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I’m a reserve cop: Interview with Gambian immigrant in the USA
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I’m a reserve cop: Interview with Gambian immigrant in the USA

Ibrahima Fatty is a Gambian immigrant living in the USA. He is one of the young men working as reserve cops for the Mankato Police Department. In this interview, Ibrahima tells us more about himself, and the struggle to achieve the American dream. 

What’s On-Gambia: Can you please tell us a little about yourself? 

Ibrahima Fatty: Well, I'm Ibrahima Siacka Fatty. Born and raised in London Corner, Jang Jang Road. I currently live in the United States and I am a youth activist and an upcoming motivational speaker. 

When did you move to the USA and why? 

I moved to the United States in early 2000. And part of my reasons to move to the US is to pursue higher education and a career in youth activism. 

So what are you doing now? 

Right now, I am engaged in lot of things. I am currently working with Johnson Marine Outdoors as a technician and also with the Mankato Police Department as a Reserve Cop, but still doing my youth programs with the kids in the community.  I try to keep them out of trouble and there is this new program we come up with called Tapestry Project. I am the community connector working with the refugees, as well, from Somalia and Sudan.  I help them with their English and how to get a job etc... 

What is a reserve cop? 

Is like working with the Police Department, is pretty much like a part-time cop. 

So you are not an informer? 

(Laughs) not even close to an informer! 

But are people not suspicious of your engagement with the police? 

Well, not really. Why is it that if you are an African or Black working with the Police, you are considered a snitch? 

When did your interest in the police first come alive for you? 

Back in 2010, it was when I first met my God parents. My godmother is the Police Commander-in-Chief here in Mankato and My godfather who is a retired FBI and former Police Commander. 

Where in the US do you live? 

I live in a small town call Mankato in Minnesota. 

Do you have many Gambians living there? 

We are only eight. 

Ibrahima Fatty

Do you guys hang out a lot? 

Well, I only hang out with two of them, the rest I just talk to them on the phone once a while. I have a busy schedule, the only day that I'm off is on Sunday and even that I stay home to cook,  laundry and do some cleaning. Pretty much that's all I do. 

Are you married? 

I am divorce sorry... 

What are the major challenges you face as an immigrant in the USA? 

There are lots of challenges you go through as an immigrant in the USA. But you know it all depends on what you engage yourself into, because this people will never be after you unless you break the law. But is not an easy road I will tell you that. 

Are you an American citizen now? 

(Laughs) well I am a US citizen. 

How often do you visit The Gambia? 

Not yet so far... 

Come on, why? 

I have to put myself together first, before I just jump and go to The Gambia. I have friends and family there but I can't just go there like that without any foundation you know what I mean? 

Yes I understand. If you could speak to young Gambians, what message or advice would you give to them? 

I would tell them to keep on moving in the right direction. You can make it anywhere in the world if you put your mind to it. Life isn’t easy. You got to have an ambition and be a visionary thinker, you can make it if you are not negative minded or hang out with negative minded people. I want to tell them to be positive and surround themselves with those who are positive minded. We’re all learning about this life daily. 

Thanks for the time. Any final words? 

Thank you too for this interview with me. I just want to thank Allah and my wonderful parents in The Gambia and here in the USA as well. I want to tell all the young talented Gambians out there to keep their head up and keep on the struggle, and not to forget my two wonderful little brothers in Gambia with the hard work they are doing - Hassan and Yankuba Fatty. 


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