Gambians Mourn Prominent Scholar


By Lamin Touray

The death has been confirmed in the Gambia of Dr Mamadou Sabarr Janneh. The scholar of both oriental and western education died at 70 years after a brief illness.

As a young man, Dr Janneh travelled to Egypt to follow on the Islamic education that began in his native Gunjur in Kombo South. It will be 35 years before he returned to the Gambia. While in Egypt, he attended Al Azhar institute and later Al Azhar university where he graduated with an LLB in Sharia and Law (general system) in 1981.

He studied Private and Public International Law at the University of Berlin, Germany from 1982 to 85. Dr Janneh’s educational pursuit finally took him to the University of Amsterdam where he obtained a Docterandous, Ders in 1989. In 1993, he completed a doctor of philosophy degree (PhD) in the Social Studies department, University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

Dr has conducted private teaching in Egypt, Germany, the Netherlands and the Gambia. He was engaged in research and has written extensively on folklore, Islamic and academic themes. At the launch of three of his books in Bristol, UK in August 2008, Dr Janneh said he has ten other books and short stories yet to publish. “Learning from the Life of Prophet Muhammad: peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him, Saa-Ba Mini-Yang Baa (the mighty python)” and “Mansa Tolo (Coronation)” were the books he was able to publish in his life time.

Dr Sabarr Janneh lived in the UK between 2004 and 2011. He is survived by a wife and four children. He will be laid to rest today at the Gunjur cemetery. Dr Mamadou Sabarr Janneh got along with the young and old and will be solely missed by all.



  1. May his soul rest in perfect peace….Ameen.

  2. May Him and all departed souls rest in perfect peace. Amen
    Alhamdullah, Mr Janneh is a great man.

  3. may his soul rest in peace

  4. Mohamed Sillah

    I personally know Doctor Janneh stayed in his house in Bristol UK. He is a very good and interesting man; all he talks about is Deen; I am shocked and don’t know what to say. May his soul rest in peace; may Allah grant you Jannaatul Firdaus.

  5. Alhagi Drammeh

    My sincere condolences to the family of Dr Janneh whose academic works I have followed keenly. I remember him making interventions in the radio discussion I had some months back. Although I had not met him in person, I saw in his interventions an intelligent and deep scholar. May Allah shower him with His mercy. Innal Li Allah wa innal ilayhi rajioon