I am engrossed in the privilege of nostalgia and have found myself in a state of reflective reminiscence of the words of my friend Late Koto Pa Aziz Secka, in Churchill Town (former representative Easy Jeans), who once lectured me about the immeasurable power and absolute necessity of a good character.
According to Koto Aziz, Character should be every person’s ultimate possession and a valuable inheritance passed on to future generations.
Character is expressed through the choice of our actions. We often hear that annoying phrase that Politics is a dirty game. Koto Aziz would never have agreed and neither do I.
This is because people with good intentions make promises but people with good character keep their promises. It is the absence of good character in politics that paint it dirty. Abraham Lincoln once said: “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing” I agree with him completely. The real thing in life as in politics should be character and then we are going to see the germination of hope.
It does not matter where you are or who you are. With the right character, mountains will melt before your eyes. In the course of my life, I have seen children from rich families live in squalor after the demise of their parents because they lacked character. I have also seen an Imam who squandered opportunities for his Mosque because he dipped his fingers in the Mosque coffers.
I have witnessed a God-fearing family crumble because the children lacked the character to pick up the button. I can say without any fear of exaggeration that the Gambia has been driven to ruins by its ex- leader, Yahya Jammeh because he pursued wealth instead of his people’s interests.
Koto Aziz Secka was right. Every day I am faced with the luxury of choices that perpetually put my character on trial. Yes, Koto Aziz you were right, “personality can take you to the top, but character will keep you there”.