A Gambian Oasis & Market Place of Great Ideas 

If there is any one single place that captures the imagination of the good people of Raleigh, is YOO-HOO Inc. This popular business establishment, the brainchild of two extraordinary Gambian gentlemen functions primarily as an excellent business center providing critical services to a lot of people in the Diaspora. The place also serves a unique and rare purpose. That of a place or rather “The Place” Gambians generally meet, discuses, solicit, seek advice, opinions, and strategize on how to go about in their daily lives. In short the place serves as an oasis, a much-needed one for that matter to a community that is proud of its heritage and at times deeply nostalgic about its origin. Yoo-Hoo Inc is the place to be on any given day. 

This great venue commands a high degree of respect in this community and beyond. Hence it is no surprise Yoo-Hoo Inc has been grace by many luminaries in the past. This includes musicians, artist, politicians, religious leaders, and venture capitalists. Gambian visitors to Raleigh are routinely referred to stop by Yoo-Hoo Inc. The place sometimes enables long lost friends to re-connect. This open house policy also acts as an information-clearing house where all kinds of community events are advertised and promoted. As a conduit the place allows anyone to advertise his or her services, and or products. Consequently some have forged strategic partnership in business or otherwise and many of these had evolved into lasting friendship.

Here on any given day, the level of talents and experienced present is astounding. You will find businessmen, entrepreneurs, media moguls, students, mechanics, computer geeks, code breakers, engineers, technicians, mathematicians, legal luminaries, state employees, business managers and good old Gambian folk sitting together engage in fruitful discussions while enjoying a relaxing atmosphere. This unique community experience is in essence the bond of collective shared communality. This place enables a sense of community and camaraderie to develop amongst people of different ethnic background, different ages. A phenomena that at time is auspiciously absent in the west.

The range of topics discussed here generally covers a wide variety of subjects, from the sacred to the mundane. Some amazing ideas had been born out of this place. One such brilliant idea is the schematic diagram for the design of a self-sustaining energy system, a much welcome development in this age of high-energy cost. However there had been some ideas that are not so brilliant. One idea such as levying a penalty for anyone whose voice is above a certain decibel during the heat of a debate is simply funny if not outright bizarre and then there are those ideas perhaps best describe as being close to purgatory.

Often the discussions are generally enlightening even tantalizing at times both in its depth and scope. Generally these discussions usually many and varied do at times reveal the generation gap between the participants. Great topics have been discussed and in the process people have learned a great deal from each other, both young and old. One characteristics feature of Yoo-Hoo Inc is that there is no restriction to the free flow of ideas. Consequently great knowledge had been disbursed in this environment many of these with amazing anecdotal evidenced.
Yoo-Hoo Inc like any gathering is not without its local politics. However the establishment as an entity had consistently maintained a non-partisan position. While on any given day people of different political ideology would engage one another in fierce debates some vehemently putting their point of views across and yet still respecting opposing and often conflicting view points. This place not only served a melting pot for all kinds of ideas to interconnect and network but the venue also serves as a respite, a refuge to many from at times the stressful day to day task of living in America. In some ways the place offers comfort and to an extent a degree of normalcy closer to home- The Gambia. This perhaps explains its captivating aura and overwhelming popularity and is no surprise the place is so dear to the hearts of many Gambians in Raleigh.

This is the place since its inception, where the kettle “Barada” is always boiling and the proprietors of this magnificent establishment have been kind and tolerant enough to welcome everyone, irrespective of nationality, tribe, gender, political affiliation, and age.  The people at Yoo-Hoo Inc over the years have through their guidance; recommendation and suggestions have immensely contributed towards the welfare the entire Gambian community in this great city. This achievement is not only a testament to the genius of these extraordinary Gambians but their sacrifice is a shining and lasting tribute to people of good will everywhere

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