Thank you for sharing the video recordings of the beautiful service. Patricia always held a special place in my heart, as she did with many of you. I learned so much from her while I was at the Africa Society. I was lucky to have a friend and colleague like Patricia. I’ll never forget her and will continue to remember all of the beautiful lessons she taught me ❤
To her family, the Africa Society, and everyone helping to create these opportunities to celebrate and honor Patricia, thank you You are ensuring her legacy is honored and remembered. For a person who always gave to others, this is a beautiful tribute to her immense impact and love that she had for all of us.
By Marthy, friend and former colleague
Once a wise man was asked – what is the meaning of life? To this he replied – life itself has no meaning. Life is an opportunity to create a meaning.
When I reflect on Patricia’s life, I see that she understood this innately.
I am Andrew Mwavua, and I serve on the Advisory Board of the Africa Society, where Patricia was the President. She challenged us, invited us to the great work of shaping progress for the for African people.
Patricia chose her words thoughtfully – when she spoke, it was the truth, but always in love. Patricia was a master of the fine art of disagreeing without being or becoming disagreeable. She would always reach for common cause and values. She respected everyone, from the very great to the very lowly. And Patricia was tireless in her pursuit of progress and excellence for Africa and Africans.
It is because of her consistent effort, service and goodness that I say Patricia wasn’t just a good person. She was a great person. Patricia became great because she didn’t shy away from the great and seemingly impossible challenges of our day – with grace in her step, faith and courage in her heart, she took on some of the great problems facing Africa and Africans. She led and invited us to do the same. She was our president.
Of one thing I have no doubt: this world is better, us Africans in the diaspora are better, the motherland is better, individual countries are better, and the lives of Africa’s youth will be bettered because Patricia Baine was here.
She may be absent from us in body, but the substance of who Patricia Baine was lives on. It lives on in those of us who were privileged to experience her life example. It lives on in the many who may never know her name, person or visage, but whose lives have been, are, and will be touched and bettered because of her life’s work.
It lives on in the work of Teach Africa and the Africa Society. It lives on in each of us who knew her, were close to her. It lives on in me – because she had an unforgettable impact on me. And because the impact of her life and work was overwhelmingly positive and meaningful, even while living among us, Patricia grabbed hold of a piece of immortality. Not as her objective, but as unavoidable consequence of her service.
Yes, I served on the Obama campaign and in his administration while he was the 44th president of the United States. But to me, it was an equally great honor for Patricia to ask me to be one of her advisors during her presidency of the Africa Society. We frequently spoke on the phone during the past few months, but the last time we were together in person was in September. She insisted that we must celebrate my 45th birthday. She dismissed my protests that I didn’t make a big deal of my birthday as nonsense she wasn’t willing to tolerate. Never mind that even though I had known her for years, I had never similarly honored her. Patricia – I wish I did it while you were here, but your family has given me an opportunity to make this right and honor you now, my dear sister. Lesson learned – I will seek to do better going forward.
Busy and burdened as she was, Patricia chose to pause and invest precious time to simply celebrate me. Little did either of us know at the time, that we were sharing one of the waning moments of her life.
And it is because of the exemplary life of servant leadership that this great daughter of Africa, a woman who was truly a Jewel from Uganda, the pearl of Africa, that I say that while Patricia’s sole intent was to serve, with each deposit of her service, she was becoming immortalized.
Patricia – you are irreplaceable and will always be missed. It is one of the great honors of my life to have known and served with you. Fare thee well my dear friend, until we meet again. To me, you will always be my President.
By Andrew Mwavua, Advisory Board, The Africa Society