Heartfelt tributes pour in following Gift of the Givers’ medical head’s passing

Gift of The Givers Head of the Medical Team, Dr Yakub Essack. Picture: Supplied

Gift of The Givers Head of the Medical Team, Dr Yakub Essack. Picture: Supplied

Published May 2, 2024


Durban — Tributes poured in following the untimely passing of Dr Yakub Essack, on Wednesday morning.

Dr Essack was the head of the medical team for non-profit organisation Gift of the Givers.

In a touching tribute to Dr Essack, Founder of Gift of the Givers, Imtiaz Sooliman, said that they were friends for 32 years.

He paid tribute to Dr Essack saying: “We remember him as a brother, friend, companion, dedicated community member, pure soul, sincere, humble, compassionate human being, ever willing to assist the elderly, orphans, widows and just about anyone in need. He led our medical teams on numerous international missions, won the hearts of those he served, was most approachable to team members as a counsellor in cases of secondary traumatisation.”

Sooliman said that Essack was ever willing to offer a listening ear, a gentle word and a warm embrace, he was a human par excellence.

“May he be blessed and welcomed by the Almighty for his exceptional service to family, friends, community, country and humanity. We say goodbye to a most incredible human being. May the Almighty grant ease to his dear family,” Sooliman concluded.

Ashraf Gorda, a friend of Dr Essack for 30 years, said he felt deeply saddened following his passing. Gorda said they were neighbours, friends, squash partners and confidants. Gorda said Essack was a community and nation builder.

“Besides being a medical doctor, he was a key member of the Gift of the Givers team and is a past president of the Islamic Medical Association of South Africa (IMASA). Yakub was a community champion. This is a monumental loss.” Gorda said.

Fellow doctor As’ad Bhorat said Essack was an incredible servant of humanity leaving a huge void and so many tears and weeping hearts.

“I had the pleasure of his company and leadership on many Gift of The Givers medical missions. He was a calm voice of reason and tranquillity amongst the chaos of war, famine or disaster. A true humanitarian and rare soul who inspired us,” Bhorat said.

Trudy Chetty said, “A definite loss of an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to making the world a better place. A true humanitarian, he leaves behind a legacy of compassion, kindness, and selflessness. His tireless efforts to alleviate suffering, promote equality, and bring hope to those in need have inspired countless lives. Though his passing leaves a great void, his impact will continue to ripple out, touching hearts and transforming lives for generations to come. Condolences to all those that knew this extraordinary human being.”

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