By Patience Loum, Banjul, Gambia, Tuesday November 5, 2019.
Fatou Jallow, commonly known as Toufa Jallow who won the Miss July 22 Beauty pageantry in 2014 has accused the former President of the Republic of The Gambia of sexual assault and rape at the State House in Banjul.
According to Toufa Jallow’s statement at the Truth Reconciliation and Reparations Commissions (TRRC), the former President Yaya Jammeh proposed to marry her, adding that she denied.
The beauty queen said she thought it was a trap, as she had previous conversations with the ex-president on early marriage and pursuing one’s dreams.
She said at the time, she thought the then president was testing her knowledge on things they had already talked about. “He then went on to ask what my thoughts on marriage were. We also got into conversations on feminism and what I thought about it. And in between that, a call was also made.”, she said.
Jallow continued that “It’s either he called the wife or the wife called him and they were on the phone, the same normal exchanges ‘goodnight’, I don’t know where she was and then he hang up. And when he hung up the phone casually he said to me ok let’s get this over with, would you want to marry me?
The statement furthers that; “So, I then asked him as in, like you mean to marry you and he said yes. Now, as a lot of people, the expectation in this moment is that am supposed to be excited like there is no way it was the best news of my life.
The dynamics here of what put me back is not because someone wanted to marry me. It’s because from the very second that I walked into a room with Yaya Jammeh, he did not in any shape of form show me that he’s interested in me, he likes me or said anything in that regard.
From the very first that we interacted he showed me that he was a father figure and I’ve gotten comfortable around him within that perimeter. And so for me to accept his proposal, it must have been something that I processed along the way but I was set back because a father has just broken what we have kind of built.
So I thought it was a joke and I thought ok maybe he’s testing me because Yaya Jammeh has told me time and time again not to concentrate on men and focus on my education so I thought it was a test especially after immediately talking to his wife.
And he continued telling me that I am beautiful and that’s when I said ok he’s not joking, he’s actually serious with this and I said to him I do not want to get married right now not because of you or anyone but because I want to focus on education.”
She said the president asked her to go and think about what he proposed. She later explained to the commission that she felt betrayed and disappointed that the man she looked up to as a father has just broken that trust.
After her conversations with the president, Toufa said she started boycotting events and meetings and would even pretend to be sick and not pick her calls. According to her, things started to get weird and she would feel like she’s being followed or her phone line was being tracked.
At one point she got tired of always lying to Jimbi and decided to go along another event she was invited to at the state house which was a ‘Gamo’ (a Muslim gathering for Quranic recitation). It was this night that she got raped by the ex-president, National Telegraph gathered.