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Gambia: Haddijatou Jobe – Gambia’s Youngest Author

In a world where technology reigns and many youthful minds are lost within the translucent light of a pixel screen, mindlessly gobbling fleeting data, Haddijatou Jobe immersed herself in a plethora of literary works and at the young age of fourteen published her first book and went on to become the youngest author the Gambia has ever seen.

As an avid reader with a persistent fascination for books, young Haddijatou Jobe, a native of FajiKunda, found her love for reading and writing being nurtured into something that will be sharpened to perfection as time accompanied her growth, and this notion was further etched in stone with the relentless motivation she received from her family members, the ultimate support group any individual soaked in dreams could desire.

With the knowledge she amassed over time, the young literature enthusiast was becoming aware of the writing dexterity she had developed and what it could mean to make use of It. Thus on April 10th, 2021, at the tender age of fourteen, Haddijatou Jobe published ‘Successful Dreams’ as her first book, canonizing her in Gambian history as the youngest author to ever achieve this feat. When asked how being a role model at such a young age made her feel, Haddijatou Jobe Humbly relayed her thoughts.

“I feel motivated to be the youngest Gambian writer because I get to be an inspiration to most of my fellows who have the intention of becoming writers.”

Haddijatou herself draws inspiration from other Gambian writers such as internationally published and well-renowned author Modou Lamin Age-Almusaf Sowe and esteemed Gambian poetess Juka F Jabang. It is almost an obligation, to say the least, that the young writer will proceed to walk the same path the above-mentioned critically acclaimed authors did, luminous in a way unique only to her and making splashes of change amongst her colleagues, the youth, and the schooling community at large.

On the 29th of July 2023, Haddijatou Jobe goes on to prove that she isn’t just a one-hit wonder and launched the publication of her second book titled ‘The Broken Home’, a heart-wrenching, soul-mending novel that talks about the separation of families, unplanned divorces, child molestation, and destiny.

“I hope to achieve the goal of fixing many broken homes and educate my fellows to avoid it as we are the future parents.” Said Haddijatou concerning what she aspires to achieve with her latest novel. She also goes on to share her thoughts on the complexities of ensuring that the sale of these novels garners a colossal audience. With her primary means of distribution entailing selling her books at schools, Haddijatou conveys that it is difficult to sell books in the Gambia as the reading culture amongst the youth and adults isn’t very prominent.

Despite that, she wildly encourages youngsters to take up reading and writing and had a sweet bout of words for aspiring authors. “The advice I have for upcoming writers is that they should read from other authors to get experience and make sure they write about things they wish to educate people about.”

With milestones as ginormous as the ones she has achieved at such a young age, Haddijatou Jobe sways in the hands of humility in quite a graceful dance and possesses a subtle hunger of wanting to achieve bigger things and reside in bigger places. And at the pace at which she is going, we can only assume that such dreams are not extremely far from reach.

Now at 17 years old, the established author is currently in 10th grade pursuing her high school certificate in the science field at Nusrat Senior Secondary School.

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