12 June 2017

When we met Dr.Babatunde Osotimehin, ‘’A champion of health for all’’


“The world has lost a great champion of health and well-being for all”, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, It's indeed so rare celebrating a life after it is a loss, this is among of the life that we do celebrate for his physical presence he blessed the world due to his unmeasurable commitment to promoting the health and well-being of the young girls, women and young people across the continent.


He is physical no longer with us anymore but his spiritual presence will forever be with us and embraced. The millions of the lives he touched despites their differences of race, sex, status, nationality, and background will always be cherished. He united all young people with one common agenda which was making sure every potential of young people is fulfilled as the state and global to reap the demographic dividend.


He believed much on young people and not just as beneficiaries of the programs he was leading under UNFPA but as the true partners who have a great role to play towards the continent. Whenever he goes and meet young people, it is surely he left sparks of wisdom, knowledge, skills and furthermore empowering young people practically to be his fellow partner on the course of changing the world.


We do clearly remember on 07th November 2017, when Dr.Babatunde visited Tanzania for official works and had opportunity among other young people to meet him as AfriYAN Tanzania.As young people, we were so curious to learn a lot from him physical and hence we approached him instantly. The welcoming face and attention he gave us, showed us clearly we were in the right place with the right person. He set the mood of our conversation to be smooth, clear and foremost friendly.


We asked him one question which turned into a memorable conversation which up to now it does ring the bells on our mind. Not just because of the answers he responded but on the true sense and meaning he showed on his answers. The question that we asked him," What it takes to be a great leader who serves his/her community better? Just like you". As young leaders, we were so keen and curious to get to know how he has managed to lead UNFPA global and touched and saved millions of lives. He said, WORK HARD (serving the whole community despite their differences), COMMITMENT (whatever you do, do it with all your best and stay for long at where you're serving) and PRAY (putting yourself to GOD always). He insisted these are among the key ingredients of making and being a great leader who will be serving the community and not just his/her title.


His physical presence made the world to see the true meaning of the leadership. And, his spiritual presence makes us strive more on embracing his great works that he did to the community. We do urge all people around the world to remember him by following the path that he took on serving the community.


May you, Dr. Dr.Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund rest in eternal peace, Ameen!

By: Hussein Melele
Chairperson- AfriYAN Tanzania