African Liberation Day : Tribute to Tajudeen Abdul Raheem
Tajudeen Abdul Raheem was killed early this morning in a car accident – a very special person, activist and Pan Africanist has been lost but we are fortunate that he left us with thousands of words on which to ponder the future of our Motherland and to ACT.
The following tribute is by his friend and colleague Firoze Manji – Editor Pambazuka News
25 May is Africa Liberation Day. What a day to be woken in the early hours of the morning with the terrible news that one of the leading proponents of Africa’s liberation — Tajudeen Abdul Raheem should be so tragically lost in a senseless car accident in Nairobi. Messages have been pouring in from across the world as we all fail to hold back our tears at this loss. Tajudeen led Justice Africa’s work with the African Union since its early days. He combined this with his role as General Secretary of the Pan-African Movement, chairperson of the Centre for Democracy and Development, the Pan-African Development Education and Advocacy Programme, and was a fighter in the struggle to get the UN’s Millennium Development Campaign to support meaningful programmes. There was hardly a pan African initiative that took place without Tajudeen’s inimitable presence, support, humour and perceptive political perspectives. Quite how he managed to combine all of this with writing his weekly ‘Pan African Postcard’ that were published regularly in Pambazuka News and in several newspapers including The Monitor (Uganda), Weekly Trust (Nigeria), The African (Tanzania), Nairobi Star (Kenya) and the Weekly Herald (Zimbabwe), has always been a mystery to us. You could always rely on Tajudeen to draw our attention to the most significant aspects of the latest political event in Africa – just as you could rely on him to provide guidance and encouragement during hard times, restoring in us the courage for the longer struggles ahead for emancipation of the continent. Tajudeen’s departure leaves a massive hole in all our lives. We all need to grieve the loss of this giant of a man. But if his life is to mean anything, we must follow his call in the signature line of his every email — ‘Don’t agonise, Organise!’ As part of our tribute to Tajudeen, comrade, brother and fighter of Pan-Africanism, Pambazuka News invites you to send messages of condolence and tribute either by email to editor AT pambazuka.org or add your comments below.
Links: Pan African Postcard – essays by Tajudeen for Pambazuka News