In memoriam: Fatima Meer (1928–2010)
2010-03-17, Issue 474
Fatima Meer, ‘a champion of human rights, an advocate of the poor and disenfranchised, an outstanding academic and author and a woman of impeccable integrity and principles', sadly passed away on 12 March 2010 after a stroke. Lubna Nadvi reflects on her legacy: ‘While there can only be one Fatima Meer, she ignited the imagination of so many others that she came into contact with to fight for a better world. That is perhaps her most enduring contribution.’
On 12 March 2010, the world lost one of the greatest icons of struggle against apartheid, a champion of human rights, an advocate of the poor and disenfranchised, an outstanding academic and author and a woman of impeccable integrity and principles. Fatima Meer, also affectionately known as Aunty Bhen to close family and friends, passed away in hospital after suffering a major second stroke.
Penning a tribute to this remarkable individual is no easy feat given the legendary status she holds as one of the most powerful political figures of the 20th century. Having known her very closely – as an academic mentor, political comrade and a mother figure – I feel her loss very deeply. Since her demise a week ago, much has been written about her personal life, academic career and political activism. Apart from her public persona, she was also a wife, a mother, and a grandmother who loved her family dearly. But perhaps her most prolific role was that of being a humanitarian of great distinction, in the mould of Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi and her contemporary Nelson Mandela. At the very core of her being beat the heart of someone who could not bear to see injustice in any form. Her life long fight against injustice – be it apartheid, economic inequality, state repression, religious intolerance or gender inequality – was a testament to the principles she held most dear.
I found this obituary while scanning Pambazuka News.
After I read this, I was sorry I didn't know more about this courageous lady while she was living.
This goes to show how much we need to improve our communication throughout the "African diaspora" in order to be able to improve our mutual support and to have a better general knowledge of what's going on throughout the world.
please read the remainder of this obituary now.
click here to read more.