This Africa Day as we celebrate African unity and freedom we are sad and shocked to hear of the passing of Zelda Nhlabatsi from Eswatini.

Zelda was the Executive Director of Family Life Association of Eswatini. Zelda was also a Women4GlobalFund (W4GF) Advocate, who participated in the very first W4GF Global workshop in July 2013, as well as in the W4GF Africa workshop in December 2013. W4GF extends our deepest condolences to Zelda’s family and colleagues.

Zelda led with grace and patience. Zelda listened carefully and thoughtfully and spoke up when she needed to. In 2015 we interviewed Zelda at the Global Fund’s African Partnership Forum where she had just assumed her leadership role as Chair of the Eswatini Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM). She was a passionate advocate for the rights of women and girls and worked for them to enjoy their rights to make decisions about their own bodies. We mourn this great loss and at the same time celebrate your life Zelda – rest in peace. We will miss you and will never forget your light, leadership and calm that emanated from deep within you and all you did for women and girls in your country and the region.

“Hamba Kalhe Zelda… your light will continue to shine as our first woman CCM Chairperson coming from civil society in Anglophone Africa …. you set the example of great leadership. You shared your experience and we celebrate you as you made us proud. You will be missed Zelda! May your soul rest in peace” Olive Mumba, Executive Director of Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS and Health Service Organisations (EANNASO)