Today is a black Friday for people who work on citizenship and right to nationality in Kenya. A great soul and a mentor to all the paralegal networks working on Nationality in Kenya. @adamhusseinadam one of our members on discourse has passed on. He helped in the crafting of the Nubian citizenship paralegal project in Kibra and several other organisations in Kenya.
The Kibra member of parliament clearly described this great soul in his condolence message:
Adam Hussein Adam was a trained psychologist and guidance counsellor. He was also an expert nutritionist and a vegetarian. As an undergraduate student at the University of Nairobi, Adam was selected to play on the Kenya National Rugby Team but was denied the chance to represent the country internationally because the Immigration Department declined to issue him a passport on the basis of his Nubian ethnicity.
He almost single handedly pioneered the field of statelessness studies and advocacy in Africa; he travelled to over a dozen countries to help in documenting the plight of stateless people and advocating strategies for improving their legal status and fundamental rights to a nationality and vital freedoms. With support of the Open Society, other scholars, and civil society groups, the late Adam Hussein Adam played a pivotal role in the groundbreaking human rights cases on behalf of the children of Nubian descent within the Kenya Court system, followed by a successful appeal at the African Commission on Peoples and Human Rights. That landmark ruling ordered the Government of Kenya to end discrimination of children of Nubian descent and to implement fair issuance of birth certificates, identity cards, and other citizenship documents to the Nubians of Kenya. One of the recommendations from the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report reiterated the duty of the government to implement this ruling and apologise for past administrative injustices against the Nubians of Kenya.
Articulate, authoritative, knowledgeable, humble, friendly, fluent in multiple languages. That’s the Adam Hussein Adam I got to know over the last three years as Member of Parliament for Kibra Constituency. He was eager to teach and empower and guide me and others to be knowledgeable and committed advocates of the voiceless in society. His contributions as an expert brought changes in laws and policy to benefit stateless and at risk people such as the Makonde, Kenyan Asians of British descent, Somalis and more. As an author, his many writings about statelessness across the African continent will continue to serve as a resource for other scholars and advocates. His knowledge of history, philosphy, economics, law, and policy was encyclopedic. His big heartedness and commitment to humanity boundless.
Adam was an intellectual who strived to make sure academic knowledge was applied in the real world to benefit the marginalized. Adam was in Eastleigh during the recent Samosa Festival as a forum panelist on the issue of citizenship in Kenya, where he clearly articulated the gap between rights guaranteed in the constitution and the administrative culture that denies many citizens the enjoyment of those rights.
Among Adam’s latest projects was the plan to expand his private counseling practice to include a rehabilitation centre for young people battling different forms of addictions. Adam was a thinker and a doer; a scholar, a friend, a gentleman, an activist, a changemaker. May his soul rest in eternal peace and may the Almighty grant him a place in paradise.