I will not pretend to have known Toni very well. But I admired her for years, and cherish the few times we spoke. She was warm, friendly, passionate — and with a notable absence of the sanctimony that many self-proclaimed warriors carry.

I saw her a few days before moving back to India. She had spotted me in a cafe and came by to wish me luck. I think I was wary at the time, incredibly disillusioned with people in general. I cannot remember if we hugged. I am grateful now to have seen her that one last time, to have spoken to her.

Rest in peace, Toni. Your love and your work will be remembered and carried forward.

Zaitun Mohamed Kasim

(1966 – 2008)

Human rights activist, HIV/AIDS educator, women’s candidacy initiative leader