Foday Singhateh will go down in history books as the first Gambia born at State House where Barrow now occupies as the nation’s leader.
Now 52, Foday as his surname indicates, was born to Sir Farimang Mamadi Singhateh, the second and last Governor-general deputising then Queen of England Elizabeth II as head of state of The Gambia.
Foday from research made by Gambia News, was born on January 4th 1968, two years after his father Sir Farimang was appointed as governor-general, the first black man to hold that prestigious portfolio.
Singhateh Jnr grew up under the watch of a British nanny called Mrs. Close and Aja Dandang, who reports say, was from Jangjangbureh and a sister to Farimang.
Foday’s stay at the presidential palace was short-lived after Singhateh Snr was evacuated to Las Palmas in 1970 under the pretext of a “leave”.
The leave grant, believed to be the first ever offered to a “reluctant” head of state, according to our research, was to clear Farimang out of the way to pave the path for Sir John Paul to succeed as the final governor.
There is ambiguity fifty odd years on as to why Farimang had to leave for Las Palmas or Morocco amid claims of a coup plot before returning to the country May 1970 at a time the post was already abolished and Jawara was installed as the country’s first executive president.
Worth mentioning is, Farimang, was first appointed as acting governor without his consent while he was in Farafenni practicing medicine but took up the role anyway before rising through the ranks to the capacity of governor-general.
Decision to offer him the governorship, according to our findings, was based on the following he commanded in the hinterland for his humanitarian works.
Much like the drama playing out between Adama Barrow and the United Democratic Party in the aftermath of his election as Yaya Jammeh’s replacement, Farimang also resigned from the PPP to the consternation of the party bigwigs following reports of a spat.
This incident, it’s claimed, is reason for Singhateh senior’s alleged forced evacuation before he returned to relocate to the family’s current home in Pipeline.
Upon his return, he lived a quiet life, shuttling between Basse and Mansakonko with his humanitarian endeavours while also being the leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaa’t.
Foday , his first son, inspired by his dad’s works, has continued this philanthropist undertaking, helping the poor under the Sir Farimang Singhateh Foundation.
Early this year, Foday and his foundation won an Afrifamu award for community achievement ventures.
Unlike majority kids of former ministers or presidents, Foday refused to bask in the glory and live off the fame of his famous father, taking up his own route as a successful businessman.
Through his works, he helped set up the Lady Fanta’s Bakery, and gave hundreds of bread to the poor during the current coronavirus crisis.
Described as a humble easy-going “gentleman” by those close to him, Foday is also a farmer and a big supporter the “eat what you grow” mantra.