Are Mandinkas Descendants Of Bilal?


For centuries, griots had been and are still narrating the history of the Great Manding Empire and Mandinka people who, according to history, conquered and ruled large swarthe of land in Africa. In fact, a distinguished Senegalese philoshopher Cheikh Anta Diop believed Manding Empire ruled right into Central Africa. The question that most people ask is: where exactly Mandinkas originated frim? Some historians believed Mandinkas originally hailed from Mecca, which was why their (Mandinkas’) first settlement in Manding in present day Mali was named after Kaba. But an article below has given a new twist to the Mandinka origin. The author is cinvinced that the tribe credited with leaving its footprint on organised leadership a thousand years ago originated from Bilal ibn Rabah, the black son of an Ethiopian princess who first called people to prayers (Adhan). The author’s story is somehow corroborated by some oral Gambian historians, although it was not clear whether Bilal’s descendants were married to Mandinkas or integrated into the Manding people.


Many people today do not know the story of Bilal ibn Rabah, a former slave who became one of the most revered men in Islam after the prophet Muhammad. It is said that Bilal was the son of an Arab and his mother was a captured princess of Ethiopia. Born in 580 AD in Mecca, because of his extreme intelligence and trustworthiness, Bilal was entrusted as keeper of the keys to the idols of Arabia.

When Muhammad announced that he was the prophet of Allah, Bilal would listen to the teachings and later converted to Islam. His master, Umayyah ibn Khalaf, learned of his conversion and beat and tortured Bilal to make him renounce his belief. He was dragged around the city of Mecca and stretched by ropes to break his faith. However, Bilal did not waver and would repeat “Ahad Ahad” (God is absolute/one). Word reached Muhammad of Bilal’s treatment and faith and a deal was made to purchase and free Bilal from slavery.

Both Sunni and Shia Muslims agree that Muhammad specifically taught Bilal the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer, because of his deep clear voice. This made Bilal the first Muezzin (caller to prayer) of Islam. Bilal ibn Rabah died either in the year 638 AD or 642 AD at the approximate age of 63. His descendants migrated to the land of Mali and established the Mandinka clan of Keita. The Mandinka went on to form the powerful and rich Mali Empire, which produced the richest Black man who ever lived, King Mansa Musa. Today, his net worth is estimated to have been $400 billion. His kingdom included Ghana, Timbuktu and Mali and produced half of the salt and gold in the world at that time. When he went on his pilgrimage to Mecca, he gave away so much gold that the price of gold dropped worldwide. Even though it has been more than 700 years since he walked this Earth, some of the monuments he commissioned still stand.




  1. Amadou Manneh

    Interesting but totally untrue. I just wish to point out that this picture is of a full no prince who was sold into slavery in the west and later gained his freedom.

  2. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Hahaha! Musa, I always knew you guys were foreigners to The Gambia like me!!!!!!!!!!

    And, to put the icing on the cake – Ethiopians, the SUBJECTS of our Royal Household!!

    This has made my day – even more than the Noble revolution taking place in Greece.


    HRH Haile Haile Halake of Ethiopia AKA Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      Mandinkas have been living in The Gambia since the 9th or 10th century. We do not descend from Ethopians. Just that one of our Great King, Mahkan Sundiata Keita has an Ethopian forbearer. Gambia got its name from Mandinkas; Kambi bolong. How then can we be foreigners in Gambia. We were there when the country was created by the British in 1888. In fact, it was mostly Mandingo kingdoms which were destroyed to make this happen.Why do you loathe the Mandingo tribe, Dida???

      By the way, you have been absent from the forum for a while. I hope Ian Duncan Smith hasn’t put off the tap on you.


      • You only recognize your colonizers establishment years. I am Balanta, we migrated from the Ethiopia region. Don’t sell yourself short and base it on your colonizers years. What and where did you come from before that time period?

  3. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Correction; The earliest Mandinka settlement in Mali recorded by historians is Kankaba.

    It is true that a direct descendant of Bilal immigrated to Mali from Ethopia and married a mandingo woman. The couple are sundiata Keita’s direct forbearers. Thus, the Mandingo tribe was already there before this descendant of Bilal immigrated to Manding. It is therefore not convincing to say that the entire mandingo tribe are descendants of Bilal. What can be said however and without doubt, is that the great Mandingo King, Mahkan Sundiata Keita, King of Manding/Mali Empire, is a direct descendants of Bilal.

    This is what I have discovered in my research with some corroboration from oral historians. I stand to be corrected though.


  4. KairoNews There is no doughy that this article is conspiracy of lies, how could you allowed yourself to be so screwed??

    Gee ! Please take this down.

  5. Alimatou Sarr

    I don’t agree with the content of this article, especially the one regarding the fact that Mandinkas descended from Bilal. I see Mandinkas and Fulas as the oldest tribes who existed even before Islam came to West Africa. It’s a good try which should wake our people from sleeping on our history. If we don’t write what we know about ourselves how can we deprive others from writing about us. This is our weakness and we must do something about it.

  6. Alagie Jallow

    Where are our historians? What I know and believe is that Mandinkas and Bilal have one thing in common: they were both victims of racial bias and suppression. While the Arabs demeaned Bilal the colonialists stole the leadership style of Manding Empire and quickly started destroying it. That’s why Mali was cut off from the ocea. The goal is to paralyse Manding for good. History is too important to be ignored.

  7. Malang Jarju

    We must not damn everything written, rather we should do research and make the results public. I don’t think this piece is a junk. It should be an awakening moment for us to know more about who we are as a people. Period.

  8. This piece is quite inaccurate…. Great Bilal himself might be a Mandinka descendant but not the other way round…. Mandinkas have been living in Africa for centuries upon centuries from time immemorial & never descended from Bilal in Arabia but were ever dwelling in Africa where civilization began through the ages of humanity to the advent of Islam & beyond…

    In fact Mandinkas are spread not only in our regions but all over in Africa & into other parts of the world; & are referred to variously or differently in the regions they inhabit today…. In South Africa for example, they are referred to as “Bantu” according to someone I met whilst on studies at a Ugandan university; in Guinea they are referred as Malinké, in Sierra Leone as Mendes, etc etc…

    Historically, Mandinkas & the Fulani, if not the largest, are among the largest tribes in Africa… Fulas too are sometimes referred to as Tukulorr in some regions, as Massai in Kenya, etc etc…

    Mandinkas have ever inhabited Gambia for centuries & centuries from time immemorial… The country’s name came about according to reports when the European adventurers set sailed on river Gambia, docked about Kemoto village in Kiang district, asked one of the local inhabitants “…what is the name of this place?” The local was reported to have responded this place is called (Kambi Ya) Kambi’s place; meaning the name of the settlement… Hence the name was coined to “Gambia” with the Europeans’ own understanding of pronunciation of the name…

    I implore for a better research to be conducted IF EVER anybody could INDEED determine the origin of the great Mandingo tribesmen; best of luck to whomsoever will engage in the mammoth task to finding out…

    • I was in Sudan for eight years. There is a one of powerful tribe called “Denka”. Anyone of them I told him I’m Mandinka, he tells me is the same one as Denka. I don’t know the fact of that.
      About Bilal, he may mixed with Mandinka but he is not the root of all Mandinkas.

  9. Lamin Jammeh

    Pls stop! This obsession with Arabising our history is beyond me. We might practice the same religion but we are not connected by descent.. And to be descendants of Bilal (with all due respect to him)? Please!… I’m tired of us always trying to connect ourselves to Arabs. Black man is the first man. There’s no way around it. We are the proud people of Manding with a rich history but not Arabs.

  10. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Oh Dear Manju, calm down! IDS has nothing to di with me – and I was busy seeing a whole pile if my pupils through exams (I always expect A grades!)

    British “created” Gambia!!!! You OK bro???

    God created Gambia and it was there before the British! The British just made it smaller!

    Well said Lamin Jammeh – A grade.

    • Kalifa Darboe

      I like the way you follow the comments, and I agree with you that British didn’t create Gambia. They destroyed it and stole our wealth like what they did to other African countries.
      But, can stop talking behind the fence and show you face, by writing your name or at least your last name?
      This place is to share the knowledge, you are not going to jail for your disagreement with Musa or Lamin Jammeh
      Thank you.

  11. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Oh yes, the proud people of manding; Mandekalou. Yahya Jammeh has been manifesting a gashly disdain towards us mandinkas though and Dida is all happy about this perhaps base on his conversation with jammeh when the two were friends.

    Mandekalou, if you underestimate yahya jammeh’s open hatred for you, you are making a big mistake. Just my advice.


  12. Adama Jambang

    The Great people of Manding, please take a deep breath and thank Allah for making you the envy of colonialists mainly because of your rich history, exceptional leadership and system of governance. Your only problem is your inability to sell yourself, believing that fang fo mu jalintang yaleti (only those without griots blow their own trumpet). How wrong is this belief in this day and age. Failure to blow your trumpet gives chance to people [those with ulterior motives] to blow it for you.

  13. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Yes Dida, the nation-state called The Gambia was created by the British in 1888 with its borders with Senegal finally drawn in 1892. These are just historical facts and they don’t change just because one does not like the British.

    You sure IDS did not turn-off the tap on you??


  14. Lafia Touray la Manju

    And by the way, Gambia was never bigger for there was no gambia before the british. It used to be several small kingdoms along the river almost all of which were mandinka kingdoms.

  15. Lafia Touray la Manju do you have good references you can care. I have found only one book so far.

  16. The great religion of islam is as of today fourteen hundred and thirty six years old ( 1436) or close to. African people including the Manding people have been in existence and speaking their languages long before Bilal and the Islamic religion.
    Some things just don’t make sense at face value, and people of common sense should not waste too much time subjecting it to serious analysis except for fun.

  17. One thing am impressed with Gambians nowadays is, we have become good intellectuals, debaters, and analysts. I love to see that, because it shows us that we are not standing still. We have become researchers, we search through every channel to know what we want to know and we make sure that we become satisfied with our findings. From the bottom of my heart I adore you all. LAFIA TOURAY LA MANJU for instance, I very much adore your patience and and level of debating. I follow up your reactions. By the way, am new in here. Ramadan Mubarak. May Allah brighten up our hearts and shower us with more wisdom.

  18. King , with all our so called intellectuals , debaters and analysts , one person we never research about is dictator evil child rapist yaya jammeh sitting at statehouse terrorizing everyone including Asombi Bojang . By the way , Gambians don’t know who he is because he carry his book and big stick with his big halftan on and frown face. This is man we should spend our time to find out who he is and what is he up to .

  19. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    21 years too late Maxs! I already know who he is – and I am a foreigner – and I ain’t saying Maxs baby … nana nana na.

    • Dida, Maxs is right, it may be very late, but we really don’t know who Jilanka is. A month ago a gentleman told me, “i know Jammeh’s mother very well” in fact he said, ” Asombi is not his mother, Asombi means Antie or something in Jola, hence, Asombi use to live in Fajikunda, her home is there not develop, because everybody around that neighbourhood knows her”

      And from the late Shyngle Nyassi narrative, we knew that Jammeh’s Dad was a wrestler who died in Kanilai and the body was repatriated back to Cassamance.
      Max I think what we failed to do is do a psychological analysis of Jammeh as a person thoroughly. He is a psychopath and he thrives on existing on practicing what Will Black, the writer characterizes as using politics to further his ‘Psychopathic cultures’ or what he defines as cultures. Jammeh’s power is toxic and will pollute many decent men and women before falls.

      • Luntango Suun Gann Gi

        Suntou, I wrote to explain who Jammeh is a long time ago in my book! Before I even became Observer MD. You and Maxs really need to get together and find enough money (£100,000 will do), and serialize my book! (hahaha)

  20. Suntun, you are absolutely right that dictator Jammeh is pyschopath and he lives on naivety of Gambian people or anyone who is close to him. From psychological or mental health perspective , I think Jammeh is seriously a psychopath , has narcissistic personality disorder and also bipolar disorder . These are dangerous combination which make jammeh a dangerous human being to be associated with . Gambians don’t know him because he was never vetted or his background was never scrutinized by Gambians . It is historical mistake of highest proportion by the ragtag juntas military leadership to chose him in the first place . Vetting process is integral part of political process which enable the citizens to know the candidates very well , ranging from their personal lives ( character ,temperament , faith , social stand ) to political beliefs . Gambians failed to vett jammeh but jammeh will vett anyone before they get close to him . Jammeh is intelligent criminal thinker.
    A close observation of jammeh from psychoanalysis perspective , one can see that jammeh has impulsive characters , unhappiness , self destructive behavior and difficulties in maintaining personal relationship or work relationship which all originated from his improper childhood upbringing when he was constantly fearful about his future. Most Gambians knows that jammeh was virtually a homeless guy when he was growing up , the same thing applied to his mother who was also virtually homeless but thanks to generousity of one baddibuka mandinka man , Asombi Bojang was given a shelter in Bakau.
    Genetically , jammeh do not have healthy genes in terms of mental health and this is evidence by his characters , behavior as well as his son muhammed Jammeh’s development of Down syndrome. Majority of Gambians didn’t know that his son has developed this genetical problem but if you talk to Jammeh’s closed aides , they will tell you that Muhammed Jammeh has this problem of Down syndrome ( he is always drooling , speech problem etc ) and that is why he is never seen in public or not even in school at his age . I am sure Jammeh himself knows what I am talking about because he is always online with different false names , arguing with people. His agents are not aware of this. He loves being online especially at night when he does his criminal behaviors .some of these evidences will be known to Gambian people when he is capture alive or out of power .
    So suntun , you are right we failed to do psychological analysis of dictator Jammeh.

  21. Luntango , I don’t think you really know jammeh very well . Remember you were a victim and was lucky to be drinking your tea in London lol . Those who vett and know Jammeh very well , never get closer to him. Why would you know him well before your appointment as MD at his propaganda machine and became his victim? $100,000 will be good payment to get beautiful light skinned Gambian girl to do excellent job for us in a peaceful manner .

  22. Luntango Suun Gann Gi


    You really are simply RANTING now. What has Jammeh’s little boy got to do with your fight with Jammeh? “Ethics” and “Morality” indeed.

    Get your facts right. Everyone knows who got me detained – and it was NOT Jammeh! But I am sure you will rant on! Have a nice day.

  23. Mandinka is really not a tribe or ethnicity, it was a civilization consist of different tribes. Keitas were konateh first. The name keita was given to them by Bala Fassakeh Kuyateh. Keita means take the leadership. KA means people, it is a meroetic word from ancient Kush Sudan. Mandinkas are the remain of the great kushiste empire. Kuyatehs are the real founders and the keepers of the great Mandinka empire. Ku-ya-teh, kuy-ateh means the same in wollof and other and Mandinka. Njie and kolley are all keita, they were keitas that disagree with imperial Manding and decided seccede. Jollof and Kabu were the first breakaway states of the Mandinka empire. Wollof language is made up as a mean of communication in wollof. Wollof was never a tribal identify, likewise Mandinka language in Kabu was also made up to be the identify of kabunkas. Fulani is Mandinka. Not every mulato in west Africa is Fulani. The Berbers of marakesh interbred with Fulani that’s why we have the guts fulo and toranka. This all happened less than 1500yrs ago. Before 1500yrs there nothing call Mandinka, wollof or Fulani. Kasinka, bainunka, manjaka, mansuanka, wagadunka, maraka, telibonka, telijinka, jahanka you name it. The Mandinka empire bailed out Europe to fund the crusade war. Mandinka were the first people to built an organized university, federal system of government and a written constitution. George Washington personally was impressed by the Mandinka history. Most Americans European know timbooktoo. We funded and played a major role in the erection of Arabic language. This is all true.
    I am Kuyateh, direct descendant of Bala Fassakeh Kuyateh. We are not Jali/jalo we are Yeli blood. We are the ear, hand, tongue, eye, and legs of the mandenkalou. Sundiata and other scholars said if west Africa lost us they lost everything. No wonder why west Africa is doomed by the french and English man. Today they portray us as the beggers but in reality we are the priest of west Africa and we must get it back. We must unify west Africa like we did 700yrs ago. Yelis would be back again and this time we will not be with keitas. We must bring a new trick to unify our people, brave men and women in uniform of all west African countries.

    • thank u very much. it is only the Gambia Mandinkas who don’t know their true history. we think we came from Mali and full stop. we are responsible for world civilization from Egypt to Mali. we are the black HEBREWS, according to our history and not only we in west Africa are Mandinkas or Egyptians but there are tribes in South Africa call Bantu tribe.

  24. We can never, and must never, dismiss our history because it is very much part of what made us what we are today..

    We must, however, put our history in its proper perspective, learn and understand it’s lessons and use the experience (s) gained, to either equip ourselves with the tools/knowledge to address the challenges we are faced with today or, at least, avoid repeating the same mistakes of earlier generations…

    What we must never do, is to be so obsessed with the historical “achievements” of our tribes that we begin to feel that we deserve a special place, as a group, in society today.

    The “mansas”,”koringolu”,”nyancholu”, etc (and their equivalents in other languages) belong to the past and must remain in the past..They have no place in today’s world, except perhaps, as reminders of the past, and how one sees that past depends very much on what “glasses one puts on”..

    That is why I am pleased that these discussions have been shifted from the ancestry of Mandinkas, which is no doubt, very important to many people, to the current challenges facing our country.

    Personally, regardless of Yaya Jammeh’s ancestry, regardless of where he was born, regardless of what his parents did or had, one thing about him, that is as established as any fact of life, is that he grew up in The Gambia and spent ALL his formative years in The Gambia…Therefore for me, he is as Gambian as any one of us and our problem that we must solve, without shifting blame on any other people..

    Finally, if we are to be better than Yaya Jammeh, and want to be taken seriously in our efforts to create a system better than his , we must not descend down to his level of making no distinction between his opponents and their relatives, especially the minors…Let’s draw a line between Yaya Jammeh and his children, his parents, and other relations unless they hold public office…

    Please, please, I am begging all never to discuss the medical condition of anyone in public, especially innocent minors…I can understand the frustration and anger but we are better than him..

  25. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Thank you Manding Yeli. You know the history. Bala Fasaika Kuyateh, Ma Birama konateh and Manding Numo Kanteh were strong aides in the King’s court in the Manding Empire. Konateh converted to Islam and performed a Hajj in Mecca. He is said to be the youngest among Sundiata’s aides.

    Musa kankan Musa also performed a lavish Hajj in Mecca.

    Bring more Manding Yeli. Tambasansang in CRR has very knowledgable oral Mandinkatology Griots.

    To not be proud of your culture and history is a symptom of low self-esteem and depression. So don’t let the mandinkaphobics stop you from loving your mandinka culture and history.


  26. Luntango suun hahaha, you See I know you going to blame someone else for your arrest . Lol . This is what every one of jammeh’s victims did or will do , from baba Jobe , njoku bah , DiDa and recently momodou sabally . There is no single victim Among his supporters who come forward to blame jammeh for their illegal detention or imprisonment . In fact all of his victims developed special admiration and love for him after their detention or trouble with him . This is how dictatorship works. The dear leader is always right just like it was nicely put in animal farm that “comrade Napoleon is always right” . Jammeh being psychopath , his victims admiration of him is called Stockholm syndrome in psychiatry . Obviously You have developed that already that is why even you are in London you are blind to see the truth .
    You are in this forum to defend Jammeh and his family. I want you to know this , First , dictator is a public officer and the president of The Gambia , he and his family is fair game when he detained people’s parent and children who has not committed any crime against Gambian state . Secondly , what I stated about Muhammmed Jammeh’s being diagnosed with Down syndrome and dictator jammeh raped underage girls are factual correct and this will be known when jammeh is out of power . Whatever I stated here are factaul correct . Good thing is that all these facts are documented and hopefully kaironews will contact me in very near future when jammeh is out of power . You may see my contributions as mere ranting but am sure some readers will find them educative. I am not going to be bothered by disgraceful and discredited jammeh apologist like you and others who are in this forum to defend his horrible records. That said , if you know jammeh very well , why can’t you pick up the phone and call him to release those detainees who are illegally detained for past seven months without commiting any crime. Please For the sake of humanity , you can do that since he is your friend .

  27. Bax, I totally disagree with your assertion that Jammeh’s family should be spared especially his children from public discussion. Remember as we speak , you have minors and elderly parents who are detained for not commiting a single crime against Gambian state. It is indeed double standard to act like it is ok for jammeh to abuse our parents and children but we should let his family go Scott free. How Would you feel if your dad is detain by this regime for past seven months without commiting any crimes ? I think our current predicament should be personalized so that we all would feel what some families are going through. This is where sense of nationalism and patriotism comes in . Treat others the way you want to be treated. The time has past for us to be lenient and sit back to wait for your so called Allah’s time. We need to expose jammeh at highest level. This is the commitment and the promised I made personally.

  28. Very much spot on Maxs; the Murderous kanilai Killer Devil MUST be taken upon by ALL & ANY means necessary if we are to succeed in dislodging & reclaim our motherland from Tyrannical Destitution & Decadence…

    Evil yaya jammeh & none of its family & children should be spared for the pungent treatment innocent Gambians & rest of humanity are undergoing under the Murderous kanilai Tyrannical Syndicate…

    Bax, I can understand where you are coming from with our habitual Gambian moral upbringing but we MUST be prepared to strategise, exploring ALL tactics in this struggle of ours including un-Gambian physiological areas, to dislodge our Murderous Tyrannical Killer Devil & EQUALLY EVIL aid-abet cohorts…

    If witchcraft is indeed true, as human murderers EVIL yaya jammeh & its Bojang mother are the REAL established witches of our time in Gambia; Evil yaya’s mother is the only woman in the annals of our country history to have given birth to an ACKNOWLEDGED Murderous Devil. Evil yaya & EQUALLY Dirty Destitute Moroccan-Guinean Prostitute can only give birth to similar little devils….
    NONE of them deserved to be spared any morality in our struggle to reclaim our motherland, NEITHER the hand in gloves aid-abet cohorts either…..

    Dida I hereby again repeat my warnings to you before which Kaironews refused to publish sometime back; we have NO problems with your “emotional unattached” expressions as you got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to loose with Gambia burning to ashes but your dirty calculated manoeuvres to defend the MURDEROUS WANTON destruction of our homeland WON’T elope us; you AREN’T Gambian, NEITHER our friend NOR a sympathizer; you are a parasitic foreigner happened to be opportune to be in Gambia at the wrong material time, taking advantage of our habitual amiable limitless hospitality; with no blood ties & no realistic purposes attached to us except your search for breadcrumbs fluking on our blood for a lifeline from our Murderous Killer Devil….

    Just why can’t you just leave Gambians alone & engage your descended country of Ethiopia or yet your adopted country Kenya both of which have equally if no more problems???

    Gambians will NEVER forgive NOR spare you & only take on you as an EVIL aid-abet Murderous killer Devil Cohort just like the rest few in the services of our Murderous Tyrannical kanilai Killer Devil against the genuine decent innocent Gambians & friends….

  29. Maxs. ..

    Disagreements are not a.problem…They are good and should be seen as a healthy ingredient of a democratic society…

    Personalising National issues, however; is a completely different thing and in my view, unnecessary, unhealthy and counter productive to anything that a civilised society should wish/strive for…Isn’t the personalisation of national resources/institutions and infrastructures part of the issues we are dealing with today?

    Anyway, since you asked a personal question, my answer is that I wouldn’t want my parent (s) or anyone’s, to be detained illegally, but if my parent was detained, I will lay the blame on those responsible, not their spouses or relatives…I will take no action against them, either physically or verbally, unless they are directly involved in the abuse of my father’s rights…

    And, if by any chance, I was ever in a position of authority, I will not order the detention of Jammeh’s parent (s) or children because he detained mine when he was in power…If that is double standards, then yes, I practice “double standards”.

    Maxs, we have all said here and elsewhere that it was wrong for Jammeh to treat the relatives of the 30th December incident as criminals or hold them responsible for the actions of their relatives…

    Jammeh, we all agree, is taking his “fight” with his opponents to their families and we condemn it as immoral, illegal and unethical…And this we said, makes him a beast or a senseless brute with little or no conscience.

    How then can we win the argument against his style and actions if we adopt the same style and strategy..?

    For example, how can we be different from Jammeh, the child abuser, when we are equally guilty of child abuse..

    Exposing the (confidential) medical condition of children in a public domain, is as abusive as locking those children behind bars…

    Or is it right because it is Jammeh’s children.? That’s what is called DOUBLE STANDARDS…! ONE standard for them; ONE standard for us…

    And I don’t speak like that…To me, what is WRONG is WRONG..Child abuse is wrong,and NOTHING justifies it…Nothing at all.

  30. Kaironews I hope you’ll do justice by publishing my above comments this time; we can’t afford to do disservice to our noble struggle by assuming & treating all commentators as mere debaters; & choose to sanction other’s non-insulting counter-reactionary responses….

    Thank you very much.

  31. Amazing stuff from MandingYeli…You deserve a special slot on Kairoradio…Grab a kora and let’s hear more of this because it most certainly reflects our true history, as evidenced by present day ethno-linguistic realities of the African continent…Thank you for this short but amazingly educative piece..

    @Lafia…”So don’t let the mandinkaphobics stop you from loving your mandinka culture and history.”

    Comment : You missed what MandingYeli stated…”Mandeng was a civilisation (not a tribe) and Mandinka(s) , comprising different ethnic groups, were the architects of that civilisation….

    So the people who speak the language we call Mandinka today, are not the only members of that Mandeng civilisation…

    Mandinka/mandinkolu, in its truest sense, refers to all the present day ethnic groups who were part of that great Mandeng civilisation, with its great and humane rulers..

    We should all be.proud of that history and strive to reclaim our rightful place in the history of the world and our contributions to human civilisation. .

    For example, Jolas (in.The Gambia), Bantu (in South Africa), Masai (in.Kenya; also related to the Fula/Fulani people who were also Mandinkas) etc, and probably my in-laws in Erhiopia, were all Mandinkas/Mandinkolu from the great Mandeng Empire…

    The achievements of the Manden civilisation therefore, belongs to all of us and no present day single ethnic group should claim it for itself… like Lafia always does…

    Once again, “INING BAARA” MandingYeli. .

    Assalamu Alaikum. …Ramadan Mubarak

  32. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Well spoken my in-law. This Ethiopian-Bilal-Mandingo has nothing to add to such wise words!

  33. Bax, every one knows that Jammeh is taking the fight with his opponents to their parents and relatives as you rightly stated , so you want us to treat his family nicely . This is the problem we have as Gambians because when tyrant abuse people’s rights , we will have people who will say sit back and we shouldn’t be like him. The only language Jammeh understand is his own language .
    Bax; say: “exposing a medical condition of a children in public domain is as abusive as locking those children behind bars”
    This statement above is outright false and dishonest . How can you compare exposing the medical diagnosis of Jammeh’s retarded sick child to innocent healthy kids held against their will in prison for 8 months by the dictator. Please reveal your true color and stop hiding behind the opposition. Fight for our liberty and freedom has to involve every dimensions from violent to nonviolent means . If the violent is the necessary path to achieve peaceful coexistence and freedom , then that is route we will march. A mere exposure of Jammeh’s sick child gave you the headache to come to his defend. Jammeh’s family is fair game as long as people’s families are fair game in his book . Let’s us stop the hypocrisy and treat each other the way we want to be treated . Nationalism and patriotism are all about equal treatment and this is why some people sacrifice their lives in the defend of others . Is your life more valuable than those Gambians who put their lives on the line every day to fight for our freedom and liberty ? The reason why you have your freedom and liberty in your little appartment in UK is because someone sacrificed his life to defend that freedom and liberty .These are true patriots . It is outright dishonest to accuse anyone of child abuse when I am presenting a fact. Do you think a mere condemnation of atrocities and human rights violations will Change the system we have ? Let’s us Stop being naive and hiding behind our keyboard to act as we are against when we are not. How many of those condemnations were given in the past and what difference do they make to stop it ? Please go and read extensively about liberation struggles in South Africa and civil rights movement in USA and Tunisia , Senegal then you will understand that freedom and democracy is never achieved on silverplatter . You have to work harder to achieve it. I think it is completely ignorance to think that Jammeh will be gone without a fight and this fight has to include his family since he included our families (Gambian families ).
    . The mindset you have the same mindset that majority have in The Gambia which is why we still have Jammeh in power. For far too long when Jammeh abused our people , you are the types of people who comes to his defend pretending to be a saint as well as opposition sympathizer to make the matter worst . You are against every possible means to get rid of Jammeh and the method you pretend to advocate is never going to work . Jammeh is tyrant with weapon and he will use anything to eliminate his opponents. No wonder you are types , you advocate for the peace but never seek justices. Do you know that the greatest and most celebrated freedom fighter in the world , Nelson Mandela has used guerrilla warfare to fight for freedom for his people . Now you don’t support any types of confrontations even a mere exposure of dictator’s family , so what do you want us to do to end this madness ? Don’t you know sometimes conflict is a necessary tool to achieve peace and freedom. Whether we like it or not , that is the direction we are heading to as a country. if citizens give blind eye to truth and result to lies , deception and dishonest acts , the end result is conflict . For god sake , let’s us speak the truth and recognize the we are not dealing with a democrat but a criminal , psychopathic rapist dictator yaya Asombi jammeh.
    Patriots are those who speak the truth in the most difficult circumstances in national discourse .
    Thanks .

  34. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Mandinka/Mandingo means somebody from manding. However, this term evolved in time into a tribe and ethnicity of its own with its own language and culture. There are Serehules in manding even before the creation of the manding empire but they are not called mandinkas. They are called Karankees/Serehules because they have their own distinct culture, language and tradition different from the Mandekalou. Tuaregs also lived in manding for a very long time and are not called Mandinkas. It is because they too have their own language and culture which they kept. The point is that the term “Mandinkas/Mandingo/malike” has for centuries now been transformed for it is since been used to refer to the Mande-speaking people who are spread over 9 countries in West Africa namely; Mali, Burkina Faso, ivory Coast, Liberia, sierra Leone, Guinea Canary, Guinea Bissau, Gambia and senegal. The manding empire itself had gone beyond the territorial boundaries of these countries but they are the ones with Mande-speaking people concentration.

    Tribe and ethnicity is a form of identity base on language and culture unique to the people within the group. It takes some form of social evolution for a tribe emerge. Manding Yeli is only explaining how/where it all began for the mandingo ethnic group, otherwise known as Mandekalou.


  35. MandingYeli

    could you kindly email me at

    I would like to know more about this wonderful history


  36. Bax, when I stated ,to personalize the current predicament , I mean we should put ourselves in the positions of those families who are feeling the pain and are suffering . that was why I asked you a personal question regarding your dad . I am not referring to peronalization Of state institutions or resources as you implied .
    Bax, if you look at history , to fight for freedom and justices in any country , it is never achieved through peaceful means without a fight . Lives has to be lost even in mere democratic means ( through election ) . Example when Abdoulie Wade attempted to extend his welcome in Senegal , Senegalese civil societies and opposition parties mobilized themselves and fight to get rid of him and in the process lives were lost. The same thing happened in south Africa where prominent members of ANC were killed and Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years . In the United States , prominent members of civil rights movement including Dr king were tortured , beaten and killed in an efforts to fight for freedom and equality of all people . These are the facts no one deny. Weak Gambian opposition parties are part of the problem in legitimizing the dictatorship in our country because they are weak , disunited , lack courage , vision and inspiration to challenge and effect change the country needs. If they really want to change the system , they needs to embrace confrontation which includes demonstration to express their views .
    Looking at the struggle , those I respect most and honor their sacrifices are the December statehouse attackers . Looking at captain jagne and others who has left United States with all the comfort , benefits and opportunities they had and went to sacrifice their lives on the behalf of the country , it is indeed truly a honor , duty and love of the country . When you have Jammeh’s enablers though not all , file asylum in USA or west , start masturbating behind their keyboards calling themselves freedom fighters and refuse to put every options on the table including exposure of Jammeh’s family , it is very disheartening. While they continue to lie every damn time to use our country name to get some stupid papers for them to comfortably sit here in the west without fighting or contributing any significant effort to Change the system . I said to those Gambians , they are worst than rapist dictator jammeh because Jammeh believe in something and he is focus on it . Captain Jagne and others didn’t give a damn to any citizenship of any country but they love Gambia more than some of us who called ourselves true patriots . So my points is every options should be used to get rid of Jammeh including exposing his family if that is what is going to help us . Thanks

  37. Maxs. ….

    Honesty, sometimes you do let yourself down.and this is one such occasion…And frankly, I’ve got no time for this sort of ranting….

    All I can say, judging from your position, is that you and I are on different levels and have different principles…

    I do oppose Yaya Jammed and.his style of administration but I do not subscribe to certain ideas and I think you have to respect that…

    My upbringing, professional line.of work and life experiences makes it impossible for me to accept the targeting of children and minors, for the wrongs of their elders, whether that be parents, tribe, ethnic group or communities…

    So, I will retire into my “little apartment” and leave you to enjoy your mighty mansion…

  38. Bax, now that my ranting with sensible and intelligent reasoning drown your rigid political view , you can retire in your little apartment in UK. The Only person targeting children , minors , dead body , disabled , parents , relatives and sick Gambians hospitalized under state sponsored terrorism and intimidation is Dictator , chief child rapist and molester yaya Asombi jammeh .
    You are right we have different approaches to our Gambian predicament And I respect that . I will always stand for the truth and I think we should do everything possible to change the system. Yaya jammeh is the very one targeting every one therefore , I see no reason why we shouldn’t talk about his children or family as long as he is taking the fight with his opponents to Gambian families . I cannot allow anyone to abuse my parents and sit down and fold my hands together, where I came from they call it curse son ( dankaato) if I allow that. Thanks .

  39. For our noble struggle to succeed, we’ll have to engage Murderous kanilai Killer Devil & beat it at it’s OWN game in all areas, including the PSYCHOLOGICAL aspects too….

    Falai Baldeh & others’ calling Evil yaya’s Bojang mother names in the US demonstrations literally broke the Murderous Devil down PSYCHOLOGICALLY; from the Devil’s own stinky mouth, it will NEVER forget, NOR forgive Falai & others for this; BUT how many times have Evil Murderous yaya been abusing our grandparents, fathers & mothers, ourselves, wives, husbands & even our children lately???

    The game ceases when the Tyrannical Devil is captured or eliminated, & streamlined to deal with the necessary issues at hand; accounting the Murderous Beast, if captured alive, & aid-abet cohorts whosoever connived with the Murderous Devil to commit atrocities against Gambians & humanity at large…

    Until the bitter sweet end, comrades, we must engage in ALL & ANY tactics necessary to finish off the job…

    God helps & bless the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen.

  40. Bajaw , thank you for your foresight and understanding . Jammeh is human being , he feel the pain when you insult his mother and as he did to Gambians . Falai baldeh and others insulted his mother in USA demonstration and held him hostage for 2 days in hotel in New York , that was the worst experience in his presidency .

  41. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Max/Bajaw: You tell only half the truth. You don’t add that Falai Baldeh apologised for his behaviour – and joined Jammeh at home! In other words, such disrespectful abusive behaviour achieves NOTHING!

  42. Maxs, we all are in this struggle to reclaim the motherland together…

    In order to succeed, like in any struggle, NO areas must be spared in tackling the kanilai Murderous Devil & aid-abet hands in glove cohorts…

    Until the bitter-sweet end…

    God helps & bless the collective endeavour to salvage Gambia; Ameen.

  43. Dida, that bit is QUITE WORTHLESS to add, knowing how it all ended… Anything done INSINCERELY including that so-called apology NEVER holds water…

    Falai was a ‘victim’ of your equal aid-abet murderous yaya-agents & elements like you who enticed Falai into the self-embarrassing humiliation, assuming & MOST PROBABLY promising rewards or dividends in return as always the case for betraying the struggle & his motherland to join the Murderous Devilish Tyrannical Syndicate bandwagon…

    ONLY for it to turn out, it’s ALL a dubious murderous ploy to lure Falai into the kanilai Killer Devil’s poison infested jaws in the so-called stage managed reunion & get Falai kidnapped & murdered…

    Falai must be thanking his stars for failing to make the faithful journey to Gambia, for ONLY God alone must have saved him from the ill-fated ominous murderous traps set for him with the aid of murderous cohorts like you…

    Now, Falai is without the materialistic gains assumed, expected or intended in such self-demeaning embarrassment humiliation into betraying his OWN motherland, his own self-worth & the future of his children, grandchildren & generations unborn; NOR can he be TRUSTED by fellow GENUINE Gambian compatriots & friends where he truly belongs…

    I’m pretty sure Falai is very remorseful at moment for the tempting misled into this unfortunate situation he finds himself in BUT CAN’T shift the blame to none except himself for only him choose the final decision to do so…

  44. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Dida, when are you going back to Gambia to aid Jammeh once again?? IDS is stripping it all to the bones at the Department of Works and Pensions.


  45. Luntango , it is completely a lie to indicate that falai baldeh joined Jammeh at home . According to the report from freedomnewspaper, falai was interviewed by FBI agent shortly after dictator outburst on national TV and was warned never to travel to Gambia as long as Jammeh is in power . In fact falai Baldeh has never joined APRc according to some reports , he was only interested in so called reconciliation spear-headed by Jammeh’s apologist momodou njai , Omar Faye and others . Do you ever hear Falai defending Jammeh after the Dictator Jammeh’s outburst ? Get your facts straight .
    The disrespectful and abusive behavior is only coming from ungrateful and abusive dictator Jammeh who has no respect for any one including you who always unapologetically comes to his defense .Of course falai Baldeh respond to Jammeh has achieved something , that is Jammeh felt that his mother was insulted . What Jammeh experienced is called empathy which is he felt the same insult Gambians feel when he insult our parents .

  46. Dida, contrary to your utterances, it’s NEVER abusive to call Devil yaya’s Bojang mother names; such a Murderous Devilish Warthog who have been & continue abusing our parents & families, subjecting us ALL to all kinds of maltreatment under this sun…

    I’m sure you can redirect your efforts & energy to the affairs of Kenya, your so-called adopted country, where Uhuru Kenyatta instigated the murder of innocents, just for political purposes; YET debate to contribute to countering the Alshabab Terrorists unleashing havoc & mayhem in Kenya; IF you are EVER GENUINE & TRULY WORTHY to contribute ANYTHING POSITIVE & MEANINGFUL to ANY community ORDER THAN in pretence for your selfish gains…

    Ethiopia, your descended country is very low on the human development index, & rendered destitute through series of maladministration, resources mismanagements & corruption, etc etc; with the current incumbent claiming 100% elections victory in the recent conducted polls; why not join to contribute to “where your mouth is”???

    Your friends Baba Jobe’s murdered, Langtombong Tamba in incarceration, being slowly poisoned & tortured to death currently, makes me wonder how heartless of you to have repaid their friendship…

    Gambians played hospitable hosts to you & stood by you when you were in brushes with the Murderous kanilai Killer Devil’s tyranny; from your own mouth, how many genuine Gambians jubilated for nothing, just for seeing you regain your freedom, & “shook your hands” on your release from illegal incarceration??

    You still hassling our motherland playing the Murderous kanilai Tyrannical Killer Devil advocate; fighting & repaying our hospitality in EVIL aid-abet efforts & manoeuvres for materialistic rewards from the proceeds of our sweat & blood from our Murderous Tyrannical kanilai Dracula?

    You will be treated just like ALL & ANY other EVIL agents & elements in the Murderous Tyrannical kanilai Killer Devil’s EVIL services…

    Your evil work in our Killer Devil’s services in the various media archives will be handy materialistic evidence in post dictatorship accounting; both locals & foreigners MUST account for aid-abet tyrannical oppression in the Gambia in post dictatorship…

  47. Luntango Suun Gann Gi


    Just trying to help with your “struggle”. You said above that what is needed is “analysis”.

    The FIRST thing you need in doing any useful analysis (as opposed to the ranting here) are facts.

    If you don’t base your “analysis” – and conclusions – on facts you screw up … as happened in December.

    With that advise I wish you well in your “analysis”.

  48. Luntango , you have nothing significant to contribute here but you are just masturbating behind the keyboards to release your garbage. You may think we are ranting , we are simply stating the facts. Keep your advise to yourself because we do not need an advice from Jammeh’s apologist or someone with ill-conceived ideas . If you are defending someone is better you come up with reasons why you are defending him . That is where debate and intelligent discussion comes in .

  49. Dida, Gambians NEVER needed NOR solicited for any TWISTED hypocritical “analysis” from aid-abet Murderous Devilish elements like Dida Halake. Everyone have been reading through your hypocrisy ALL ALONG whether you believe it or not…

    You will be prosecuted just like any devilish advocates if you ever set foot within Gambian jurisdiction in post dictatorship, for your Tyrannical Oppression aid-abet services to our Murderous kanilai Devil from your days at daily observer newspaper to any relevant times against the genuine Gambians & friends….

    The noble December attempt failed purely due to the BETRAYAL of equally EVIL Murderous cohorts like you whom were ASSUMED comrades in the struggle but turned to be sheep-clothed wolves; in any struggle including ours some noble lives must sacrifice for the freedom of the rest..

    I’m sure your “help” is surely relevant in your communities where you belong; you are asked on umpteen times & once more to PLEASE leave us alone; THANKS.

  50. Luntango Suun Gann Gi


    You guys do indeed need to do a “psychological analysis” and as the great Frantz Fanon once said, “the best place to start is with yourselves”. To borrow a word from Fanon’s friend Sartre, what bothers you two is not Jammeh but your own personal NOTHINGNESS. Get a grip!

    • Luntango, am requesting some more follow up on your upstart socialist HERO Mr Tsipras. Just wandering why he has not gone to Russia and Chine to avoid this humiliation. You and your kind are still living in the pre-cold war era. Your other primitive hero, his Nonchalance, witch doctor, (” you are either a witch or a doctor” ), kankurang, etc A J J will be similarly humiliated.

  51. Every decent Gambian knows you are a foreign parasitic fluke & mercenary in our Murderous Devil’s unsolicited services preying on the Gambian hospitality to do your dirty work in cleansing the Murderous kanilai Killer Devil’s blood soaked image for any crumb leftovers…

    Even the Murderous Devil itself saw through your lies & never bothered to rehire your dirty worthless services again…

    You have been given the message to stop meddling in Gambian affair & matters; you will surely face the consequences if you live to our post dictatorship time & ever set foot in Gambia…

  52. Luntango , I want to engage you substantively but You refused to answer any question . You have nothing significant to contribute but Only masturbating behind your keyboard to release your garbage. For your information I have never work and support Jammeh since day one because I know he is a criminal who committed treasonable crime. Jammeh has been a criminal since day one . You indicated that our personal nothingness is what bothered us but not Jammeh . This statement is one of your biggest lie and ignorance statement . I have good education and great profession both in Gambia and USA . You can sit behind your keyboard and when you are lonely , you can spew your ignorance and even lied about people you don’t know . It is our constitutional rights to criticize jammeh or public officials in our country. If you obsessed with jammeh because of Stockholm syndrome , I would encourage you to see a psychiatrist . Victims of psychopath needs special intervention before they finally get their life back .

  53. I don’t think that this is Arabizing Mandinka history. It is just telling the truth. According to Tarikh al-fettash and Tarikh al-sudan, the Mandinka (and probably all of the Mende) come form the Soninke, who come from the Sinhaajah and Ketaamah migrations out of Arabia before Islam and were part of the original concept that the Arabs had for the Berbers who were spread out throughout North, West and Central Africa. The problem is if you think that the Arabs are originally white. According to Lisanul-Arab and other early Islamic sources the Arabs were black and kinky haired with some of them being jet black, and they were called sudanul-‘arab or aghribatul-Arab. Most Arabs were a color known as udmah which is a deep brown common to Africa. Say someone’s color was udmah shadeedah meant that they were jet black ‘As-ham, Ad-ham or Adlam.’ We need to realize that the original Arabs were much closer to Black Africans than to European, Persian or Turkish types. It is their constant mixture with them that lightened them up, as well as migration to Arabia.

    Think about it any people’s native to coastal Arabia had to be very black and kinky haired because coastal Arabia is hotter, sunnier and more humid than any place in Africa.