Despite the imperative roles First Ladies play in our country’s governance process, little or no information is available on their lives. In this edition of What’s On-Gambia, we take a look at the lives of The Gambia’s former First Ladies.
Lady Chilel Jawara
Born with a silver spoon, lady Chilel is the daughter of the late renowned Banjul business tycoon, Alhagie Musa Njie. At a tender age, she was wedded to Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara which many believed was cooked up by Banjulians in order to have influence in the State House.
As result of her marriage with the President, the Njie’s became invincible and occupied key positions in the country’s financial sector.
In 1978, a boat built in Glasgow was named after her—Lady Chilel. She as well holds a dual citizenship Gambian-British, according to confirmed reports.
Tuti became the first wife of Yahya Jammeh after his failed relationship with Layla Hydara, former governor Siffai Hydara's sister.
She was one of the strong pillars of the former president during his early days as a politician after leaving the army to form his own political party, APRC.
Born and brought up in the West Coast Region, Tuti enrolled for vocational education at the Caanan Skills Centre in Brikama shortly after completing her secondary education in Brikama.
Her marriage hit rock bottom due to alleged neglect and infidelity on the side of Jammeh.
Madam Zainab Jammeh
She is undoubtedly the most popular First Lady in the country’s history; however, how she met Jammeh still remains a mystery.
Rumours have it that she was a dancer and got Jammeh mesmerised during one of his official visits to Morocco. They duo started having an affair whilst Jammeh was still married to Tuti.
Zainab has a lot of followers on Facebook and has supported a lot of charitable initiatives in The Gambia.