Sierra Leone suffers irreparable loss as Dr. Hardy passes away

Mohammed Kutubu Koroma

The Sierra Leone Telegraph: 3 June 2013

Yesterday morning my very good and trusted friend and counsellor Alpha Zakmal, who is the Oba of the Aku Mohammadan Jammat in the Washington Metropolitan – USA, called to inform me of the death of Dr. Abdul Afyz Hardy (Photo).

To those of us who grew up in the Aku Mohammadan communities of Fourah Bay, Foulah Town, Aberdeen and Funkia, he was simply known as uncle Afyz and never insisted on being styled “Doctor”.

I have decided as a matter of historical purposes to retrace the long journey of the late distinguished uncle Afyz, in the nation’s socio political and cultural advancements, as I witnessed for myself – from both cultural and political levels.

In particular, it is my knowledge of him as a Medical practitioner and his interaction with members of the political establishment, which I saw for myself especially his friendship with the late Sir Banja Tejan-Sie, the second Sierra Leonean Governor General of independent Sierra Leone – from April 1968 to September 1970, that I wish to comment on.

Dr. Abdul Afyz Hardy happened to be a beneficiary of the magnificence of mind by the late Edward Wilmot Blyden, who was able to make it possible for people of Islamic faith in the Aku Mohammadan culture to benefit from their western education, because in his days people with Islamic sounding names were denied western education.

But through perseverance, dogged determination and personal self-sacrifice, uncle Afyz ensured that he obtained medical education of the highest pedigree in the United Kingdom.

And when one talks of Sierra Leonean qualified Doctors of his generation, Uncle Afyz was among the medical giants, such as Dr. H. M. S. Boardman, Dr. Ekundayo Boye-Johnson, Dr. Wellesley-Cole of ‘Kossoh Town Boy’ fame, Dr. Olu Williams, Dr. Melvin Stuart, Dr. Roxy Harris, Dr. Oju Mends.

Dr. Hardy was very much a community physician who dispensed with his expertise-  gratis, especially in the Aku Mohammadan community of Fourah Bay.

I recalled most times when the late Grandma Lambrie will send me to Dr. Afyz for medication, if uncle Tanu, who was then Chief Dispenser had not yet come with her medication.

Uncle Afyz was also a regular fixture in the government Connaught hospital, volunteering his services.

siaka stevens2He was not a ‘Politician’ by ideological orientation. But no one should underestimate his unprecedented access to the movers and shakers of Sierra Leone – from the late prime minister – Sir Milton Margai to president Siaka Probyn Stevens (Photo).

He really knew how to play his ‘political’ cards as a reliable, credible and trusted public servant, in ways he offended no politician. He was never affiliated to any political party.

I had the very good fortune on few occasions to be at the same place with him, when he visited the Syke Street residence of Sir Banja Tejan-Sie, when he was Chief Justice as well as Governor General.

He was also frequently invited to social functions hosted by both Sir Banja and lady Admire Tejan- Sie, while they were in residence at Government House.

Dr. Afyz was a devout Muslim, committed to the propagation of Islam in his Aku Mohammadan communities.

He lived a worthy life that took into account the clarion call made by president John F. Kennedy in the Winter of January 1961, when he charged his fellow Americans to help move this great society forward, for the betterment of all and sundry without expecting gratification in return.

A man of very quiet disposition and humble being, Dr. Afyz will be greatly missed for the many lives he touched, without expecting reward.

And as he lies in a state of animated suspension preparing to return to his maker Allah, all of us who knew him will today render the disposition of his mortal remains into the compass of the indomitable reality for constant protection.

Dr. Afyz will be richly rewarded with a seat on the right hand of Allah in paradise, for his indefatigable services to fellow mankind while on earth.

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