The Mental Health Club hosted the family of our late club member, Burhanuddin Yamani, on 9th December for a ceremony to lay a plaque alongside a tree planted in his memory by the Environmental Club in September 2021 after his unfortunate demise the same month from a short illness. The plaque ceremony, held on his birthday, was attended by his friends and former members of the Mental Health Club, including; Asyaali Hamada, Sharon Johnson, Said Madiha, Wambui Kang’ara (Co-founder), and Peter Wanyangi (Ex-President). There was also staff and alumni representation from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences including; Dr. Arbogast Akidiva, Dr. Maureen Syallow, Dr. Ochieng’ Kamudhayi, Caroline Mbugua, Cyrus Muthumbi, Kelvin Njoroge and Barnabas Owuor.
Burhanuddin Yamani was an avid and dedicated club member even after graduating in 2020 from the university with his bachelor’s degree in International Studies. He continued to play an active role at the Club and remained reliably committed to the mental health awareness causes in our Club. One major notable achievement and incredible memory of his active participation was when he virtually hosted the last session of our October 2020 mental health awareness week on the topic “Towards Mental Wellness” during the COVID-19 pandemic school closure. On that specific evening, he left work and immediately with his work attire switched to the event and hosted it very well. The session was a great success and wrapped up our awareness week on a very high note and style. The recorded event is available on our Club YouTube page here.
Burhanuddin’s eldest sisters, Fatima and Sherin Yamani, recalled their brother as an icon in their lives who lived his life with great humility, contentment, and purpose. Yamani’s mother celebrated her son as a very keen listener who was very conscious and observant of his surroundings and only spoke when he had something important to say. Yamani loved and held his family together. He spoke fondly of his mom and was very grateful for his mother’s invaluable impact on his life.
Dr. Syallow described Yamani as a very diligent student with so much discipline in his studies and courteousness. He was also remembered by our Club co-founder Kristy Obuya as a gentle, kind, and warm person. In her words: “As we continued to interact during club activities, it became quite evident how passionate he was about mental wellness topics such as meditation, positive thinking, and yoga.” Madiha, a close friend to Burhanuddin in our 2021 Club annual report, celebrated him as one who gave his best in every aspect of life and simply accepted people as they were, encouraged them, comforted them, and was never judgmental.
The late Yamani was very affable, intentional, and tactical in all he did. Every time I met him and we spoke about the Club while I was serving as the club President, he challenged me with unique ideas. He always ‘thought outside the box’ and he had a great sense of humor. I truly miss him!
Yamani was a star given to us. He continues to shine brightly in our hearts and lives. He is a light that guides our efforts of mental health awareness, and his esteem and passion inspire the Club to date. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
This article was written by Peter Wanyangi, Former President of Mental Health Club (2020 & 2021).
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