By Yanks Darboe
To my Pan African Gambians, who wondered why we mourn the Queen or abhorred the Gambians living in Britain mourning the death of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II! Let me try to help here, to put it succinctly for you, it’s our gratitude to her service, as the head of state of this country, which we have found home, work, happiness, love, knowledge, wealth, blessings and other opportunities.
Some of us, Gambians in UK, had to flee the persecution of our previous Gambian and African head of state called Yahya Jammeh and were offered peace and sanctuary by her Majesty in her realm in the United Kingdom. So to us she is more pan Africanist than some African leaders who killed, tortured and maimed Africans.
Her role in the UK leadership could be best captured in my old African lady’s UK visit story, who described her role in the leadership hierarchy of the United Kingdom as the elder in the room.
The story goes like this: an elderly African lady visited the UK and was mostly greeted by the chaotic Prime Minister’s question time in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. She could not help it, but asked her son, ‘who are these people, who keep shouting at each like children on the TV every time!’.
The son answered: ‘that is our government mother, the leaders of this country.’ The old lady was shocked and confused. She asked her son: ‘how can your leaders be this chaotic, in their deliberations, yet this country remains peaceful and prosperous.’
Then one day the Late Queen Elizabeth II, appeared on TV and the old lady later watched her address to the nation later. She could not help but wonder who was she. So she asked her son: ‘who is this well dressed and well mannered lady?’ The son answered: ‘that is the Queen mother. She is the boss of our government, the boss of those leaders that you keep seeing on the TV.’
She couldn’t help but exclaim: ‘Ohhhhh! Now, I understand! This country is stable because of her; that’s why those other leaders behave like children, because they know the country has an elder in the room.’
So for those of us, Gambians, who lived under her peace and stability, we couldn’t be thankful enough to her service. So we mourn her passing!
If you are still struggling to understand, try to imagine how it would have been for us to live under President Boris Johnson!