James Badjie is the only known young Gambian working in the hospitality and tourism industry of the Maldives.
Born in Berending, Kombo South, 27-year-old James Badjie moved to the South Asian country in 2015 after bagging a job with Niyama Private Islands, a resort that is very popular among the rich and famous.
He told What’s On-Gambia: “I was recommended by a previous supervisor I worked with at Sheraton Hotel Gambia. He gave my CV to ones of the bosses here and that’s how I got the job.”
James added: “I am now a restaurant supervisor. The resort recently paid for me to do the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 course and very soon, I will be promoted to a wine sommelier.”
The Berending-born described the Maldives as a “paradise on earth.”
“My resort is popular among celebrities. I met a lot of them including footballers such as Luiz Suarez and Fernando Torres. I had the opportunity to serve them and make their dining experience an amazing one.”
Talking about his education and career, James said: “I graduated from St Augustine’s Senior Secondary School in 2009. My aim was to study at the University of The Gambia but because of financial reasons, I could not. In 2010, I struggled to pay for a course at Lamin Institute of Professional Studies where I got both a certificate and diploma in Travel and Tourism.
“I later went to the Hotel School to study Food and Beverage and was among the best students in that department. I got the chance to do my internship at Ocean Bay Hotel and from there I was offered a job at Sheraton Hotel Gambia where I worked in different outlets before moving to the Maldives.”
About the Maldives
The Republic of the Maldives is a sovereign archipelagic nation positioned in the Indian Ocean. Notably, the South Asian Island nation has no counterpart in the entire world in terms of its unique geography and topography.
The Maldives comprises of 26 natural atolls consisting of dual island chains. Incidentally, the Maldivian language has the distinct pleasure of contributing to the English word “atoll”, which was derived from the Maldivian word “atholhu”.