Photos - Annual Picnic/Gambian Association of Michigan
October 31, 2011
For the Love of Homeland ...
Peeble Creek Park, Southfield, Michigan, USA --- It was a truly grassroots community affair at the recent annual picnic of the Gambian Association of Michigan (GAM). The theme was one of community togetherness. Families got together to eat and discuss the issues affecting the Gambian community in Michigan. For the first time, the two Gambian associations, of Metropolitan Detroit and of the city of Wixom, collaborated on the annual picnic for the Michigan Gambian community. The president of the Gambian Association of Michigan Samba Johm, who is also the Basse Association PRO, thanked the community for showing up. He paid tribute to the community's recent fundraising campaign for the flood victims in The Gambia. Over $3000, and several bundles of clothing, were sent to The Gambia. President Johm, accompanied by his immediate predecessor Modou Jatta, past treasurer Jim Gaye and the Detroit-based Gambian Imam Alhaji Momodou Ceesay, met with the Gambian Vice-president Isatou Njie-Saidy and officials of the National Disaster Relief committee.
At the picnic, both Johm and his Wixom counterpart Modou Ceesay, extolled the importance of collective enterprise in meeting the challenges of an increasing Gambian population in Michigan. Johm memorialized the late Ebrima Darboe, a Detroiter and native of Fadiya Kunda, Wuli, Upper River Region and also the late Mariama Badjie, a Wixom resident and native of Serekunda. (A soccer match was organized in memory of Darboe and Badjie.) He also thanked, for their services to the country, the Gambian-American servicemen from Michigan who recently came back from tours of duty in Afghanistan and Kuwait.
A few years back, the Gambian Association of Michigan sent a container-load of medical supplies to The Gambia. Two officials of the Association Modou Jatta and Mutarr Jallow, visited The Gambia, officially touring all the major health centers and hospitals in the country.
Estimates put the number of Gambians in Michigan at over 500. Michigan, home to the Big Three US car companies, is in middle America, bordering, by land, the states of Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin, and by water, Illinois, Minnesota, and the country of Canada.
GAM president Samba Johm addressing the crowd
Ida Jallow handing the Mariama Badjie Memorial Trophy to Wixom football team captain Alieu Njie
Seated front, l-r, Fatoumatta Kinteh, Ramatoulie 'Ramou' Ceesay, Edrissa Jarra (Maha)
l-r, Amie Ndoye, Ya Fatou Ceesay, X, Ya Nyima
L-r, Adama Sillah, Mam Conteh, Amie Ndoye
Wixom Gambian Association Executive Members. Yama Ceesay
The Wixom Crew
Middle row, l-r, X, Modou Lamin Gaye, Coach Yaya Jammeh, Kebba Kah, Lamin Fofanah (Zoff). Front, Detroit Gambians FC captain Alhagi Kah
A Rousing Captain Kah
Front, Bailo Jallow (left), X
Amadou Jallow, left, Bambo Sillah, Treasurer, Gambian Association of Michigan
Detroit Gambians football club: Standing l-r, Bailo Jallow, Lamin 'Vieux' Fatty, Kebba Kah, Lamin Sohna, Edrissa Jarra (Maha), Malick Njie, Pa Jatta, X, Modou Lamin Gaye, Coach Yaya Jammeh. Squatting l-r, X, Moe Jah, Kenny, Landing Jatta, Alhagi Kah, Cherno Dawda Jallow
Wixom Gambians football club: Standing l-r: Modou Ceesay, Saul Njie, Tijan, X, Boniface Jarjue (Spragga), Lie, X. Squatting l-r: Alieu Njie, Dawda 'Dave' Manga, Pap Jeng, Dam, X
The Musical Duo: DJ Secco T (Sheikh Jammeh) left; MC Spragga (Boniface Jarjue)
L-r: former goalie Lamin 'Zoff' Fofanah, of Armitage High School fame; Wixom Gambian Association Executive Member Abdoulie Sowe
***All photos by Sulayman 'Saul' Badjie, Executive Committee, Gambian Association of Michigan