BY ABU TAQIYAH ZUMO
is without a doubt the most observant, attentive and knowledgeable man I have met. Compassionate and humble, Baba represents the man I wish to be in my whole life. With a contagious smile and infectious laugh, he turns heads every time he talks. Every thing in his life is a lesson. I’d like to believe that any one who knows Baba, reading this know exactly who I am talking about and I am fairly certain those who interacted with him know that VT Abba is a reservoir of knowledge, great educationist, human resource manager, a mentor and a role model.
Baba VT was a man who gave his whole life to service of others. He touched thousands of lives. We were so blessed with his presence for so many years. Baba VT was the pillar of our education. He valued education and had absolute respect for those who value education. Himself a teacher and educationist, he left sixteen children, all of them graduates and professionals in different fields. He encouraged the girl child education and set a good example with his children. Baba believes that the best way to fight poverty, insecurity and joblessness is to have effective and efficient education.
For VT Abba, trust, loyalty and respect is what governed his entire life and it is that unbreakable character traits that changed humanity he touched.
We have been fortunate enough to witness some incredible life interactions together, have had opportunities to learn and analyse differing circumstances in his life, been privileged enough to follow his footsteps as well as share with each other our life stories and contrasting backgrounds and how he was able to mentored us. He’s given me invaluable tracking lessons and helped me to overcome the challenges of life. His tangible presence on the vehicle of human progress and development will forever live with me.
His extraordinary knowledge and respect for human dignity are things that need to be cherished and passed on through future generations. I am sure those that have previously known or worked with Baba VT will express a similar sentiment and respect for what he has done to humanity.
One of the attributes of Baba that stood out to most people was his sense of humor. He always had a joke and a quick come back to anything said. It was amazing how fast his mind worked. For everything he almost had an answer that would leveled you to the ground and makes you think critically. Sometimes his humor took people off guard – was he joking or serious? In whichever way, there are lessons to be learnt.
We all are better people for having known Baba VT for him touching our lives, for leading us by example. Thank you Baba for the blessing that you were to us. Thanks for your life of giving, for your wonderful touching advice, thank you for your acts of kindness, for your sense of humor. You were a great man, a nice man. You remain our father, grandfather and a friend to all. You will be greatly missed. We will forever remember your constant prayer to us, “Allah Barkidin on, Allah Barkidin teeriddiraabe mon, Allah barkidin bibbe mon e zurriyaaji mon, Allah wadu’en nder suddabe asiiri fid diini, wad dunyaa wal akhirah” Aamin Allah Jaabu. Amin Allah Jaabu. Allah Jaabu.
And we finally take comfort from knowing that Allah Ta’ala has answered your prayers which you used to pray “Rabbana Aatina fid dunya Hasanah, wafil-Akhirati Hasanatan wa qinaa azaaban Naar, wadkhilnaa Birahmatikal Jannati ma’al abraar. Subhaana Rabbika, Rabil Izzati ammaa Yasifuun, Wa Salaamun alal Mursaleen. Walhamdu Lillahi Rabbil’Alamiin” Amen Baba. May Allah Ta’ala answer your prayer and bless you with Jannatul-Firdausi. We love you and will always be grateful for having been blessed to know you.
INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJIUN.