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In memoriam: First anniversary of the passing of Tuku Jallow, a matriarch and prominent figure in the Third Liberation movement

In memoriam: May 25, marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Tuku Jallow, a matriarch and prominent figure in the Third Liberation movement, known for her fervent pro-democracy activism within the Gambian diaspora. Her efforts were aimed at reinstating democracy and ending the human rights abuses under Yahya Jammeh’s tyrannical regime. Her death signifies a profound loss and the close of a significant chapter. The stark reality of death is both harsh and unavoidable. Tuku Jallow, whose impact was felt by many in Gambia and abroad, has departed, leaving a void. We are left with heavy hearts, yet we can only say, “Tears fall, hearts grieve, but we shall speak only what our Lord permits.”

Tuku Jallow’s legacy reminds us of those afflicted with ‘Eneke Syndrome,’ a term derived from Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart,’ describing the bird that learned to fly incessantly because men learned to shoot without fail. Those aiming at it became increasingly frustrated by their failed attempts and sought reasons to justify their pursuit. Tuku Jallow was known for her relentless pursuit of freedom and democracy, becoming a one-person army, self-empowered to stand against a brutal dictatorship that claimed the right to kill, torture, govern, and divide. She picked up the mantle of diaspora-led pro-democracy movements, soaring untouchably, her actions resonating and her aims striking true. She achieved her goals flawlessly in her relentless flight, a challenging feat. Now, as she rests, we take a moment to honor her bravery.
I am reminded of the many warriors now learning to fly without perching, where men with ruthless power shoot without missing. Yes, they will make mistakes, but they must keep flying. We must maintain faith in our convictions and fight our part to make this world better for everyone. Tuku was a dedicated soldier who fought for human rights and democracy. She would say, “We must liberate ourselves from the tyranny of the greedy and the exploiters and make Gambia a better place for the weak, the downtrodden, and the have-nots.” Life did not offer Tuku more opportunities than it did us, but she made the most of them. While many strugglers get sidetracked, Tuku kept her path straight. She always embodied the aspirations and ideals of the struggle, standing with pro-democracy activists and strugglers. She was one of us; we will remember her as such: our friend, our comrade. Our revolutionary friend is gone; long live Gambia.
The pro-democracy activists and her political party UDP comrades in the “Third Liberation” struggle of Gambia continue to mourn and grieve the death of Comrade Tuku Jallow. It is crucial to remember and honor the contributions of activists and politicians like Tuku Jallow, who dedicated their lives to enacting positive change in our world. May Allah grant her Aljannah Firdausi.

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