My soul is heavy: Farewell to Sister Comrade Barbara Allimadi

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Barbara Allimadi.

Being a scholar-activist can be lonely. So when I met Barbara over a decade ago through her brother Milton, I felt I gained a Pan-African sister in the struggle for African liberation. Over the years I watched Barbara’s influence grow among revolutionary Ugandans advocating for policies that could uplift the underserved communities in their country.

In 2012, Barbara’s activism reverberated internationally when she, alongside her female comrades, protested semi-nude as a move to call attention to police brutality against political activist, Ingrid Turinawe. Barbara was singled out and applauded for her bravery in the midst of violence. Some of us would grab that opportunity to gain fame and amass wealth in the name of the poor. As Seun A. Kuti would put it, become “cash-visit”. Barbara  did not take that route.

Instead, she reminded media outlets that the protest was not her idea, rather it was collective work. Throughout her career, she always acknowledged her comrades for their efforts. Barbara understood that revolutionary struggle is fundamentally about unity of purpose. I am grateful for your time with us, Barbara.

May you continue to inspire us as an ancestor just as those before you motivated you when you were with us. May we keep your legacy alive by uniting to liberate Uganda and the African continent.

Rest well sister. Ase.

By Yoknyam Dabale, Nigerian comrade.

Barbara Allimadi passed away on April 27. A preliminary autopsy report showed pulmonary embolism. 

Funeral service is today May 2, in Gulu, Uganda. Due to a Covid-19 lockdown

the private service is limited. The family plans a fitting farewell in the future. 

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