A chat with a Banjulian youth leader cum entrepreneur

Written by MS Bah

Investing in young people is not a waste and it will never be. So said a hardworking young Gambian whose descriptions are as many as his name. Modou Lamin Biram Bah is a Banjulian youth leader and an entrepreneur. In this interview, he talks to us about his life and the aspirations of young people in the city of Banjul.

What’s On-Gambia: Tell us briefly about yourself?

Modou:My name is Modou Lamin Biram Bah. I am 29 years old, married with a son. I attended St Therese’s Primary School, Methodist Academy and then to Gambia Senior Secondary School.

I also attended MDI where I studied Business Management and Administration from Certificate level to Graduate Diploma.

I worked at Mansea Beach Resort and from there I was appointed as general controller for Manjai Lodge from 2008 to 2009.

In November 2009, I started as a franchise owner at NICE GAMBIA then opened a Branch in Banjul which was named NICE. I worked with them untill June 2013 then I decided to startup my own business with the profit I gained during my franchise process with NICE GAMBIA I changed the Name of the business and named it MODOU'S GENERAL SERVICES.

What type of services does your business offer?

MODOU'S GENERAL SERVICES is an advisory and referral Job Center. We do internet and documentation services, design business card, company logos etc.  We also sell mobile accessories, mobile phones, tablets and flash drives.

How many employees do you have?

I have six employees as at now and hoping to employ more soon when I expand the business. All of them are young Gambians.

Is it easy working with young Gambians?

Of course, yes! I have the same staff since 2010.

Any challenges operating a business?

The tax levied on small businesses is not encouraging. I would like the authorities responsible to look into it.

You are the chairman of the Banjul Youth Committee, right? How did that happen?

I became the Chairman of the BYC through determination and commitment that the young people of Banjul saw in me and decided to elect me into office to run the affairs of the young people of Banjul for a period of 2 years according to the Youth Act of The Gambia.

 I and my executive committee hope to bring changes in order to improve the capacity building level of the young people of Banjul and create awareness through sensitization.

How do you combine running a business and youth work?

Is not easy but I try to schedule myself every day and thank Allah it is working well. Of course, I do have challenges sometimes when the two clash but I always try by all means to make it work.

What do you think can be done to eliminate some of the difficulties young Banjulians are facing?

Lots of things need to be fixed. The youth need sufficient support from the authorities. We are the majority not only in Banjul, but in the whole country. Investing in young people is not a waste and it will never be.