Tribute to Michael Padayachy
Contributed by the Citizens Democracy Watch Seychelles (CDWS) colleagues
Citizens Democracy Watch Seychelles (CDWS) mourns the loss of Michael Padayachy, a man who made invaluable contributions to his country and the NGO community – a space he had passion and love for. He was involved in numerous organisations and causes and was really passionate about good governance and human rights issues. Michael was a brave man, who was not afraid to challenge thoughts, ideas and people. With his easy nature he could easily turn tense situations into light matters by cracking a joke and then he would light his cigarette.
Mr. Padayachy began his civil society engagement way back in the 70’s as a young activist in the trade union movement, fighting for the rights of workers especially the voiceless. He later formed part of the Executive Committee of Centre for Rights and Development (CEFRAD) working alongside deceased former Minister Mathew Servina. He later joined, the Association of Concerned Citizens of Seychelles (ACCESS) another NGO dealing strictly with Human Rights matters.
In June 2012, merely ten months after the establishment of CDWS, Mr. Padayachy was elected as its Chairperson, taking on from Steve Lalande who served as Chairperson of CDWS’ caretaker committee. During his tenure as Chairperson of CDWS he boldly represented civil society in the Forum for Electoral Reform which contributed immensely to the review of electoral laws. He was a certified election observer and served as mission leader for the Anse Aux Pins bielection in August 2012.
He was an extrovert and was able to interact with anyone, at all levels. Michael always had jokes lined up, these he used to break the ice or tense atmospheres. He was quite the joker. His activism with CDWS and LUNGOS brought him across the ocean to Africa were he has his roots and he participated in important peacekeeping training exercises as an active member of the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) program based in Karen, Kenya.
The training workshops built his confidence and led him to volunteer as focal point for Seychelles. We remember how he would humbly discharge his leadership roles. At regional level, he had the privilege to serve as Mission Leader in a very important peace keeping field exercise a few years ago, in Uganda. He really made us proud of him. In November 2012, he was elected as Vice Chairperson of the Liasion Unit of Non-Governmental Organizations LUNGOS. Unfortunately, he did not remain long in those positions as his sacrifices impacted on his business, family and his personal health. He was a dynamic person, who was also interested in empowering the community for combatting crime and promote good neighbourliness in the district where he resided. His passion to make a difference in the community where he lived led him to join efforts with Donald Ernesta to help establish "Lasosyasyon pour Promouvwar latrankilite e Respe” in the district of St. Louis. Mr. Padayachy occupied the post of Vice Chairperon of this NGO, between November 2012 to April 2013.
During these difficult moments – our thoughts and prayers turn to his wife, children, family, all colleagues and volunteers who walked and worked alongside Michael. We want to tell you that we are deeply saddened by your loss. Please accept our condolences, on the passing of your husband, father, grandfather, our friend and colleague and one of Seychelles’ Human Rights champions. Mike’s contribution has been huge and he will be missed by all who knew him.
Adieu to you, Michael, our colleague and friend…
Source: today.sc 10-11-16