As we mourn the death of Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, here are three reasons why many Gambians respect and love him.
After his election as the country's first president, he guided The Gambia to become a modern, inclusive and pluralistic republic.
Sir Dawda was a charismatic crowd-pulling leader, who made Gambians look forward to the future instead of dwelling on the country's colonial past. He was made a Knight of the Grand Cross of Saint Michael and Saint George by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1966.
His educational accomplishments
Sir Dawda was among the first rural boys to bag a university degree. Son of a trader, he attended the University of Glasgow, where he bagged a degree in veterinary medicine.
The former Gambian leader was a strong role model for rural boys, inspiring and encouraging a lot of them to pursue their academic goals.
Sir Dawda was more than a leader. He was a person who lived a life with human morals and ethics. He dedicated every single minute of his life serving The Gambia.
Unlike President Adama Barrow, he communicated with people regularly and his communication was always inspiring and touched thousands.