Alhagy Jagne, local organiser in Acem Gambia, died last October while on a visit to family in Oslo, Norway. He was 63 years old.
Mr Jagne learnt Acem Meditation while studying education in Norway in the 1970s. He returned to his native country with an equivalent to a Master´s degree and made a career in the Trust Bank in the capital Banjul. He served as a manager, and he was involved in educating young employees in the crafts of banking. All the while he was a dedicated practitioner of yoga and Acem Meditation. In October 2000, he read to his surprise in the local newspaper that Acem planned to hold beginner´s courses in his home town Serrekunda. He arranged to meet the instructor from Norway, and he immediately became the leading local figure in the efforts to teach Acem Meditation to Gambians. Mr Jagne contributed with lots of enthusiasm, knowledge and network. He arranged for interviews on the most popular television talk show and courtesy visits to top politicians and leading figures in culture and education.
Instructors came from Scandinavia on a regular basis from 2000 to 2005. Many Gambians experienced the profound effects of Acem Meditation. Life in West Africa is stressful, and the degree of personal insecurity is high – financial, jobwise, healthwise. Silence and peace is not a regular feature in daily life, and many smoke or drink too much to cope with the pressure. Meditation proved to be very helpful for many in coping with an often challenging life.
Mr Jagne kept up his lifelong interest in Acem Meditation and yoga, and he continued to stay in contact with his Norwegian meditation friends. He was a friendly, dedicated and colourful man with lots of humour. He saw clearly the value of education for improving young Gambians´ personal life and and for developing the community, and he was one of the dedicated leaders of the charity Schools for Progress, which did an important job providing funding for promising Gambian students.
Jagne was a dedicated meditator through all his adult years. He was a pragmatic man and did not find it difficult to combine his Muslim beliefs with Acem´s non-religious meditation practice.
With the passing away of Alhagy Jagne Acem has lost a dedicated contributor on a rising continent, and his wife and three children have lost a caring husband and father.