Alagi Yorro Jallow.
Immortals never die. As Rabindranath Tagore wrote, “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” Alhagie Ebbrima C. Loppy’s work shines on.
‘Ya Allah, forgive Alhagie Ebrima C. Loppy and have mercy upon him, and make honorable his reception. Expand his entry, cleanse him with water, snow, and ice, and purify sin as a white robe is purified of filth. Exchange his life for a better life. Admit him into the Garden and protect him from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire. Every living soul must taste that bitter taste that is death. May Allah grant him the highest Aljannah Firdausi.
We lost an integral member of our family, brother, uncle, father, and grandfather Alhagie Ebrima C. Loppy had battled with illness for years. In that time, the family had seen this beloved member fight a ferocious fight against an even more ferocious ailment. He won some aspects of that battle but eventually, Alhagie Ebrima Loppy faded in front of his family’s very eyes until death stole him, and he finally lost the struggle for life. Unfortunately, death does not just claim one victim; it claims many of those who surround a sufferer. As I write this tribute about my brother, my heart is shattered. I know all those who knew, loved, and cared for Alhagie Ebrima Loppy are devastated.
His death hits the core of his immediate family, his extended family, and for everybody who was associated, in one way or another, with Alhagie Ebrima Loppy. Those of us who knew Ebrima Loppy knew of his huge heart and his ability to love anything and everything around him. He just loved who and what he loved so much; loved without limits and could go to any length for the things and people he loved. Alhagie Ebrima Loppy was a decent human being, a good man who always wanted to help and bring value to those around him. He cared so much for his family and for those he did not even know.
He was a brother, a father figure, and my guardian in ChurchillTown in Sere Kunda when I was in high school. During my stint as a rookie reporter and my big break in journalism as an ace in journalism, Alhagie Ebrima Loppy did his best to make it easy for his brother. He knew what I faced and gave me the kind of support that I never asked or expected from him. I have come to learn that he often did that for others, whether they were related to him or not.
Those who knew Ebrima Loppy knew about his passion. An unrelenting man he was! We knew of his effortless devotion to obedience, and we knew how much he submitted himself to the Almighty Allah. He was a proud and faithful Talibe Cheikh and a devoted member of the Tariqa Tijanniyya brotherhood.
Those who may not have known Alhagie Ebrima Loppy but knew his strong ties in Tivavone, the spiritual domicile of the Tijanniyaa Kaliha General in Senegal and would have had a snippet of the humility, obedience, innovation, and hard work that he inherited from his spiritual guide Seriigne Abdou Aziz Sy and Serigne Mansour Sy Baorom Daraji and Sering Habib Sy (Radi Allah anhum). May Allah be pleased with them.
For those who did not know my brother, I want to tell you who he was, what he stood for, and the fantastic achievements he made during his life.
Had Alhagie Ebrima Loppy been a man stuck on material and worldly possessions, he could have made billions during his lifetime. Rather, he was a simple man who was humble and relished in giving the very basics of life a material form. He was a content man who found the most base necessities of life to be of pleasant pursuit; to him, simplicity represented wealth.
Those close to him will surely remember his professionalism, work ethic, and the epitome of moral rectitude as far as his disciple and discipline was concerned. He will also be remembered for constructing several small and huge Mosques in the Gambia and neighboring Senegal and also digging water wells, and provide boreholes and hand pumps to help people and livestock gain access to water supply for rural areas and small communities advocating for clean water for communities that are exposed to unsafe drinking water and toxic pollution, putting clean drinking water first and moving beyond essential water advocacy.
Alhagie Ebrima Loppy was so proud of his heritage. Furthermore, it was a heritage to be proud of. He was a replica of his parents in terms of hard work and commitment to a course. Furthermore, Alhagie Ebrima Loppy was a very, very rare breed in the Gambia. The passing of Mr. Loppy is one where I have genuinely lost a brother. I speak about what I knew and saw of him. He was humble, obedient, misunderstood, innovative, religious and spiritual hardworking, committed, kind, gentle, strong, brave, compassionate, and determined. He was a lovely person. I shall suffer from the thought that he is no longer with us, as I am sure will his family and friends.
In all these, Alhagie Ebrima Loppy neither asked for, bagged a top government portfolio after his luxurious retirement from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology, nor did he served in an executive capacity in any government. However, he left an indelible mark in the sands of time.
There is a lesson to learn in his lifestyle from both the younger and the older ones. Today, the fad is to enter politics fresh from school and aspire to be a local government chairman, be appointed a commissioner, get elected into National Assembly, and struggle to convince the unwary masses that the only way they can have a better life is to eternally has you in office. It has become the vogue to think that it is only in public office that one can contribute to the development of the people. Indeed, this line of thinking is not borne out of altruism as examples of self-seeking politicians have shown that, in most cases, it is to line a private pocket and achieve personal aggrandizement. I have repeatedly said that no one needs to mainly occupy a public office before making extraordinary contributions to the service of humanity.
The death of Alhagie Ebrima Loppy has proven this philosophy right. His death has made a harvest of eulogies, soporific tributes, and fulsome praises tumbling down from both worthy and unworthy mouths. Both enemies and friends have converged in unison to acknowledge that this gentleman was an embodiment of service to humanity. Alhagie Ebrima Loppy has proven that a man could live a worthy and unforgettable life without necessarily occupying a public office where he could have unrestricted access to public funds. Alhagie Ebrima Loppy’s house has become a Mecca of a sort to which mandatory pilgrimage has been made a pillar of religious relevance especially observing Tijanniyya Wazifa.
You can learn a thing or two from the life and times of Alhagie Ebrima Loppy:
You can serve humanity without necessarily aspiring to or holding a public office.
You can lead from the rear and give commands into the future.
You can sow into humanity and society without having to be enveloped in the grandeur of public office.
You can become a pillar to rest on without having all the money in this world.
So let these praise singers, by way of honoring the dead, emulate his ways, adopt his philosophy and be repentant, as death is inevitable.
I offer my heartfelt prayers and condolence to all of Alhagie Ebrima Loppy’s family in the Gambia and those in the diaspora. Due to what Alhagie Ebrima Loppy’s death represents, my condolence goes to the Sene- Gambian people and all to the Khalifa General to the Tijanniya brotherhood Serign Mansours Sy, all our relatives and people in Tivavonne, and the populace of Senegal and particularly, the Christian community in The Gambia.
Alhagie Ebrima Loppy had an extremely large, close-knit group of friends, especially in the Gambia. He will be so sorely missed by them. My thoughts and prayers are with them also. Alhagie Ebrima Loopy’s death is a brochure of how to die as a citizen as a hero than to depart this world unsung. As American poet Maya Angelou counseled Oprah Winfrey, “Your legacy is every life you have touched and every moment you are building your legacy.” May Allah grant you the higest Aljannah Firdaui!
…Oh Allah, my dear brother, Alhgie Ebrima Loppy is under Your care and protection, so protect him from the trial of the grave and torment of the Fire. Indeed You are faithful and truthful. So forgive and have mercy upon him. Indeed You are The Oft-Forgiving, The Most-Merciful…
…Oh Allah, forgive and have mercy upon Alhagie Ebrima Loppy. Excuse him and pardon him, and make honorable his reception. Expand his entry, cleanse him with water, snow, and ice, and purify him of sin as a white robe is purified of filth. Admit him into the Garden; protect him from the punishment of the grave and the torment of the Fire…
…Oh Allah, Your servant and the son of Your maidservant, Alhagie Ebrima Loppy, needs Your mercy, and You are without the need of his punishment. If he was righteous, then increase his reward and if he was wicked, then overlook his sins.”