Benson, Bob James, Groover Washington, and the like.

He was a hero to many people, including myself. He was a warm, welcoming and kind person with a positive outlook on life and a fundamental faith in humanity. He could always  put you at ease with his stories. Some I have heard several times but never got tired of hearing them. He liked intellectual discussions and admired people who are versatile and can contribute positively to such discussions, irrespective of their field of study. No wonder he was a mentor to many as previously stated by Momodou Sabally.

Coming back home, the ambitious economist and banker had a passion for livestock rearing. After several consultations, he went ahead to set up a commercial livestock farm at Sukuta and engaged me as his consulting livestock specialist. Together we established MACE Farm, rearing cattle and small ruminants and employed many young Gambians. The farm is well known for sheep fattening and sale of Tobaski Rams in the past years. The farm still continues to provide a steady supply of milk to its clients and poultry meat to a fairly large group of consumers. Therefore, one can conclude that his contribution to the socio-economic development of this country is enormous.

Humility and modesty are words with which to describe Bi Mo. Discipline is his favourite word and practice. He would not hesitate to intervene whenever and wherever indiscipline is displayed in his presence. He would fight for justice whenever given the chance to do so. After the demise of one of the Central Bank Governors, many thought that he was the right person to fill that post considering his vast experience and professionalism. He was blatantly denied the position after serving for many years as Director of Research at the Bank. But Big Mo was never bitter; he held no grudges and continued life as usual.

He maintained a neat and close tie with friends like Banta, Rone, Demba, Njie and myself. He was generous, caring and loved his family, friends and all the people around him. I can recall, a day or two before Tobaski, I would accompany him go round distributing sacrificial rams to family, friends and relatives in the Greater Banjul area. A duty he enthusiastically performed with love and joy.

Goodbye my dear friend. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

By Dr. D.S. Fofana

A Dear Friend