Veteran Gambian wresting and traditional music commentator Alhagie Cham dies, at 52

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EYEAFRICA TV:  Banjul, THE GAMBIA: One of the first Gambian veteran wrestling and traditional music commentators Alhagie Cham passed away on Wednesday, at Gambia’s main referral hospital; Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in the Capital, Banjul, at age 52.

Mr. Cham was born in Kerr Jarga, in North Bank Region, in 1967 and had been actively participating in several development activities in the country, including Islamic religious teachings and the promotion of education.

He started radio commentary at City Limits Radio and later moved to West Coast Radio, where he stayed until his demise on Wednesday. He was the anchor of Jarr Jarr; a Wolof radio programme show at West Coast Radio.

Family and friends described Mr. Cham as a peace-loving man who always puts the interest of people first in all his engagements. He will be laid to rest on Thursday at his home village of Kerr Jarja at 10am. He was married with two wives and several children.

“Mr. Cham was a member of board of trustee of Mboutou Trust Fund that provides scholarships to needy students at the University of The Gambia,” Sheikh Tijan Jobe, head of Standard Chartered Bank IT department for West Africa based in Ghana and one of his close friends said of him.

He said the late Mr. Cham has always participated in worthy causes, including being a member of Kerr Jarja Foundation and played crucial role in the empowerment of Gambian wrestling through the media. “He was also a Dara Ustass and loves his family dearly.”

Mr. Cham also understands rich Gambian history and has been a veteran historian who interviewed famous Gambian historians like late Alhagie Mansour Jobe of GRTS, chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission Alieu Momar Njie and Islamic scholar Sheikh Abdou Barhama from Kafrine, Senegal. He also interviewed journalist Alhagie Ebou Cham based in the United States of America, Sheikh Said Omar Kebbeh of Banyaka and businessman Alhagie Ali Mbaye Buga Mbahal.

He used to discuss the history of historian Mam Omar Saine, founder of Kerr Omar Saine in Niumi and Maba Jahu. Mr. Cham has had detailed documentary of past Khalifas in both Senegal and Gambia.

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