The death has been announced of Pa Nderry M’bai, proprietor and editor of the Gambia’s online Freedom Newspaper.
According to his friends, M’bai passed away Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina, after a brief illness.
Born in Touba Mourid, Niamina, Central River Region, M’bai started his journalism career at the Daily Observer Newspaper in the early 1990s. He reported on a number of issues and developed a reputation of reporting what the authorities and the management of his newspaper never wanted to be published.
Being a thorn on the side of the authorities and the owners of the Daily Observer, which was headed by the late Buba Baldeh, M’bai was sacked from his post in 2000 in what the newspaper described as a ‘restructuring exercise’.
Weeks later, M’bai joined The Point Newspaper, and under the guidance of the Late Deyda Hydara, he continued reporting on issues affecting the Gambians. He also reported to the Voice of America radio.
In 2005, M’bai relocated to the United States and worked briefly for a number of online Gambian newspapers and forums including the defunct All Gambia before establishing the Freedom Newspaper.
M’bai used the freedom of living in the United States to give a voice to all Gambians and to expose the ills of the regime of Yahya Jammeh.
His style of journalism was despised by the Jammeh regime and exposed his family to government attacks. In one instance, his parents were paraded on national television by the authorities and forced to disown him.
M’bai continued to be a thorn on the side of President Jammeh and played a significant role in bringing down his regime in 2016.
He continued to run his newspaper until last week when he took ill.