fatou jahumpa ceesay
Date of Birth: October 25, 1957
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Jahumpa-Ceesay, with a background deeply rooted in Gambian politics, has made significant contributions throughout her career, demonstrating versatility in roles ranging from journalism to political leadership.
Born as the daughter of Ibrahima Momodou Garba-Jahumpa, a figure holding various ministerial positions, and the half-sister of Bala Garba-Jahumpa, a former foreign minister of Gambia, she inherited a family legacy intertwined with politics. Her marriage to politician Sulayman Masanneh Ceesay further solidified her connection to the political landscape.
Jahumpa-Ceesay's educational journey began in Banjul, attending Crab Island Junior Secondary School before moving on to Armitage High School in Janjanbureh and Gambia High School in Banjul, where she graduated in 1977. Her academic pursuits extended into journalism, where she underwent various training courses, setting the stage for her future roles in media and communication.
Her professional journey included stints as a spokeswoman for Radio Gambia and Gambia Airways in 1993. As a freelancer, she contributed to notable publications such as the Daily Observer and The Point Newspaper, showcasing her aptitude for journalism.
In the realm of politics, Jahumpa-Ceesay's career began in 1985 when she was appointed as a councilor to the Banjul City Council. She broke new ground in 1989 by becoming the first female deputy mayor in Banjul, marking a milestone for women in Gambian politics.
From 1997 to 2002, Jahumpa-Ceesay served as the director of President Yahya Jammeh's Office of Press and Public Relations. Her political journey continued as she was appointed as a member of the National Assembly for Jammeh's Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party in 2002.
She also represented Gambia in international forums such as the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), where she held the position of deputy speaker. Her role primarily involved serving as an election observer, emphasizing her commitment to democratic processes.
In 2007, Jahumpa-Ceesay was reappointed to the National Assembly and elevated to the position of the speaker of the parliament, succeeding Belinda Bidwell. However, her political journey faced a setback in June 2009 when her nomination to the National Assembly was revoked by the President, resulting in her removal as the speaker. Following this, she relocated to Dakar.
In January 2017, Jahumpa-Ceesay took a bold step by calling on then-President Yahya Jammeh to recognize the results of the 2016 presidential election, which he had lost. In February 2018, she further demonstrated her commitment to political change by announcing the founding of her own political party.
Throughout her career, Jahumpa-Ceesay has been recognized for her contributions, receiving the Order of the Republic of The Gambia as a medal in 2000 and at the Commander level in 2009, acknowledging her significant impact on Gambian society and politics. Her story reflects a trajectory from journalism to groundbreaking political roles, marking her as a trailblazer and advocate for democratic values in The Gambia.