Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

HAPPINESS AND FULFILLMENT

April 1, 2016
Author: Momodou Ndow

Author: Momodou Ndow

By Momodou Ndow

If you ask people about “happiness and fulfillment” and what it means to them, you will probably get a variety of answers. The general approach to happiness is that if you attain what you desire, you are happy; and if you don’t, you are unhappy. Win the lottery, get a great job, get married, go on a holiday, and you are happy. Miss the lottery, don’t get a great job, don’t get married, don’t go on a holiday, and you are miserable. Or is often considered as a subjective state of mind, as when one claims one is happy when one is at a beach enjoying a cool drink on a hot day, or is out “having fun” with friends.

Webster defined happiness as “the emotion evoked by success or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” But this may sound shallow to a reflective person because they know that this kind of happiness is fleeting. Here one minute and gone the next! When the “having fun” is over or we finally possess what we have been desiring, somehow the happiness soon fades, and before we know it we are back to our disgruntled self again, desiring something new to make us temporarily happy again. However, more often than not, happiness remains forever elusive for those with such shallow views.

But if you go beyond the surface, the understanding of “happiness and fulfillment” drastically changes. Plato argues that we must be moral in order to be truly happy, and that it hinges on the four cardinal virtues: Wisdom, Courage, Moderation, and Justice. Wisdom is based on mind. Plato believes that the wise person uses the mind to understand moral reality and then apply it to daily life. The wise person is guided by prudence in the choices they make. Courage has to do with how we handle adversity, but it also includes one’s convictions. As a matter of fact, Socrates, who was Plato’s mentor, chose to die rather than abandon his deepest convictions. Moderation (self-control) is connected to our desires. Human beings have endless desires, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it becomes problematic when we desire a good thing in the bad way, or a bad thing. Our desires for food, sex, alcohol and material possessions must not consume our lives in a way that compromises our character, but don’t tell that to some people, they may accuse you of being jealous. Justice relates to one’s overall character. For Plato, the just person has a healthy soul, in which reason rules the appetites and our desire for honor. The just person is fulfilled, at peace, and truly happy.

In my evolution, I’ve been inching closer and closer towards Plato’s view of “happiness and fulfillment”. Not there yet though because the gravitation is slow; the road is full of obstacles and other forces are pulling from different directions too. Growing up in a place where resources were limited (and still are), I was made to believe, for the most part, that material success is what defines and fulfills an individual. Your success is generally measured by the amount of material possessions you accumulate, regardless of your character, especially now. This idea of success has now led too many folks in my community to abandoned morality and dignity and plunged into the ocean of injustice and hypocrisy.

 

The “pretentious culture” in my opinion is a source of misery for too many folks. They will lie, cheat and steal just to impress others. It is simply hard to coexist with these types of people if you’re more interested in simplicity and gratitude. Pretension is a mask that allows you to be someone else, and many get consumed by it. Ultimately it can make you and those around you very unhappy. Our relationships with others, while vital to human existence, can often cause us a tremendous amount of anguish. On the same token, our relationships profoundly influence, if not define many aspects of our lives.

While there are “happiness and fulfillment” prescriptions from thinkers and religion, it should still be considered somewhat relative. What works for one may not work for another. But as I continue my journey in life, I find myself rebelling against this notion of material possession as the yard stick for happiness and success, and define my own state of happiness. My quest for “happiness and fulfillment” has led me down the part of seeking health (moral and physical), peace of mind, and sound wisdom.

In pursuing these goals, I’ve been able to make enormous strides in keeping my sanity, distance myself from unnecessary contention, and avoid the rat race. Moreover, I focus on nurturing who I am, rather than who I should be. I refuse to surrender to the unnatural demands of the class struggle, my lucidity is too important. My objective is to live simply, live well, and try to make a difference (no matter how little). Overall, I’m in a place of contentment and it keeps getting better. We should all learn to appreciate the simple things in life more, for they can bring you the most happiness

AN OBITUARY ON THE LATE MR BAMBA NJIE

September 12, 2015
PROF SULAYMAN NYANG

PROF SULAYMAN NYANG

By Professor Sulayman S. Nyang Howard University

Bamba Njie was born in the year 1928 and died on September 9, 2015. Born and raised in the city of Banjul, Bamba Njie belonged to a generation of Gambia who lived under British colonial rule. In order for us to offer our condolences and to remind his beloved darling Dianna and the surviving children who are now in mourning of a loving dad, it is necessary for us to review his life and times in The Gambia and the United States of America.

In writing this obituary several aspects of his life present them immediately. First of all, Bamba belong to that generation of Gambia who were old enough to remember the Second World War and had familiar stories and anecdotes about colonial rule in The Gambia. This special dimension of his life put him in the same generation of educated Gambians who travelled on the pathways towards modernization and Islamization in The Gambia and beyond. Since The Gambia was effectively colonized by 1900, the generation of Bamba Njie lived under British rule. Interestingly, he lived long enough to witness the transition from colonial rule and decolonization on February 18, 1965. It was his generation, who were old enough to rise up and cheer the Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure and the likes of Pa Edward Small, Reverend J.C. Faye, Pierre Sarr Njie, Ibrahima Garba Jahumpa, and Kairaba Jawara during those critical moments in our history.

Bamba Njie was a contemporary of decolonizing youth and his biography is full of narratives about Gambian youths and the lessons from the Seringe Dara or the missionary teacher impacting Western knowledge to young Gambians. When Florence Mahoney wrote her dissertation and several publications on government and opinions in The Gambia she spoke about social changes and transformation. The biography of Bamba, like those narratives about Banjul and the Gambia captured in the telling of our individual and collective stories, is part and parcel of Gambian history.

When Arnold Hughe, for example, wrote about the Gambian leaders, his narratives written in collaboration with Norman Perfect, described certain personalities. Many of these individuals were contemporaries who knew Kortor Bamba Njie. To contextualize Mr Njie and his life and times in The Gambia, we must go back to the observations of historical writers such as Andrew Roberts who spoke about the colonial moment in Africa. Focusing on the period 1900 to 1940, the forces and factors that combine to shape and affect African lives come to mind. Bamba was caught in the coexistence of Islam and Westernization. Born in a Wolof-speaking community, he went to Quranic school (locally called Dara) and acquires a command of the English, which enabled him to gain access to the job market in the country. In Quranic school he learned from the scholarship of Tamsir Demba Mbye, who worked effectively with Imam Muhammad Lamin Bah and other elders of the Mosque Committee in Banjul.

As one of the small but growing numbers of Gambians with primary and secondary education he got jobs with the trading companies such as the United Africa Company (UAC) and later served in another capacity with Gambia Oil Marketing Board (GOMB). It was in these capacities when his life intersected with people like the Sheriff Mustapha Dibba, who had also worked with the UAC before joining the emerging People’s Progressive Party (PPP) headed by former President Jawara in the year 1959.

After serving with the GOMB whose name changed to The Gambia Produce Marketing Board (GPMB) soon after independence, Mr Njie embarked on another journey to improve his life and circumstances in the U.S. These changes in his life were occasioned by the new ideas coming from the small but growing numbers of Gambians in the United States of America. The success story of Mr Ousman Sallah was beginning to ring a bell of welcome to Gambian ears. Sallah, who arrived in the country under the formative years of John F. Kennedy was a beneficiary of the assistance and generosity of Paul Paddock, a former American diplomat now better remembered by his book on China, Hungry Nations in the World, Ousman Sallah helped bring to the U.S. many family members and other Gambians. That demonstration effect from Sallah inspired me and several others who brought aspiring Africans. What the late Tom Mboya did for President Obama’s father and many others, Paul Paddock and Sallah did. Bamba too did similar things for his family and others. Prior to his decision to go to America before the end of the first decade of Gambian independence, Mr Njie had married the late Aji Ndeye Saine, who bore him the faithful and devoted Ba Sin Njie. This young lady known to many Gambians and others in America wears the uniform of her Islamic identity and tries to be the living human embodiment of her first name Basin (this is to say) the two alphabet in the al-Fatiha of the Quran.

When Mr Njie landed in the Washington area, he shared rooms with many Gambians living on 1724 17th. Street, NW, Washington D.C.  The first Gambians living in that apartment building were Cheyassin Secka, Babou Saho and Hassan Harding. Soon after Secka and Harding left the country and returned to The Gambia, the likes of Mr Njie shared quarters with Babou Saho, the three Sallah brothers (Tijan, Jabel and Mawdor), Bala Chune and several other young Gambians. During this period of residence at 17th, Street, many of the abled bodied Gambians offered their services to the contractors who were building what we now called the interstate highways linking the District of Columbia and the states of Virginia and Maryland. Whenever a comprehensive story of Senegambian immigrants in America is written the likes of Bamba Njie will be remembered in numerous capacities.

After working with many Gambians and other employees of the contracting companies in metropolitan Washington, Bamba relocated in Atlanta, forming a part of the new wave of Senegambian settlers in the hometown of Martin Luther King and Mayor Andrew Young. These were the new days for the African immigrants whose lives were destined to define and colour what most people now referred to as African immigrant Diaspora   in the land of former President Jimmy Carter. Not only do these Africans acknowledge this association with him, several other groups in Atlanta recognized and honoured him. While working with these partners in social mobilization and community building, he Bamba joined hands with the founding fathers and mothers of AGERA (Atlanta-Gambian Emergency Relief Association). Not only did he give time, money and energy to advise and guide younger and older Gambians, but also he exercised tact, experience and sagacity under sometimes trying and puzzling challenges. His passion for things Africa from his Gambian upbringing was evident in his cooperation with secular and religious organizations among the Gambians, Senegalese and other residents in Atlanta. Building on his past skills as a leader of men and women in the cooperative unions in The Gambia, the late Bamba joined those who served the Dariyyah (Sufi bodies) operating among the Muslims in Atlanta and beyond.

In reconstructing the life and times of Mr Bamba Njie, we must inform other Gambians and other human beings who knew him or did not know anything about, who he was and what were the contents of his character, as once formulated generally by the late Martin Luther King. Truth be told, Bamba was a gregarious person who knew how to make friend and influence people. Not only did he befriend Gambians and others, he worked his way to the management of the hotel industry in Atlanta. His relationship with the operators of the Hilton Hotel in Atlanta led to his secured and effective career as an employee of this Atlanta enterprise. Not only was he visible at his job, but he also served as a guide for the perplexed Gambians looking for employment. He was found willing and helpful. There are countless anecdotes to support these claims.

From Atlanta he once again relocated to New Orleans. This is the third chapter in his tales of three cities. This American Journey is filled with personal successes and tragedies. Like countless others, he and wife Diana suffered from the slings and arrows of Katrina when nature flooded the city and threw thousands to faraway places. Suffering from these blows, the family moved back to Atlanta. Fate and history in their mysterious ways kept him in his second American city until illness began to inch its way into his strength and powers. With its disabling powers, a stoke hit home and he learned to cope and survive. For several years, he limped and persevered with the support of wife and children. To the best of my knowledge, he left us with serious appreciation of his wife and children,

In concluding this obituary, a few points need to be left to fellow human beings about the man and his works: Kortor Bamba was our elder both in words and deeds; he was rich both in his command of our Senegambian traditions and cultures but also in his familiarity with modernizing ways as he educated his children in The Gambia and here in the United States of America; finally, it must be added here that Bamba Njie was one of the few Gambians who went through the ordeal of colonial rule without losing his pride and feelings of being useful and relevant wherever he was. Coming to America was a challenge, his wife and children will forever serve as his magnifying mirrors as well loud speakers reassuring world as to he was and what he accomplished in his lifetime.

Ameen.

THE IRRELIGIOUS AMONG GAMBIAN WOMEN

June 11, 2015
The Author: Alhagie Balla

The Author: Alhagie Balla

By Alhagie Balla

As the Ramadan is getting closer, I hope Muslims communities especially Gambian communities will use this opportunities to prayer and seek forgiveness from Allah for some of our ungodly things. I live in a community were women tend to spend so much money and time on ungodly things and materials than practicing Islamic principles.

How many Gambian women organize Islamic events? How many Gambia Women gives their wealth to the Mosque or even cook and take it to the mosque? I will say none and if there is any, them it’s one in a million.

But how many women organize baby showers, I will say a dozen. How many women organize naming and wedding programs, I will say 100s, and how many of those women wants to party till sun rise, I will say 1000s.

Now a days; our women fantasize about weddings are naming ceremonies programs just like the way guys fantasize about having a nice car or whatever guys are fantasizing about these days.

Unsurprisingly, that means when the “special day” finally arrives, women aren’t shy to spend their fortune on a cloths. According to our recent poll, 75 percent of respondents think Gambian Women spend too much on Naming Ceremony.

The naming ceremony of wedding dress is a huge contributor. On average, women spend $2,000 to $5,000 on this and that number isn’t even taking into account alterations, shoes, hair, makeup, renting halls, hiring DJs and other who travel to India, china and Dubai to get this cloths.

In our community the birth of a child is considered a blessing and ceremonies are held to celebrate this event. Besides being a natural expression of joy, it also serves a special purpose, that is, making it known in a suitable and dignified manner, that the father has accepted the child as his own and that there is no doubt or suspicion concerning this matter. It shuts the door to any mischief that could arise in the future.

We need more explanation about naming ceremony in Islamic way and a gathering of Women after a naming ceremony took place. Today we are face with a question. Did Islam allowed it. If yes how do we put it into practice and if no how can someone avoid it?

As far as we know, there is no particular ceremony in Islam where people gather to celebrate the naming of the new-born child.

What we know are the Sunnah acts related to the new-born, which are performing the ‘Aqeeqah for him/her, shaving his/her hair and giving him/her a name as explained in ‘Fatwaa’.

Therefore, if by the “naming ceremony” you mean inviting a group of people to gather on the day when you perform the ‘Aqeeqah on behalf of the new-born, then in principle all invitations are lawful unless there is an impediment to that lawfulness.

Now, if the person inviting the people does that with the intention of being grateful to Allah and feeding his/her relatives, then this is permissible, Allah willing, and he/she will be rewarded for it.

As for the gathering of ladies just for the sake of the naming ceremony itself, then it is more appropriate to avoid that in order to stay away from innovations and anything that could lead to them.

From above, I stand to believe that most of our weddings and naming ceremony events are unlawful and they are innovation and we should change it. This was part of it is hosting this events in a church or community halls and inviting people to party all night long. Some people have to call off for work because of your ungodly event. Some people have to struggle to buy outfit for your ungodly event and most important some have to be at work the next day but they can’t because of your ungodly event.

We all made mistakes including myself as mistakes are part of live. Less use the birth of a child as a blessing not to please our ungodly things. We should not put burden on each other. People’s earnings are different. If you have millions to spend you neighbour have just hundred to spend. There is nothing wrong spending money on oneself. Instead of calling for such ungodly events, why can’t you give the money to the Mosque or as a Zakat to the poor?

PA OMAR MASS HAS GONE TO JANNAH

March 31, 2015
THE LATE PA OMAR MASS

THE LATE PA OMAR MASS

INNA LILLAH WA INNA ILAIHI RAJ’UN

The death is announced of Pa Omar Mass stepfather and last remaining parent of Bamba Sering Mass-Kibaaro Managing Director-from his patrilineal side. Pa Omar Mass died early Monday morning and was laid to rest at Wellingara cemetery in Serre Kunda. He is survived by Sons, Daughters and so many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Kibaaro News and its management wish to send their condolences to Mr. Mass and his entire Family. May the departed soul rest in peace. Amen.

FGM SUMMIT HELD IN BIRMINGHAM

March 19, 2015
NO TO FGM

NO TO FGM

SARATA JABBI

SARATA JABBI

By Sarata Jabbi

Campaign for an end to a harmful traditional practice called Female Genital Mutilation/Circumcision, (FGM/C) is on increase on daily basis in the UK. According the world health organisation FGM/C comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

During the weekend the Muslim Women Network UK (MWNUK), in partnership with St Alban’s Academy, FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) UK, and the West Midlands Police organised a Summit on FGM at St Alban’s Academy, Highgate Birmingham. The aim of Summit was to bring together survivor communities and practitioners, to identify gaps in service provision, share knowledge, and establish Birmingham as a leading hub for modelling best practice by engaging schools, practitioners and parents in fight against FGM.

In her welcoming remark the Executive Director of the MWNUK, Faeeza Vaid, described the event as an important landmark event for Birmingham in highlighting FGM, and bringing together multiple agencies. Ms Vaid went on to say that only by working collaboratively will they be able to end FGM in a generation. Over 137,000 girls and women living in England and Wales have been affected by FGM and 130 million girls and women experienced some form of FGM globally, revealed Ms Vaid.

On the way that Birmingham can make a difference in tackling FGM, Shabana Mahmood, MP, Shadow Treasury minister and MP Ladywood Nechells called on all residents regardless of race or colour to work together in raising awareness on the effects of FGM, adding that men should equally join the struggle and become champions by making sure that the world become free of FGM.

Other speakers include Alison Byrne FGM specialist-Heartland hospital, Gillian Squires Child Protection Unit, West Midlands Police, Hazel Pulley and Vanessa Diakides, who all spoke at length on the safeguarding, health and law aspect of FGM as well as the importance of the raising awareness in schools, and communities across Birmingham.

Imam Ahmed Johari and Father Nicholas lo Polito both strongly argues that FGM is harmful to human body, and neither the Bible nor the Qur’an gives anyone the right to harm another person. The summit was attended by health professionals, police, teachers, survivors, students, faith leaders, and community groups.

MBA WUDAY JOBE IS NO MORE

March 19, 2015

LATE MBA WUDAY JOBE

LATE MBA WUDAY JOBE

INNA LILLAAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJ’UN

Kibaaro News management is deeply saddened in announcing the untimely dead of a mother, aunt and grandmother, Mba Wuday Jobe-which took place yesterday 18th March 2015 in Jarra Kani Kunda, Gambia. The late woman of substance who was anointed as an icon of peace and reconciliation in her community and beyond was laid to rest the same day at Kani Kunda Cemetery.

Mba Wuday Jobe was an adhesive web with strongly knitted her community cohesively together. Her passing away is not only an irreplaceable loss to her family but the whole of Jarra Kani Kunda. She is survived by sons, daughters and grandchildren.

This Sad news is extended to her sons Sarjo Wuday and Manding Saidykhan all in Portsmouth-UK, their brothers both in UK, Germany and around the world. May her gentle soul rest in peace.

A PASTOR WHO IMPREGNATED MORE THAN 20 WOMEN OF HIS CONGREGATION IS ARRESTED FOR SEXUAL ABUSE

March 5, 2015
PASTOR NGWU'S VICTIMS

PASTOR NGWU’S VICTIMS

An unscrupulous self-styled 53-year-old Nigerian pastor who impregnated more than 20 members of his congregation, including several married women and young girls, has been arrested for sexual abuse after claiming he was instructed by the Holy Spirit to have sex with them. DSP Ebere Amaraizu, a spokesman for the Enugu State Police Command told journalists that the general overseer of Vineyard Ministry of the Holy Trinity, Pastor Timothy Ngwu, was arrested for sexually abusing his female members.

“The pastor claims to be obeying prophetic/spiritual injunction to do the will of God, which is to impregnate anyone chosen and revealed by the Holy Spirit, irrespective of whether the woman is married or not,” said Amaraizu. “When the woman delivers the baby, both child and mother remain in the ministry for life,” he added.

According to police sources, Ngwu was reported to the police by his estranged wife, Veronica Ngwu, who got fed up with his promiscuous behaviour after he impregnated her young niece. A brother of the pastor, who did not want to be identified, told the bewildered press that he had been warning Ngwu and his family about his detestable behaviour for a long time but he refused to listen. The arrest, he said, was God’s wrath falling on his brother. “Let me tell you, God’s anger has befallen my brother. We have severally appealed to him to stop what he was doing but he refused. He has colonized our compound, bearing children with recklessness. He accused us of being jealous of him because he is doing the will of God,” the brother revealed desolately.

“Look at these buildings here,” he said pointing to the church compound, “Ngwu has converted all of them to himself in the name of vineyard. I can’t say exactly what informed his spirit to the devilish act in the name of God. He divorced his betrothed wife who has three children for him and embarked on impregnating married women and young girls. Look at the whole compound littered with children of different sex and ages,” he lamented further.

“How can an educated man of his status reason like an unrefined man? All members of the vineyard are fools, how can a woman abandon her husband for another man in the name of worshiping God and practice adultery? I cannot get myself involved in this matter; Vero has opened the vessel of worms in the vineyard. Let them sort themselves out with the police but I want the ministry to be shut down completely,” he added.

The unapologetic and disgraced Ngwu told journalist he has approximately five wives with 13 children along with concubines he acquired by the prophetic will of God. He said he never had sex with any of the married women unless their husbands agreed with the request of the Holy Spirit.

Calista Omeje and Assumpta Odo, two of the women who left their husbands to live with the pastor said they did so based on the pastor’s prophetic anointing. Calista, who has 10 children with her husband, said Ngwu had impregnated her but the baby died. She also revealed that she gave her daughter to him. Odo, a mother of eight, said Ngwu impregnated her and her daughter.

Courtesy of christianpost.com