Interview with Yaya Bojang, the only Brikama nurse actively involved in politics

Written by Alieu Khan

Yaya Bojang

Yaya Bojang is from the powerful Bojang family of Brikama. He is the councilor of Brikama Suba Ward. Read below our interview with the nurse-cum-politician:

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

Yaya: I’m Yaya Bojang, a Gambian by birth. I live in Brikama Mansaring-Su in Kombo Central. I graduated in 1995 as a general nurse at the School of Nursing in Banjul. I started my nursing career working at Bansang Hospital for seven years, and from there I came back to the school to train as a mid-wife. Then, I worked at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital for two years before joining the Medical Research Council (MRC). Now, I work in the private health sector.

How did you enter into politics?

I was born into politics. My people suffered a lot in the hands of the former regime, because we were the only opposition in Brikama. My uncle, Jerreh-ba Mai Bojang was against the PPP government. As a small boy, I was regularly attending NCP meetings. My uncle inspired me to join politics.

Tell us about your job as the councilor of Suba Ward?

I am the ward’s contact person. Any organization that wants to establish something in Suba should contact me as written in the Local Government Act.

Do you have a team that helps you?

Yes, we call it Ward Development Committee. Each kabilo have to identify two representatives (male and female) to represent them in the committee.

How do you select the kabilo representatives?

It is done with the alkalos’ guidance.

What are your achievements so far?

I have built a nursery school in Fula Kunda. I contributed immensely in the establishment of Suba Ward Police Station. I have also given out ten scholarships to needy children.

Where do you get the money?

From the Brikama Area Council.

How do you balance your job as a nurse with your political career?

I am playing both roles effectively. It is because of politics I joined the private health sector, so that I can be able to determine my work schedule.

Yaya Bojang

You own a drug store, right?

No, I am employed by someone.

Is it true that some nurses steal medicine from the hospitals to start their own drug stores?

That is what people say. It is very unethical of a nurse to steal medicine that is meant for the public. We don’t steal medicine. Besides, there are measures in place to control the distribution of medicine in all health centres.

Then how comes most of the local drug stores are owned by nurses, who are still working in public health centres?

They have the license to run a drug store.

What are your political ambitions in the future?

I may possibly retire from active politics, if there are still obstacles like hatred and witch haunting.

Are you hated by some Brikamaians?

The people of Brikama are very corny. They can kill you while they are laughing. You try to do everything for them, but in return they can hate you for no reason.

Didn’t you know that before entering politics?

I knew I will face a lot of obstacles, but I am used to it.

How can you be so negative about your own people?

I know them and they know me!

Are you married?

Yes, with six children.

What is your response to Sheriff Bojang’s appointment as the Minister of Information?

I know Sheriff since he was a young boy…

So you are older than him?

I am older than even his elder sister. I have no doubt that he would deliver to the best of his ability, because he got the ambition and talent.

Are you 100% APRC?

(Laughs) I am one million percent APRC.