President Yahya Jammeh has suffered a shocking defeat in the country's presidential elections. Adama Barrow, a property developer, won more than 45% of the vote.
It was 8:36 am this morning, and I heard my phone ringing. I picked up, and the voice on the other end said “Barrow won, Yassin, he won.” I could not believe it, but tt was indeed true. Barrow was declared winner of the 2016 Gambian elections. I could not help but jump, scream and cry. I kept a smile on my face all day long. I remember once I posted on Facebook, and the post read, “I too would one day like to know how it feels to have a new president.” This is it. This is how it feels, and I can assure you that I love it.
I was born in 1995, a year after President Jammeh took office. In my 21 years in this world, he’s been my president. He promised Gambians that he wouldn’t stay for long when he took power through a coup d'etat back in 1994, but he stayed for 22 long years.
I am very proud of my fellow Gambians. The ones that fought this fight, the ones that went out to vote, the young people who did not allow threats, fear, or anything else hinder them from speaking their minds, for demanding change. This victory is for them. I am proud of the coalition, for winning this election. It is now time for The Gambia to build a new country. A country that respects human rights and democracy.
I hope this new government will work to improve our education system in The Gambia, and create more employment opportunities for young Gambians. We have lost too many young Gambians to the ‘back way’ because of the high rate of unemployment in the country. The Gambia is a beautiful country, and Gambians are very welcoming, and loving people. Gambia, and Gambians deserve this victory today. I hope The Gambia will set an example for many countries in Africa, and for the rest of the world; an example in the power of the people and their voices, but most importantly in the power of democracy. Thank you Gambia!
Yassin Choye is a One Young World Ambassador from The Gambia. She is the founder of Educate our Children Africa, a non-profit organization which ensures that children in The Gambia are afforded a chance to quality education. Yassin is also a Global Youth Ambassador for A World at School, calling attention to the 58 million children, whom are currently denied their human right to education, around the world. She is currently studying at Georgetown University.