For those of you who haven't yet heard, pan-Africanist giant Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem tragically died in a car accident near Nairobi yesterday. He has recently been involved with trying to promote a peaceful solution to the Migingo island dispute, and leaves behind a vast legacy of writing and activism. Alex de Waal has this moving tribute:
Dr. Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem, the most irrepressible Pan Africanist of his generation, died in Nairobi on 24 May 2009. His friends and colleagues are stunned at the loss of a man who was so full of life and humour, such a determined Afro-optimist, and such a devoted father to his children, Aisha and Aida. Africa is impoverished by his untimely death...
Tajudeen was a Director of Justice Africa, Chairperson for the Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme (PADEAP) and Chair of the International Governing Council of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). He joined the United Nations as its coordinator for outreach on the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, and was living and working from a base in Nairobi in recent years.
Tajudeen never allowed his critical sense degenerate into cynicism or disillusion. His confidence in Africa and Africans to resolve their problems, whatever the setbacks, was always undimmed. His untimely death leaves a vacuum of human energy and hope that will be difficult to fill.