Farewell, Ferdinand Ruhinda; you did your bit for the country you loved

By Bullet Ruhinda

On Monday, June 17, 2024 we not only bade farewell to a remarkable man, but also celebrated a life that embodied dedication, humility and unwavering patriotism. The late Ambassador Ferdinand Ruhinda was more than just a diplomat; he was a man of profound integrity and compassion.

His love for Tanzania was evident throughout his life’s journey. From his formative years in Uganda to his distinguished service in various diplomatic roles globally, he carried a deep-rooted commitment to his homeland. His career, spanning decades, was marked by selfless devotion, both at home and abroad, where he represented our nation with grace and distinction.

Prior to his diplomatic career, Ambassador Ruhinda served as the managing director of CCM’s newspapers Uhuru and Mzalendo as well as the Daily and Sunday News. His experience in journalism from the University of Nairobi laid a solid foundation for his later achievements. His transition into diplomacy took him to the Voice of Ghana during Kwame Nkurumah’s presidency, enriching his perspective and preparing him for significant roles, including at the Tanzanian Embassy in Sweden, as High Commissioner in Canada, and later as Ambassador to China.

Despite his numerous accolades and his close associations with influential figures, such as his dear friend, the late Retired President Benjamin Mkapa, Ambassador Ruhinda remained remarkably humble. He shunned the limelight, never using his connections for personal gain. Instead, he upheld a quiet dignity, always prioritising the service for his country and the advancement of its interests.

Throughout his illustrious career, Ambassador Ruhinda steadfastly avoided the allure of fame. In an era where public recognition often eclipses substance, he maintained a preference for privacy, focusing diligently on his work, nurturing relationships and advocating for causes close to his heart. His recent call to challenge the colonial vestiges lingering in our region’s geography underscores his unwavering commitment to progress and justice. His main concern on this was why, to date, Lake Victoria still bears a colonial name!

As we reflect on Ambassador Ruhinda’s life, let us not only celebrate his professional achievements but also cherish his profound impact as a devoted husband, loving father, and loyal friend. He leaves behind a legacy defined by integrity, humility, and an unwavering dedication to Tanzania and the ideals of unity and progress in East Africa.

Let us honour Ambassador Ruhinda’s memory by continuing the noble work he initiated, striving for excellence in service to our nation, and embodying the values of compassion and humility that he exemplified throughout his life.

Dr Bullet S. Ruhinda is a lecturer at the Open University of Tanzania

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