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Who is Buba from My Gambia?

My Magazine 2023/10
5 min
He is a man of many talents or a jack of many trades - sales representative, model, logistics, photographer, travel writer, tour guide, chauffeur, mechanic and travel consultant - he does it all smoothly. Buba has been an invaluable member of My Gambia team for over 2 years, and we would not have been where we are without his passion for responsible tourism, eagerness to teach visitors about the country and his "bush knowledge", as we call it. We can always count on him for anything - he never disappoints! And he is ever ready with his youthful playfulness and sense of humour.

Buba's story is truly inspiring, and we feel it should be told to show youth that giving up should never be an option when the going gets tough. Bubacarr has proved that where there's a will, there is a way! He is a true role model, and we are very proud to have him in our team.

Read on to find out the very inspiring story of Bubacarr Camara!

My name is Bubacarr Camara. I am 35 years old, in a relationship, and currently living in Kerr Sering. Having lost my father at an early age, I grew up with my half-brother and sister as my mother then married the gentleman who is the father figure in my life even today.

Growing up in Brikama, I faced the daily struggles of a child not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. I attended Primary and Junior Secondary school in Brikama, but my dream of achieving higher academic qualifications then was like building castles in the air.

Amidst all the struggles, I worked very hard to maintain good academic records. In 2002, when I was in Grade 7, I was awarded a merit scholarship by Mayor Jassey, who was the Mayor of the Brikama Area Council at the time. This scholarship temporarily helped reduce my mum's financial burden regarding school fees. But we always wondered what would happen when I needed to attend Senior School.

I always envisioned attending the best Senior Secondary school in the Gambia, Nusrat Senior Secondary School, but I knew it would not be possible as it was an expensive school, and my mother could not afford to send me there. But as luck would have it, my hard work paid off, and when the results of the GABECE were announced, I was the second-best student in my school.

My dream of studying at Nusrat Senior Secondary School came true, but with it came the stark realization of how we would afford the high fees. My mum made Baobab and Hibiscus-flavoured ice lollies, which my brother and I sold at the market so we could collect money for my fees.
I was again lucky enough to get a partial scholarship from the Brikama Area Council.

Hard work, perseverance, sacrifice and total dedication carried me through these three years. I would wake up around 4:30 a.m. to hitch a ride as my school was in Serekunda, which is quite far from Brikama.

Once I completed Senior School in 2007, I enrolled into Gambia College to obtain a Higher Teachers Certificate through a Government Scholarship. On completion in 2011, I had to teach for three years in accordance with the bond I signed to be awarded the scholarship.

In 2014, I applied to pursue a bachelor's degree in English Language and History at the University of the Gambia but could not get a scholarship from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, so that was the end of teaching for me.

In 2015, I landed a job as a Tour Guide and Sales Representative with a tour operation company in Kololi. By 2016, I became passionate about tourism and applied for a bachelor's degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of the Gambia. With the help of a Dutch family, some tourist friends and personal business ventures, I completed a 4-year program and graduated in 2020.

In the journey of life, we often find ourselves looking up to individuals who inspire us, guide us, and shape our values. For me, that person has always been my mother. Her unwavering dedication, patience, and kindness have made her the anchor of our family and my ultimate role model. My mother is more than a parent; she has taught me values through her words and actions. She is the living embodiment of the virtues I hold dear. Her enduring presence in my life is a constant reminder of the power of hard work, the beauty of patience, and the significance of kindness in shaping a meaningful and purposeful existence.

My story with MyGambia started almost two years ago when I applied to be a Sales and Marketing Assistant. During this period, I was promoted to Sales and Marketing Manager, and now I am a Senior Travel Consultant.

In the journey of one's career and financial stability, the role of a supportive and nurturing employer cannot be overstated. MyGambia has been an invaluable catalyst, propelling me toward career growth and newfound financial security.

MyGambia, a dynamic and forward-thinking company, has been instrumental in shaping my career in ways that extend far beyond the boundaries of a typical workplace. When I joined the organization in July 2021, it became evident that this was not just a job but a platform for personal and professional growth.

MyGambia fosters a culture of innovation and creativity. Encouraged to think outside the box, I found myself in an environment that embraced new ideas and initiatives. This not only allowed me to contribute meaningfully to the organization but also to nurture my entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, I excelled in my current role and had the confidence to explore side projects and initiatives, such as lecturing part-time at the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITTOG), contributing to my skills and income.

Furthermore, MyGambia's emphasis on work-life balance allowed me to pursue additional educational opportunities. With the support of flexible working arrangements, I was able to start a master's degree in Responsible Tourism Management through a Commonwealth Scholarship at Leeds Beckett University UK, which will further bolster my skill set and, consequently, my career prospects.

The company's commitment to social responsibility also profoundly impacted my sense of fulfilment. The organization's involvement in community projects and charitable initiatives inspired me to give back, reinforcing the importance of financial stability for personal growth and positively impacting the community.

My journey with MyGambia is a testament to the power of an employer who values its employees and actively invests in their success. This fosters an environment where career aspirations can flourish, and financial dreams can become a reality. Thank you, Ursa and Jasmina, for this opportunity.

I wish to see us grow and develop into a travel company, making Gambia a more sustainable destination and fulfilling our dream as tourism stakeholders for destination Gambia.

Responsible tourism is the best approach to tourism because it prioritizes the well-being of local communities and environments, ensuring that they benefit from tourism rather than suffer from its negative impacts. This approach promotes cultural preservation and environmental conservation, vital for preserving the world's natural and cultural treasures for future generations.

To all tourists who desire to visit our beautiful Gambia, you are most welcome to the land of warm smiles and untamed nature.

Buba is our best guide. If you book with My Gambia, there is a big possibility Buba will be the one showing you all the treasures of The Gambia. So check our selection of responsible trips, tours, activities and workshops and join us on an amazing journey.

 

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