By Sana Sarr

This video of “Yayi Ministerre”, a famous “promoter”, known for advertising various products on television, has been making the rounds on social media. The woman has advertised everything – butter, mayonnaise, mobile phone companies – she has done it all. She’s even advertised competing brands of the same commodity. As a result, those familiar with her were not really surprised that she would treat our naive head of state as a commodity to gain favors. You can’t knock her for her hustle. What i found revealing, comical and tragic, all at the same time, was that the glaring ridiculousness was obvious to almost everyone who has heard it, except the one and only target of the “419” scam. First suggested by the look of appreciation on his face, and later confirmed by his response, we see that President Adama Barrow aka Prophet Moses aka Prophet Adama aka “The Chosen One”, gobbled it all up – hook, line and sinker. Rather than get angry at him, I felt sorry for him for his inability to catch the following clues in the video.


  1. None of the people in the background could even bear to look directly at the two having a conversation. They’re all aware of what’s going on, but could not do much to stop it, so they sat there and tried to pretend that it was some fairytale taking place in a fictional time and place they weren’t a part of.


  1. Notice guy in white, behind Yayi Ministerre. Dude is trying so hard to maintain a straight face, but you can tell he’s dying with laughter. Already suffocated by the smell of BS, he’s thinking “Merr bii mor Muna mewe!”


  1. The man in black is so embarrassed that he covers his face with his hand… or was he trying to shield his face from getting hit with all the bullsh*t flying around?


  1. The ladies sitting the at back are giggling and having a funny conversation as they listen, probably saying, “Maybe we should tell him he’s fit enough to play for Arsenal and he’ll buy it.”


  1. The only time anyone in the picture showed approval was when “the chosen one” stated that Gambia will never have another dictator. Dr. Isatou Touray finally had an opportunity to reveal what was going on in her head the entire time. She nodded so hard that Isatou Njie Saidy would have been jealous of her had that been Yaya Jammeh speaking. “You can buy into this nonsense all you want but you best not believe we’ll sit by and watch you become a dictator. I’ll be the first one to strangle you with my head tie!” – is what Dr. Touray’s nods said!


  1. This one is not so obvious from the images in the video but it should not be lost to anyone familiar with our culture and the relationship between praise-singers and the ones they praise. It’s quite common for leaders to be praised, but the praise-singers take the time to learn about them and speak highly of their parents and their lineage. They speak of how you come from a long line of praiseworthy people. The fact that Yayi Ministerre chose to fabricate praises based only on the names of the COLLEAGUES of “The Chosen One”, rather than his FAMILY, says a lot. It can be seen as a suggestion that she could not be bothered to take the time to go learn about his family, or that she did her research and concluded that his family are not worthy of her praise. Either proposition would have been demeaning to most in the culture, if only they realized it.


  1. Also lost in the video is the fact that at the time it was recorded, the nation’s doctors were still on a sit-down strike. Since he took office over a year ago, our president has not had time to visit any schools or hospitals, but he has had time to take a stroll to the market to shop for some catfish, and time to sit down to be serenaded in fabrications of blasphemous proportions.

The Takeaway

It’s obvious that the man is naive and gullible. While we can laugh and crack jokes about this on a personal level for him, it’s sobering to remember the huge responsibility and power in the position he holds. If little Yayi Ministerre, cooking up simplistic cock and bull stories is appreciated for building him castles in the air with nothing but a bunch of Arabic names, it’s worrisome to imagine how easily our “chosen one” can be manipulated by professional con artists, seasoned businessmen and experienced diplomats at the detriment of The Gambia.

With his response, it’s obvious that our president has actually started to believe that he is indeed “the chosen one”, who, as he reminded us, was chosen by God almighty Himself, and “in less than 3 months,” HE (not the Gambian voters), “removed a dictator of 22 years.” This delusion was started by none other than his “political father”, Lawyer Darboe, when, at a Town Hall meeting in NYC, he likened Barrow to Prophet Moses delivering the Jews to the promised land. Now “Moses” has grown wings to fly and you can rest assured that Gambians like Yayi Ministerre will continue to provide fodder to feed the ego. As the Mandinka saying goes “Niyae la mbiroo kuluu, jang naa beh moe boye la, asee folow boye” …. Or the Wolof saying “lu waaye rendi, sa loho lai naacha.” I hope we all take heed and do what we can to tame candle before it turns into an inferno!

“Doff ken duko neh yaa morm hewe bi. Dangkore neh chi nga borka.”
You don’t tell a lunatic that he owns the party. You tell him he’s just an invitee. – Olof Njie