Wednesday 24 February 2016

A letter to my friend Daudi who was killed last night

 “The good die first, and they whose hearts are dry as summer dust, burn to the socket.”   William Wordsworth

There is only one question – Why?

Why was one of the kindest, gentlest people taken so young, so suddenly and so violently?  

Regrettably your passing will not cause many ripples in a world of 6 billion souls, obsessed as we are with self, wealth and celebrity. But for that tiny proportion of humanity that knew you, this is an immeasurable loss. Your quiet loyalty as a friend has been more valuable than a thousand fake smiles and greetings.

If I ever introduced you to other friends I would say you were the most generous person I had ever met.  I stand by that assertion today. Life did not deal you a great hand, you strived and struggled for the little you had in the material realm. Yet for ten years, whenever I came to Zanzibar you would turn up at my home with gifts. I have appreciated them all – especially the wonderful shells and carvings. You should have sold them to wageni to make some money, but you chose to give them as presents. I shall never forget that. For one with so little to be so generous  is rare in this life. That spirit of kindness will live on in the hearts of the people who knew you. It is a greater legacy than wealth or fame.

I have been lucky enough to have met and known a range of people all over the world – presidents and princes, criminals and terrorists and all that goes between. I love meeting people and having a wide circle of friends of all races, ages and persuasions. You stood out. You had a very special heart and that is not easily forgotten wherever I am or whoever I am with.

It was only last month that I saw you on the East Coast. You described me as your best friend and I felt both touched and unworthy. You patiently went through the shells my mother had found on Michamvi Beach – very modest compared to what you would collect – and picked out and cleaned the best ones for her. Few words and small deeds but again not forgotten.

What happened to you last night was terrible and unjust. You were a true brother. We will try to do what we can for your family during these dark times and in the future.

 Daudi Armando RIP