It has been almost a year since the infamous Yahya Jammeh stepped down from his post as the President of the Gambia. Much has been said about his reign, but we are not here to talk about that. Instead, we want to talk about Yahya Jammeh wives. Who are they? How many wives did he have? Where are they now? Find out in this article.
The first serious woman in Yahya’s life was Tuti Faal. As far as we know, Yahya Jammeh, who was born all the way back in 1965, did not have anyone significant in his life before her. The two met around 1994, dated for some time, and soon Jammeh proposed to Tuti.
As their relationship happened in the 90s, it is no wonder that very little is known about the first wife of Yahya Jammeh. All we could gather was that she came from a Sheriff family that hailed from Mauritania. Before she became Mrs. Yahya Jammeh, Tuti used to work at GAMTEL (Gambia Telecommunication Company).
When she became First Lady, she gave a speech at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women in Beijing, talking about the situation of Gambian women. However, that was probably the only significant thing she managed to do during her relationship with Jammeh.
The marriage between Tuti and Yahya was rocky at best. For many years, Tuti tried to get pregnant, but to no avail. On his part, Jammeh resorted to weird conspiracy theories, claiming that Faal did not want to have children with him, or that spiritual work was at fault. It seems that Tuti’s inability to have children might have been one of the reasons of the upcoming divorce.
In 1998, Yahya decided to send Tuti to Saudi Arabia to see a gynaecologist and resolve her fertility issues. While she was there, Jammeh signed the divorce papers. When Tuti came back to Gambia, she was no longer Yahya Jammeh wife.
After that, Faal moved back to her hometown of Kembuji. She later moved to Mauritania, where she lived before moving back to the Gambia in 2006. According to Freedom Newspaper, Jammeh had a house built for her and even visited her later. Nevertheless, Tuti soon had to flee to the United States in search of asylum. These days, she lives in Seattle, Washington, far away from her ex-husband.
The position of First Lady was not empty for long, as not even a year after his divorce, Jammeh married another woman by the name of Zeinab Suma Jammeh on March 26, 1999. Many claimed that she was actually one of the reasons for the divorce between Tuti and Yahya.
So who is this woman?
Zineb (or Zeinab) Suma was born on October 5, 1977 in Morocco in a family of a Guinean diplomat. Her father’s name is Alhaji Ibrahima. Her late mother’s name was Rhimou El Hassady Soumah; she passed away in 2011.
Zineb spent her early years in Rabat, where she went to school. In 1995, she moved to the United States to pursue a degree. In 1997, she graduated from the School of International Management and Commerce with a degree in International Systems and Management.
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When Zineb returned to the Gambia, she met Yahya, and things went on from there. The two did not waste too much time, and in 2000, Zineb gave birth to Jammeh’s first child, Mariam. In 2007, she gave birth to Muhammed Yahya Jammeh.
Zineb has always seemed to be the yin to Yahya’s yang. When her husband was authoritative and ruthless, she was soft and nice. During her time as the First Lady, Zineb was involved in various charities and foundations.
To name a few, she presided over the Foundation for Women's Socio-Economic Advancement and the Jammeh Foundation for Peace, participated in the Save-a-Baby campaign, hosted General Assembly of the Organization of African First Ladies against AIDS and did so much more.
If you are interested, you can find the photos from many events on her now defunct Twitter and Facebook (@zinebjammeh).
However, it seems like Zineb’s love for Yahya Jammeh went away along with his presidency. Even though she posted their lovey-dovey photos just a year ago on the anniversary of their marriage, reports state that Zineb has recently left Jammeh. According to the Freedom Newspaper, she currently lives in Dakar, while Yahya is hiding out in Equatorial Guinea.
Linda Ikeji also reported that Zineb and Yahya’s daughter Mariam is currently living in the US, where she studies at a prestigious university and enjoys a very lavish lifestyle. Judging by the photos recovered from her Instagram and Facebook (which have since become private), the daughter spends lots of money on travelling and buying expensive things. As for her brother, his fate is unknown, as he is too young to be involved in all of this.
All that said, we have not told you the whole story of the Yahya Jammeh wife drama yet, so keep reading to find out more.
In October 2010, Jammeh made an attempt at polygamy and married another woman while still being married to Zineb. That woman was none other than Alima Sallah. According to various reports, her age at the time of marriage was placed between 18 and 21 years old. Either way, she was more than half Yahya’s age, who was 45 at the time.
Alima is the daughter of Omar Gibril Sallah, the Ambassador to Saudi Arabia in Gambia, and Zahra Sallah. Her father has been loyal to Yahya for many years. Both her parents encouraged her to marry Jammeh.
You might be wondering:
Why was this marriage an ‘attempt’ at polygamy? Well, you see, even though the new wife did not get the title of First Lady, the real First Lady was still pissed about this new development. You might be surprised, the woman that appears so nice and stoic has seemingly thrown a fit over her husband’s newer, younger wife.
Of course, we do not know exactly what happened in the Jammeh household. Some said that Zineb threatened both her husband and his new lady. Others claimed that the relationship between Yahya and Zineb was already rocky, so the new addition to the family only made things worse. Whatever happened resulted in divorce of Yahya and Alima in 2011.
But wait, it gets worse:
It seems like Alima has been afraid for her life ever since the marriage. There have been numerous attempts on her life, one of them being at the hands of Yahya himself, who (for reasons unknown) tried to remove her from the picture the hard way.
For several years, Alima had to stay away from Gambia, living with her father in Saudi Arabia and frequently going to the United States. She also received a proper education. This year, she graduated from the Goodricke College of the University of York with a BA degree in Management. Alima’s mother and sister both came to the United Kingdom to congratulate her.
It seems like these days she feels safe enough to live in Gambia once again, as she has been spotted hanging out with her friends. Alima looked much thinner, but ultimately happier. We truly hope she can breathe a sigh of relief now that Jammeh is not in charge anymore.
That is all we can tell you about Yahya Jammeh’s wives. They all have different stories, but Jammeh has left a mark on each of them, one way or another. We hope you have been able to find out something new about these women.
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