The First Family, on Monday, played host to several dignitaries at State House Gardens for the traditional naming ceremony of Baby Muhammed Yahya Jammeh. Baby Jammeh, is the second child of President Jammeh and First Lady Zeinab Jammeh, the first being the eight-year old Mariam Jammeh.
The ceremony began with a recitation of the Holy Qur'an by Muslim elders, a clear indication of President Jammehs adherence to Islam. Soon after that, the President arrived in his usual white gown carrying Baby Jammeh in his arms, wrapped in a white cloth and accompanied by First Lady Zeinab Jammeh in a sea green Arab-styled Abaya. They went around the gathering to formally show the newest member of the First Family to the dignitaries.
Alhagie Everybody Mbye, Chief Griot to President Jammeh, was given the podium to announce the name of Baby Jammeh. He was then showered with cash in a show of appreciation and in line with Gambian tradition at naming ceremonies.
Explaining the rationale behind the President's decision to name his son after Muhammed, the Prophet of Islam, the erudite Imam of State House Mosque, Alhaji Abdoulie Fatty said the President's decision was in recognition of the blessings the Almighty has showered on him in making him the President of The Gambia. According to him, President Jammeh's assumption to power way back in 1994 was done with the blessing of the Almighty, consequently, its peaceful nature.
Cadi Sering Alieu Saho, though not feeling well, made it to State House to recite a poem he specially dedicated to Baby Muhammed Jammeh while Imam Muntaha Faye and Abdoulie Fatty sang religious songs.
In yet another manifestation of the joking relations that exist between the country's ethnic groups, three members of the National Assembly, Netty Baldeh, a Fula, Abdoulie Saine and Sulayman Joof, both Serers, took the microphone from the master of the ceremony, Ebrima JT Kujabi and demanded that they be given something as they are the ‘Fathers' of the Jolas, President Jammehs ethnic group. The President wasted no time in fulfilling their demands by giving them cash in recognition of the importance of the joking relationship between the three ethnic groups, thus resulting in the eruption of laughter in some sections of the gathering.
This was followed by entertainment from the Kabakel Cultural Troupe and the KMC Ensemble followed by a delicious self-served lunch of various dishes. Baby Muhammed Jammeh's naming ceremony was well planned as all the invited guests were well seated and ate to their satisfaction as the food was too abundant to be finished.
At the end of the ceremony, The Gambian leader said his personal goodbye to all guests and incredibly stayed behind to see everybody off.