Dr. Zohra Andi Baso, a member of SMERU’s Board of Trustees, passed away on Sunday evening, 15 March 2015, at the Hasanuddin University Hospital, Makassar, due to a long-fought lung condition.
Born in Labakkang, South Sulawesi, on 17 April 1952, Kak [Older Sister] Zohra—as she preferred to be addressed—was a custodian of pluralism and someone who never acquiesced to partisan groups. Her critical mind made her an active supporter of civil society movements. She even served as the initiator in the formation of various student, journalists’, women’s, social, and political organizations. Through these organizations, she always voiced the concerns of women, children, and marginalized communities.
Her struggles to build movements through organizations meant that she left her identity as a member of the nobility behind. For her, change could only be achieved through organized movements, not by individual leaders. In this vein, she was also aware of the importance of knowledge and research in achieving change.
A number of the issues she fought for were aligned with the values adopted and championed by SMERU. With this background, it is understandable that she felt not much more needed to be said at meetings of the SMERU Board of Trustees. For Kak Zohra, the direction of SMERU’s research activities contributed to her own struggles and aspirations.
Now, Kak Zohra is no longer with us. We can only savor sweet memories in our hearts and pray for her safe passage. Farewell, Kak Zohra. May you be at peace by His side. Amen