Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ahmed Laher (1933-2009)

My father, Ahmed Laher, died on Wednesday February 18, 2009. He passed quietly much like the man he was.

He took an interest in this blog and often asked me whether I was writing and about what.

On occasion I would talk to him about my posts here that relate to my 2007 visit to his father's village in India and his friendship with Robert Sobukwe, the founder and first president of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).

My father and Sobukwe were close friends and much of my politics is founded on the content and character of their friendship and their shared politics.

Though he never sought to be anything more than a friend to Sobukwe my father in his own right contributed to the Africanist thinking about belonging and loyalty to the "soil" of our continent.

He was a "son of the soil" and committed to a South Africa where race and ethnicity do not qualify or disqualify our singular humanity.

Though he had reservations about the manner in which South Africa 'transitioned' from apartheid he thought it important to vote in the first multi-party general election in 1994.

My proudest memory of that day (April 27, 1994) was seeing my dad enter a booth to vote.

My heart is broken as it should be but I am proud of the man my father was and of the good work and memories he has left behind.

I am also very thankful to have been by his side in the last 14 months of his life here in South Africa.

May Allah rest his soul in peace until that day.



Erica said...

Your father leaves a legacy that will live on Ridwan.

~Peace and Blessings

Desirée said...

My condolescences my friend, I am sad to read this. Thank you for sharing about his life with us now and over the past few years.

I am thinking of you.
May he Rest In Peace.

Dade said...


Maty and I are both very sorry for your loss. I lost my father in 2001 and so I know how it is.

Our sympathies in this difficult time. May Allah bless his soul and give him reward.

The love and respect that you hold for your father is very much in evidence in this post.

God is great, my friend.

Shus li said...

Dear Ridwan,

I am very sorry for your loss, but also know what a good choice it was for you to return to SA when you did.

May comfort from above find its way to you and your mother.


GiGi - The Shy Giraffe said...

My condolescences and heart goes to you Ridwan. I know it hurts right now and you going to miss him tremendously, but Allah loves him more....

May he rest in peace among the Angels.

Ana said...

Tena Koe Ridwan

my families condolences and love on the passing of your father.


Ridwan said...

Thank you kindly for your words of sympathy Erica, Desiree, Dade Shusli, Gigi, and Ana.

Your caring touches my heart and I feel very cared for.

I will holla back.

Peace and blessings.


Anonymous said...


So sorry to read of your father's passing. Nat and I send our condolences to you and your Mother. It is comforting that you are there for your Mother and that you have been home with them, after such a long time away.

Peace to you and may your heart heal a little from all of the warm messages being sent to you.

Love always,

alleman said...

I am sorry about your loss.

Ana said...

I posted this in honour of the passing of your father and was particularly touched by this sentence:

"As we speak and dream of the African Renaissance let us remember Robert and Veronica Sobukwe and all those silent heroes known only to their immediate communities who contributed to the struggle in the spirit of service, sacrifice and suffering".

Like you as well brother, my father has encouraged me to keep fighting the good fight, and we honour the legacy of your father has left us by continuing the struggle against racism and for justice for all.

Words can provide some comfort for your grief, but we are here to share your pain at the loss of your father Ridwan. Im gonna make sure to tell my father how muchmeans to me and how much I love him.

take care
Love & Respect

Ridwan said...

Kimberley and Alleman thank you for your kind words my friends.

Ana I am humbled by your gesture and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Peace to you all,

The Angryindian said...

My household mourns with you.

Ridwan said...

Thank you kindly for your words and your support brother Angry.

Peace and blessings,

Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

I send you my condolences and support.


Professor Zero said...

Condolences !!!

Thinking of you !!!

Ridwan said...

Hi Cecelia. Thank you ever so kindly for looking in and for your condolences. I appreciate it greatly my sista.

PZ it is always great to hear from you even under the circumstances. Thank you kindly.

Peace to you both,

mrejohnsonii said...

my brutha, i am so sorry of your lost. so often u talked about your father, i feel like i knew him even though we never met. i know he will be missed by many. my prayers and love goes out to you and your family. please forgive my tardiness on this.

love always,
your brutha ERIC, A.K.A "BIG E."

Ridwan said...

Eric thank you very much my brother. I will pass your message on to me moms.

How are things going in San Francisco?

Holla when you can.

Peace my brother,

Chelsea said...

Dear Ridwan,

I'm deeply sorry to learn of your and your family's loss. It's been some time now but this was the first post I saw when looking in. Keeping you and Ms. Fatima in my thoughts and heart.


Ridwan said...

Thank you kindly Chelsea. I will pass your message to me moms too.

We are doing well and coping as the days pass.

Allow me also to say congratulations to you on your graduation! Wow time flies hey?

I wish you the best my friend.

Let's catch up soon.

Peace and blessing,