I speak of Ursa & Mina (as I have recently learned Jasmina’s pet name), the co-creators of My Gambia… an informative, monthly glossy online magazine that covers virtually every aspect of life in The Gambia. I say glossy because the quality of photography and research into articles is as good as any travel magazine one can find in print.
They all love food, but not too spicy… and yet they will frequent a restaurant where they’ve had the spiciest food. I sometimes suspect that they write about restaurants because they love food. They always say Slovenian food is bland… but I suspect their craving when all they drink are some strange cocktails of lemon juice with more lemon juice. Half of them smoke.
All the above multitasking is done with the internet playing hide and seek as frequently as Nawec does, which makes the ability of Slovenian women all the more special in The Gambia. Which makes one wonder why do Slovenian women leave their beautiful country and travel?
I first met Ursa at a sale at Yosh (another popular restaurant – proving my point that there is an affinity for good food). Lenin introduced me to this lady who instantly joined us at the bar – and the first thing that struck me, as she worked her way between talking to us and her child, was that there was so much energy. Her accent, too, became more intriguing as I got to know that she had launched an English online magazine. The fact she wasn’t drinking alcohol made me wonder if Slovenia was different from the rest of the countries in that part of the world.
Oh boy. Further on, as you read on, if these two Slovenians were anyway brand ambassadors of Slovenia, you’d think that there was no time in Slovenia for partying, no drinking, and nights were short… And since all the Slovenian women I know loved Africa, I guessed Slovenian men were boring, alcoholics, too drunk to attract any interest from Slovenian women. Thus the urge for the womenfolk to travel and edit magazines in Africa.
Meeting Jasmina was another experience. Shy, totally immersed in her work, expertly piloting her drone, evading palm trees (except on one or two occasions – where conspiracy theories quickly put an end to any aspersion on her drone flying capabilities!!). As her shyness gradually thawed, you could see a huge sense of humour… and together, the two of them, along with Awa, Princess Barry, who, though not Slovenian, fits their jigsaw puzzle precisely. Awa, and her love for Bollywood (Indian film folk) and theatre, music (guitar lessons) and fashion, makes her presentations and commentary with fluency and chatter that matches Slovenian benchmarks. Awa will have a tough time being Indian and Slovenian. The chatter is common, though to both nationalities.
They multitask quite well, running a charity, a school, a volunteer programme bringing more Slovenian girls to The Gambia, and run the online magazine monthly and shift houses at the same time. They claim they aren’t very finicky, but you feel for their landlords when the wish lists are brought up.
Chairman of The Fajara Club
Founder and Chairman of ComAfrique Iversol Initiative
Co-owner of Vineyard, Saffron and Yasmina Restaurants
Ambassador of My Gambia