Gambia Cotton weaver Ousman Sambou was born on the 10th January 1981 in Thies, Senegal.
A modern man, he is father to one son, Omar Sambou, who is named after Ousman’s father. His Mother is Jainaba Sarr and she was a farmer. Ousman tells us ” my father was the best weaver in our region”. He says with pride that, “customers would come from all over Senegal to buy from only him”. At an early age, he watched and learned from his dad when he was weaving. He taught him how to make and set the traditional handloom and weave. (As pictured below right).
Following in his Fathers Footsteps!
Ousman left Senegal in 2002, a year after his father passed away and joined his uncle in The Gambia. His uncle, also a weaver was then working at Tanji Village Museum and became his mentor until 2017 when his uncle left The Gambia to pursue a career in Sweden.
Footsteps is proud to have its very own cotton weaver.
A short time later Ousman meets Linda Verasdal ( my partner ) and started working with her producing high quality hand made Gambian cotton products. A lucky break for Ousman and even more so for Footsteps because to have a weaver of his calibre working from our lodge is so interesting for our guests.
Ousman holds regular workshops on Gambia Cotton weaving and our guests can even try their hand at weaving themselves.
Ousman has a protege.
As well as producing cotton products for linda he also has a young trainee weaver to mentor. Her name is Nyanka. He is such a good teacher and in just a few short months Nyanka has begun weaving her own cotton.