A Tribute to WCO Immediate Past President Dr. Uduak Udom (1955-2019) from Prof. Kovin Naidoo
Dear Uduak’s Family, colleagues and friends:
It is with a heavy heart I write this message. I was unable to attend the funeral due to a prior commitment that impacts on many peoples travel arrangements.
Our continent and profession has lost a gem. The space that has been created will be very difficult to fill. I am even more saddened by the fact that I have lost a dear friend who no matter how busy or sick she was, found the time to check on me, scold me for travelling too much or working too hard, shared in my joy when I got married by attending my wedding in Durban, shared in my joy when my son was born and always being there as a sounding board of ideas for me.
Uduak represented our continent with dignity and pride either as President of the African Council of Optometry or World Council of Optometry. On both occasions when I approached her to stand for these positions she asked if others were not more suitable. She was not desperate for office just eager to serve if her people wanted her to. We hear people talk about servant leadership but Uduak lived it. Uduak spent her own money at times to make things happen.
In Zulu we say Hamba Kahle (Go Well). You can only go well my friend as you lived a life of humility, service and faith. Your faith went beyond praying, it encompassed service to those less fortunate, the ultimate expression of ones faith.
May your family be blessed with the strength to cope with your loss.
Someone once said it is not the length of your life that matters but the quality of that life that matters. You my friend had a full and rich life indeed.
Till we meet again,
Prof. Kovin Naidoo
Senior Vice President:Inclusive business philanthropy and Social Impact