TRIBUTES TO JEGGAN COLE

M.I.S. ALUMNI

MODUPEH ELIZABETH NJIE-SENGHORE:
When I heard of Jeggan’s passing, like many others I was in complete and utter shock. How could such a bright light and spirit suddenly be no more? Someone with such a bright future just.. gone… The concept is maddening.
Over the last few years since I moved back home, we had lost touch but I still remember the vacations in Maryland with Mamie and J at Ebi’s or Aunty Neneh’s. I got to know him a lot better. The one thing that stood out for me was his complete love for his mom. And how in every action, every dream, he hoped to make her proud. I remember a conversation we had one evening. I had spent a few minutes teasing him relentlessly about girls and relationships when he got very serious. He spoke of how he wanted to find a woman like his mum, strong, brave and loyal. He didn’t feel less loved without his father in his life because he had everything in his mum. I teased him that day. Joked that he had an unhealthy relationship with his mum and that no girlfriend/future wife would ever live up to that pedestal he put his mum on. He tried to laugh it off with his usual goofy smile and so did I. What I didn’t tell him was how refreshing it was to hear a guy talk about some of the important things in life and not so self-obsessed like the rest of them our age.
He had such big dreams. And not just in his career but in his personal life. He longed for the day when he would be a father. How he wanted a son. How he wanted to be a great father even though he had no idea how to be one.
Days later I still can’t believe he is gone. Like many of his friends I have regrets of not keeping in touch. But I have faith that he is in a better place with the angels and at peace. Today I remember him swinging on a chair, his long skinny legs dangling with that smile on his face. I remember how he would sometimes try to annoy me for fun and how I couldn’t stay mad at him even if I tried. Today I remember my friend, a gentle soul and a kind heart. Jeggan, may the Lord who has called you, take you to himself. May angels lead you to Abraham’s side. Give him eternal rest o lord and may your light shine upon him forever. Receive his soul and present him to God most high. May his soul rest in peace. Goodbye old friend..

To Ms. Cole, I am so very sorry for your loss. I have no words to help ease your pain but I pray the Lord gives you strength during this difficult time. And I hope you find some comfort knowing that even though Jeggan is no longer with us, his memory lives on through all of us, all the lives he touched.

 

MUHAMMED NJIE:
May his soul rest in perfect peace.

 

YA AMIE TOURAY:
To our dearest Jeggan, a beautiful soul inside out, you fought a brave and strong battle for the last couple of days. You took each day in stride but you lost in the end, not because you were not a fighter but because our Lord knew you deserved to be in a far better place by his Grace.

You’ve lived a short but productive and effectual life. Your subtle but infectious smiles, laughter, jokes would always remain with us. As we mourn you today, we also celebrate the life of a gentleman.

Rest in peace Jeggan

 

YUSEF TAYLOR (Dan):
My deepest condolences to Ms. Cole.

Jeggan was a very good friend and classmate of mine. I remember competing with him in many sports events and one thing I always remember was he knew how to take defeat even though he seldom lost. Those skinny legs where always fast and swift. It’s such a shame his race has been cut off at such an early stage. I’ll always remember his brilliance at class. We’ve lost a very intelligent young man.

You’ll be sorely missed by all.

 

MODOU SARR:
This is tough. It’s unfortunate how we save the best things we have to say to each other for times like these.

 

Maybe I should speak for myself.

Last I heard of Jeggan was a little over two years ago, after haven gone our separate ways upon graduating from high school

It would be almost seven years later that we would re-connect, with hopes of working together on internet related initiatives, he was the IT man,  it was soon clear to me that I was lucky to know him let alone have an opportunity to work with him. His potential was shining through, and this is specifically makes his passing more difficult to deal with, for there was no doubt that as proud of him we all are already, Jeggan was set to accomplish nothing short of greatness.  He was the type of person that in an innate, subtle yet primal sort of way, you knew that you were around good energy just by being around him, yes, there was no negativity around Jeggan Cole.

 

I know the tendency on times like these, is to paint a glowing picture of a departed loved one, fit for the saintliest of saints, I promised myself that if I am going to share some words about Jeggan it would be with sincere insight into what I really thought of him, not for his mother who has been my dearest teacher for five years, not for the Marina family, but something I owe to Jeggan himself, this is between him and I.

 

The simple truth is, of the approximately 15 years I have known Jeggan, I have not known him

tell a lie; cause discomfort to another in any sort of way with purposeful intention; do something beneath him to seek the attention or approval of his peers. He did not wear his ego on his sleeve.

But you knew by his grace that he was not a push over.

I have nothing but respect for the man, one thing I know, is that not a lot of us “Gambians” are fortunate enough to possess all of these noble qualities ourselves or know someone else who does.

Then again, I suppose I should speak for myself.

I know you are at a better place. Watch over us while you rest in peace Jeggan Cole.

 

IDA PERSSON:
I was so shocked to hear that he has left us- I just assumed he got his operation last year and that he was doing better. The news really hit home, not because we were such close friends, or that I have many personal stories of him, but because he was simply Jeggan – always a gentleman, always polite and kind, and funny. And because he was one of us. I remember during one dress as you please he complimented me and I thought for a split second- I found my future husband! He really was a gentleman.. Remember him walking around grounds in his glasses and backpack! I don’t think I have a single memory of Jeggan without his backpack!

I cannot begin to imagine Ms Cole’s grief.

Again, may Jeggan rest in peace. Much love from here – my parents extend their condolences and greetings.

 

MARGAUX NDURE:
May Jeggan’s soul rest in perfect peace. As hard as it is, he is indeed in a much better place.

 

TALIB BENSOUDA:
Time does really take its toll. I last spoke to Jeggan in 2004, my first year in university, and after a few jokes, we said ‘talk to you soon’, a reality that never happened to date. From there like most of us, we drifted into the abyss of our own interest and so ended the close friendship we enjoyed throughout our years in high school.

Last week a terrible accident occurred in Gambia where 3 young lives were lost, on the same junction I was driving with my uncle and a car full of other young people sped past. My uncle then said ‘the genius of the human being, is his ability to forget”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement until 2 days later when I was informed of the passing of Jeggan, my memory shot straight to the study sessions I had with him at their house in pipeline, the jokes he told at Batch Mboge’s house, the goals he scored against Geoffrey Bala Gaye and team at the afterschool games, his track and field winning days for RED house in the interhouse competitions.

 

My stark memory of Jeggan is proof that some of us are too special to be forgotten; he was a mentor and a brother; though time has robbed us of our good moments together, he will live in my memory as proof that even for the best of us, our time here on earth is limited. My sincere gratitude and love to Ms. Cole, she gave us a friend who made our lives better and though hard that he has left, she should have respite that he is in a better place. God Knows Best! RIP Jegs!

 

AMIRA ABU-ALFA:
It really was a shock, but I know he is with the angels, as he has a beautiful heart.

TARUN
RIP Jeggan Cole. You went out of your way to hang out with a shy, nerdy, little Indian boy in school and made him feel like he was actually an interesting and fun person. You taught him how to fit in, chill out, and have a sense of humor.

Thank you for being one of my best friends in life.

 

HADDIJATOU CHAM:
The Jeggan that I got to know and grew to love these past seven years was gentle, kind and sensitive. He possessed a dry sense of humor that was guaranteed to make me smile and laugh on any given day. I considered him a remarkable friend and confidante who has never left my side- through any and everything. His appreciation for the simple things in life was nothing short of endearing.

 

I greatly admired his unquenchable thirst for knowledge, intelligence, undying love for his mother, and go getter attitude. However, his ‘acquired’ taste in food, especially his love for McDonalds Mc-chicken sandwich from the dollar menu left a little to be desired. Well, at least in my humble opinion.

 

Jeggan also had an affinity for adventure albeit discovering new hiking trails or going for a 30 minute walk in the middle of winter for an empanada in DC or going on an European adventure by himself (who does that?). More than anything, I appreciated his unsung bravery and strength, which became more apparent this past year as he courageously fought for his life.

 

“Jeggan, I know the last year has been hard on you, but being the warrior that you are, you continued to persevere despite the obstacles that came your way. I will always be proud of you for that. Accepting that you are gone is hard. The pain is profound and the sadness, overwhelming. I wish our last scheduled dinner in DC had happened. I wish you had the chance to further explore your interest in hiking and volunteering. Most importantly, I wish you had remained on earth long enough to change the world. Nevertheless, your short stay has undoubtedly made a lasting positive impact on my life and that of many others. I will miss you my dear friend. Please be rest assured that I will forever cherish all of the memories we were blessed to create, to experience & share. I take comfort in the fact that you have found eternal peace and comfort in the arms of God.”

 

 

KAMAL AL-SALIHI:
I don’t have a specific story or anything like that, but I wanted to share a few words including my first impression.  Please forgive any typos, this was emotional to write.

Jeggan was always a straight shooter who looked out for others.  Everything he did with you came from a place of honesty, friendship, love, and compassion.  Jeggan never took advantage of people or put them down; he made you feel proud to be his friend.   I remember when I started at MIS back in form 3; it was a daunting new environment for a shy 12 year old.  I met Jeggan very early on along with Ski and Talib and co.  We were all kids, enjoying our time, not knowing the future.  Every high school kid is, to a certain degree, just going through the motions, waiting for whatever happens next.  But Jeggan was special.  His warmth of heart and kindness of spirit radiated immediately when I met him, and I not only felt comfortable in having found a friend (who, as it turns out, was a true friend for many years to come), I distinctly remember knowing that I found someone I wanted to try to emulate, like a role model.  I wanted to be so confident in myself and such such a good person at the same time, like Jeggan was.

 

Jeggan was a magnet; he always attracted people to him because of his warm heart and loving spirit.  Everyone in MIS knew Jeggan, and people enjoyed talking to him.  As he grew up his wonderful qualities only became stronger.  Whenever I would visit him in the US, I remember he had so many people around him.  It makes me smile to think about it – that his beautiful, loving heart and soul were a magnet to so many people in a different country, half way around the world from where we grew up.  No matter if we were at a bar, restaurant, soccer game, or just chilling and doing nothing, Jeggan’s warmth and love always attracted those who were around him.  There is not a doubt in my mind that the world was a better, more beautiful place because Jeggan shared his time with us while he was here.  If I had to compare Jeggan to something, it would be a star: he brought warmth to those who needed it and he attracted all those who crossed his path.

 

I am sad to lose a star like Jeggan.  But wherever Jeggan is now, I can tell you one thing for sure – he is making the people around him feel happiness, and love, and friendship.  He is bringing smiles to people’s faces and warmth to their hearts.  Although these are times of grief and great loss, I know I will keep Jeggan in my heart until I join him, and we can pick up where we left off when he was here sharing his time with us.  From beginning till end, Jeggan represented the most wonderful qualities in humans, and I will never stop looking up to him, like the stars in the sky.

 

 

MOSSAN TAYLOR
Death is no man’s friend, especially your’s Jeggan. Until yesterday, I refused to believe that you were taken away from us. I was hoping that you would just jump out of your coffin and scare us all like a terrible nightmare. But that did not happen. You look so peaceful and handsome as you lay there next to our dear Lord.

December 17th 2012 changed all our lives. I remember talking to you a couple of weeks before that. We talked about your new job opportunity that was supposed to start sometime in 2013 after graduating with your master’s degree. I was so excited for you. Even though you are physically no longer with us, Jeggan you have lived the American dream. Your mum lived for you and you for her as well. Ms. Cole!!! I do not know what more to say to console you. But I will be your daughter now.

The week of May 19th 2014 was supposed to be special. That was when we were going to have our Skype date. I was sooooo looking forward to it, like a high school girl going on a first date. I was going to see you again, talk with you, catch up on everything related to our high school peers, and of course, talk of girls! You were always filling me in on what’s going on with your relationship status and asking for advice or simply trying to understand the female mind. That was something you were not really great at my dead lol. Marina high school made us grow closer to each other. We were always pushing each other in Math and Chemistry by competing to see who’s on top. Last I checked you were one up in Chemistry and I was up in Math.

When I finally joined you in the States we used every major holiday to hang out in Maryland at Aunty Neneh and Uncle Winston’s house in Gaithersburg with Modupeh and Sayerr. I will miss our conference calls with Kamal that lasted over an hour.

Your following high school classmates wished there were here to celebrate your life and pray for you dear sweet mum, our teacher in M.I.S.