Zeinab Jammeh Vs Margaret Kenyatta
After watching Kenyan First Lady Margaret Kenyatta ran 42 kilometer marathon in London purposely to raise money for her country’s women and children, it behooves on us to take a pause and think of the Gambia’s First Lady Madam Zeinab Zuma Jammeh. What is clear is the huge difference between the two first ladies, a difference that cannot be ignored. The two First Ladies differ in everything, including their goals and visions.
Let’s take a look at Margaret Kenyatta whose husband was elected into office in March 2013. While President Uhuru Kenyatta struggles to defeat corruption and bring back law and order to Kenya, his wife is hell bent on achieving her life-long goal of providing mobile clinics for women and children in all of Kenya’s 47 counties. She did not leave the matter in the hands of bureaucrats or politicians who are mostly good at lip-service and endless planning. The 50-year-old Margaret went to Eldoret for a month’s marathon training.
Margaret Kenyatta and her cheering husband traveled to London to not just take part in a marathon but to run for millions of Kenyan women and children. The 42 kilometer marathon took her 7 hours 4 minutes.
The support for Margaret Kenyatta in London was overwhelming, with her support team members and Kenyans freely flowing tears. Kenyan Diaspora jumped and cheered their First Lady for inspiring the world with her debut at the London marathon. Amazingly, the First Lady’s team of eight was cheered by enthusiastic spectators who lined the streets of London.
Margaret, who was adored in the streets of London, will be remembered for striving hard for women and children in her country to attain excellent health.
What about Margaret Kenyatta’s Gambian counterpart? Madam Zeinab Zuma Jammeh has been torturing Gambians with her endless travels and shopping spree? Sadly, she spends more time abroad than in the Gambia. How do we expect her to feel anything Gambian when she frequently shuttles between Banjul and Maryland or become a regular at the world’s most expensive shopping centers?
Over the years, First Ladies made names for creating or designing programmes geared towards helping or empowering people. Like Michelle Obama or Laura Bush, Zeinab also could have requested funds and established a meaningful project which will serve as her legacy. The only Gambian project she can be proud of is the First Baby Born of the year. In fact, we have been told that Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy is more affiliated to this project than Zeinab which proves her lack of interest in anything Gambian. Some online commentators have already labeled Zeinab “a Gold Digger” which seems to merge with her behaviour.
Our Senior Editor advises Gambians to point their spear at President Jammeh “for giving us a non-Gambian First Lady, a woman who does not understand our culture or lack interest in anything Gambian.”