PROFILE: London security guard, Arsenal fan becomes Gambia’s president

Call him Donald J. Trump, name him Muhammadu Buhari; whichever way, you would be correct. He is the man who has defied all odds to lead The Gambia out of the “strangle-hold” of Yahya Jammeh, who has dictated to the country for 22 years.

He is Adama Barrow, the Gambia’s president-elect!

Born in February 1965 in a small village near Basse, The Gambia, the 51-year-old politician attended the local Koba Kunda Primary School and then Crab Island Secondary School in the state capital.

As a bright student, Barrow received a scholarship for Muslim High School, and worked immediately after graduation, at Alhaji Musa & Sons, where he later became the sales manager.

He later moved to London at the turn of the millennium, where he studied for a degree in real estate while working as a security guard to finance his studies.

He was a guard at Argos catalogue store in north London, where he was a staunch Arsenal fan with a keen eye and sense of security.

British media have even reported that while guarding the shop on Holloway Road, he made a citizen’s arrest on a shoplifter, which resulted in a six-month jail term.

He returned to The Gambia in 2006 and started Majum real estate, where he was the chief executive officer until his election as president.


Like Donald Trump, Barrow is a real estate mogul, who never held any political office before becoming president, against all odds.

At the final count of Gambia’s 53 constituencies broadcast on state TV, Barrow had received 263,515 votes, compared to Jammeh’s 212,099 and 102,969 votes for Mammah Kandeh, the leader of the only opposition party, which refused to back Barrow.

Unlike Trump, he is a devout Muslim, with two wives and five children.


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