Remembering Dawda Nyang
September 1st, 2010
Mr. Cool: Dawda (Dave Nyang) in 2006. Photo/Ousman Kamara
'I Will Miss Him'
By MB Krubally
Tuesday, August 10, 2010, will be a day I will never forget as long as I live. Admittedly, my life changed in some way that day. Losing a close friend at such a young age has left me thinking what could I have done different to help Dawda Nyang breath one more puff of fresh air.
Dawda’s death has been a rude awakening to me. I have started taking better care of myself. I am reading more about diabetes, the disease that took my friend’s life. More, I am doing this not to run away from death, but to continue a fight that my friend lost. We should all read and know more about diabetes because it is becoming the leading killer in our country.
A Friend, A Brother
Despite my faith, I couldn’t help but questioned why Allah would take away such a young man, a man of peace, a good citizen, father and husband from us. I asked this question not to challenge my creator but out of sympathy.
To begin with, Dawda never had a biological sibling. Both parents preceded him in death and the saddest of it all, he leaves behind four young kids with a very young wife. Since his death, I haven't stopped thinking who is going to care for his family. Who is going to give his 15-year-old son Samba Nyang the fatherly advice every young man needs? Each time my little girl Fatoumatta hugs and kisses me or asks me to read a book to her or simply sits beside me, I am reminded of Dawda’s kids. Who is going to do that for her little girls, Hawa, Fatma and Kadijatou? I wish I was in Basse to tell these kids that it will be O.K., but knowing the human psyche, no matter how much love we give to Dawda’s kids, they will miss their biological father. And can anyone of us really play Super Dave’s role?
Dawda was a faithful Muslim who never missed a prayer time. Every Friday, one could always count on seeing him well dressed with his praying rug headed to the mosque. He never forgot his “Men in Black” dark glasses.
To those of you who question why I had never spoken so kindly of my friend Dawda before his death, I admit, I am guilty of what we humans do. Many of us wait until one dies before we tell their good deeds. Today, I pay tribute to Dawda Nyang, a.k.a. Super Dave, Nde-Boyree, Mbate-mbate, a man of peace, a Survival Brothers' club-mate, a brother, and most important, a great person. As a young man, Dawda opened his home to me during the most troubled times of my life. Living with him, I learned how clean the guy was. Dawda was so clean that he would wash his slippers and rub them on a washing stone to keep them bright. He let me borrow his clothes, shared his food with me and never made me feel bad which he could have easily done. I have to, however, confess that he never shared his “specks” referring to his dark glasses which he was so fond of.
What Dawda shared was his friendship; he played the role of a true friend and this is why I will miss Dawda. I will miss his smile, his calmness, his poise, his ability to make me laugh. I will miss him when I visit home again. I will miss spending time with him, talking about the good old days, our old girl friends and how as young kids, we would always make fun of our colleagues who were not quick enough to grab a partner to dance to the long classic Ifangbondi song “Saraba”.
My brother said it best, Dawda never looked at one’s age, tribe or status; he simply enjoyed being around people. His home was where we would meet and hang out. He provided "attaya" and a good atmosphere that many of us found enjoyable. He taught our kids. He respected all and he was in turn respected. We must now give back to Dawda by doing the little we can to help his family.
I understood that even toward the end before he was bedridden, Dave still took the time to visit his friends. Only that he had become quieter, with the look of someone who had a lot on his mind. Maybe, just maybe, Dave knew that diabetes had gotten the better of him. Or maybe he was thinking just what I have been thinking about these days; “WHO IS GOING TO TAKE CARE OF MY FAMILY WHEN I AM GONE?"
To Dave up there, rest in peace and we will see to it that we do everything we can to take care of your family.
MB Krubally is the Secretary General of the Basse Association. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.
To read about diabetes, please visit: www.diabetes.org
Back in the day: Dave (seated) with friends. Photo/MB Krubally
A Uniter, Not A Divider
Dialogue Was His Thing
By Omar TC Jawo
Dave is gone but his memories will live with the youth of Basse. He will be remembered for his willingness to endeavor in anything that would bring development to Basse. I remember the day when all representatives of Basse football teams were called to a meeting at the Basse Area Council and were informed of the idea from the National Sports Council to build a stadium for Basse. The great Dawda called me and said "KETKET" as he would fondly call me. In response, I said "KETUT KET" meaning all was not well. He said to me, you are the Physical Planning Officer, please identify another place different from the Basse High Level and when that place is built, then Basse would be blessed with two playing grounds. I told him my worry was not the place but our own community's contribution. He reaffirmed to the Divisional Sports Committee that he would mobilize the youth to help in the clearing of the site and help identify specialized labor during the building process. And this he did.
In 2000, Dawda was selected together with Mamadi Nkrumah, Omar Sowe and my humble self by the Divisional Youth Sports Committee to represent the URD in a week-long seminar organized by the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat in collaboration with UNICEF. During this seminar, we were sensitized about this disease and at the end of it all, a regional committee was selected and Dawda was elected as the focal person in the sensitization campaign in URD. Dawda attended all the meetings that were held in URD and he would sensitize people about this epidemic. He was always willing to organize youth forums to spread the word about HIV/AIDS.
When the football crisis started in Basse, Dawda would meet me in my office. I was then secretary general to the Divisional Youth and Sports Committee and he would say "KETKET, please let's meet and trash this problem out, because this is not the Basse we used to know. Whatever happens, Basse is for all of us." He would remind me of the olden days when Youth Weeks and SAFRA were held in Basse and the town participation in such national events. He attributed that to unity. Dawda always campaigned for dialogue and unity.
When Jatta Baldeh was selected to play for the national Under-17 football team, Dave was very pleased. When we spoke about Jatta's achievement, the first thing he remarked to me was, "Boy, talk to your folks in Mansajang, let's start a fan club for Jatta. All other national players have got their fan clubs and here in URD, we are also to be proud of Jatta , so please I am prepared to mobilize the youth in Basse to form a fan club for Jatta and to welcome him and the team when they come to Basse." I saw that Dave was the kind of person who did not encourage division but someone who wanted the people of Basse to see themselves as one and who wanted the best for Basse.
Omar TC Jawo is a native of Mansajang Kunda. He lives in Barcelona, Spain.
Eulogies Pour In
'He Led A Simple And Calm Life'
(Ba) Juldeh Camara: Dawda Nyang, commonly known as Dave, was an advocate for peace wherever he was. He showed love and caring to all his friends and family to the fullest. He made himself available to all his friends who needed his services. Most important was his zeal for his family. Dawda Nyang was a pure example of how to be a perfect GENTLEMAN.
Abdoulie Cham: The late Dawda Nyang, commonly known as Dave, was the only child of the late Jewru and Kadija Nyang. He was very lovely, friendly, brotherly and fatherly. Dawda was a very calm boy who barely had problems with his friends during his childhood days. He led a simple and calm life. Dawda was the type who couldn't even kill an ant, moreover to be fighting. He was hardworking and caring to his family. He leaves behind a very young family. Any helping hand given to his family in any way possible especially during these four months and ten days of his wife's mourning, will be highly appreciated. May Allah grant him Jannah and provide for his family.
Alieu Faal: Dawda was not only a friend but a brother. Dave, as we used to call him, was there for all in good and bad times. He was never tired helping other people. Everyone around Dave knew how helpful, kind, respectful and humorous he was. Dave, the only child of his parents, had always been a good father and also a caring husband. "Men die but once, and the opportunity of a noble death is not an everyday fortune: It is a gift noble spirits pray for." May his soul rest in heaven. AMEEN. I`m very proud for such a contribution. Long live the BASSE ASSOCIATION!
Alasan Camara: Dave was a good friend, father and a tutor to many in his all-too-short life. He was much loved by all his peers. As kids, we looked up to him: he was fanciful and stylistic. I remember when we used to have football competitions under the mango trees at the High Level. That was his favorite though poor at it. All his life he made us think and laugh. He was a special person. Rest in peace Dave. You will be greatly missed by AMORA and the whole community. We love you forever.
Pa Samba Johm: I knew Dawda when I was a very young kid and was very fond of him. And when I was in my early teens, we used to hang at Amora under the neem trees, with my childhood friend, Ousman Kamara brewing "attaya". In 1989, I played for SURVIVAL FC and Dave was the right half back. During one of our games against NPE, then Basse Commissioner and now Governor, Omar Khan, upon seeing Dawda in his jersey, turned to someone close by and asked in Fula, kayray O ko Maradona, loosely translating, is that Maradona? Everyone around burst out laughing, uncontrollably. Although he was not Maradona, Dave knew how to be immaculate in his football gear. He never gave up and played with absolute determination.
Kumba Baldeh (Gai-Gai): My brother Dawda Nyang is gone but will not be forgotten. I knew him to be quite a gentleman; never saw him argue or fight with anyone during my entire life in Basse. May Allah grant him Jannah and may his soul rest in perfect peace. Ameen.
Ousman Kamara: Dawda Nyang used to call me Manga. And I called him Sam Dave, a name he liked. I grew up in the neighborhood where I had the opportunity to meet many brothers. The one thing that set Dave apart from the rest was that he was kind-hearted and easy going. He dressed nice behind his dark glasses, "darkess" as he called them and he liked eating good food. He would skip lunch at his house for a "better" one at mine. Dawda was a brother. I remember mom telling me that Dawda was born at our house, Camara Kunda. Our families were close. I will really miss him; his early morning "attaya" was what all the boys around Harlem woke up for. The late night camps opposite his house gave boys somewhere to get together. He shall be missed but not forgotten.
Mutarr Jallow: I would call him King David for the following reason: he was a peacemaker. Dave loved peace and tranquility. He was caring any time you visited him at his "den". You got the best "attaya" with food. Surely the entire Basse community will miss him greatly. May his soul rest in perfect peace.