Jacob speaks fluent Mandinka with Sukutarian accent

It is very rare to hear a young British man utter a few words in Mandinka, let alone have a full conversation with Mandinka speakers - but 23-year-old Jacob Sykes does it every day. 

His mother and grandparents moved to The Gambia when he was four years old and settled in Sukuta, where they still own a compound. 

"I was brought up in Sukuta. It was very easy for me to learn Mandinka," said Jacob.

He disclosed he attended Sukuta Lower Basic School before moving to SBEC International and Marina International for his high school education.

"I am now back in the UK, but I visit The Gambia every year between December and January. I am a Gambian. I prefer speaking Mandinka when I meet Gambians here in the UK."

When asked whether he has a Gambian girlfriend, Jacob said: "Yes, I do. But her father wants us to get married now."



Written by Lamin Saidy