On Monday 22nd April 2019, AfNHi, an African led network of HIV prevention research advocates, learnt with a great sense of loss, that Dr Manasseh Phiri is no more.
Dr Manasseh, fondly referred to as ‘Papa’ by his AfNHi family, is a founder member of AfNHi and has diligently served as a steering committee member until his demise. His leading role and voice in the establishment of AfNHi is treasured and will be remembered.
A Pan-Africanist at heart, many of us at AfNHi will remember him, too, for his relentless call for an African-driven HIV prevention research agenda and stronger African-led advocacy for HIV prevention research.
As HIV prevention research advocates, we were truly honoured and privileged to work side by side with Manasseh in his role as educator, advocate, writer, influencer among many other roles. We have benefited from his immense wisdom and intelligence.
We shall remember his fearless interventions in meetings, critical thinking, fearlessness in calling out duty bearers, and courage in defending human rights among many other ways through which he promoted social justice.
His resilience and courage as he openly and publicly shared about his battle with prostate cancer has inspired hope and encouraged many in Zambia and beyond.
As AfNHi, we celebrate an icon, a leader, a role model, a giant.
We shall miss him deeply.
Rest in power, Papa Manasseh.