From Allah we are from, to Him we shall return. Nyaw Nying has gone into blissful eternal sleep. The Gambian music industry on 27th January 2015 lost a great musical talent in Nyaw Nying. Momodou Nying fondly revered as Nyaw is widely regarded as one the greatest and talented drummers in Gambia’s history. Son to a famous Wolof Griot drummer, Mam Samba Nying, Nyaw broke tradition by stepping into contemporary music. He became a formidable band member of the famous Ifang Bondi, one of Africa’s first bands to combine pop music with African roots. His two songs, “Taalibe” and “Sunyu Metit” are featured on Ifang Bondi album “Sanjo”. Nyaw served with distinction as he not only served as a drummer extraordinaire but also a percussionist and a great vocalist.
Nyaw was one of the founding members of the defunct Karantaba Jazz Band which was founded and managed by the legendary Bai Janha, one of the finest guitar players ever to come out of Africa. Bai and Nyaw were as close as his sister Sirra Bigay Nying, also a drummer, is married to Bai Janha. Nyaw is reported to have played a pivotal role in helping Karantaba band win a prestigious prize in an African festival organized by former President of Libya, Col Muamar Gadhafi. Following the defunct of Karantaba, Nyaw went on to join Jaliba Kuyateh, Gambia’s crowned king of Kora and became the Kumareh Band’s drum kit master until his untimely demise.
He extensively travelled around the world with Jaliba Kuyateh and the Kumareh Band performing at musical jamborees in France, the Netherlands, UK, USA, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Guinea Bissau, Senegal etc. He was a major force at the Kumareh Band recollects Lamin Jassey, Jaliba Kuyateh’s promoter in the UK. “The demise of Nyaw Nying is a great loss to the Kumareh band, the Gambia music industry and the fans of Jaliba music. The man was a very dedicated, discipline and hardworking member of the band. He is also a man of few words who does not even hurt a fly, much more his fellow human being. I can confess that He was very much admired by Jaliba for his outstanding skills and distinguished good character”, Jassey narrated.
Nyaw was happily married with two wives and survived by children. One of his sons, Samba Nying is said to be an excellent drum kit master just like his late father. Recently at a music festival in Venezuela, he captivated the hearts and minds of his audience with the way he played the drum kit at such a young age. Many believed it is all not lost with the demise of Nyaw as his son is set to keep the legacy of his father alive. The former Kumareh band drummer will be laid to rest today at 5.00pm Gambian time in New Jeshwang. May his soul rest in perfect peace.