Oyelakin Oladayo (Taiwo): The Y+ Mourns the death of a Youth Pioneer, Co-chair & Colleague

GLOBAL, 14th May 2014 – The Y+ network mourns the sudden death and loss of our Co-chair, colleague and founding member, Mr. Oyelakin Oladayo from Nigeria, affectionately known as ‘‘Taiwo’’.  

Our heart and thoughts are with his recently wedded wife, his friends and family across the globe. We celebrate his well-lived life and grieve about his sudden demise – an enormous loss to both the Y+ Program and the global AIDS response. His beaming smile, commitment to social justice, courage and charming eloquence will forever be missed.

Prior to his sudden death on Thursday, 17th April 2014 in Lagos, Nigeria; he led the Y+ Program of the Global Network of People living with HIV which supports leadership development of young people living with HIV globally. While on this role, he played a critical and effective role in developing the next generation community leaders in the AIDS response – a successful mandate that brought a global spotlight on the issues and concerns of young people living with HIV globally.

In his native country of Nigeria, he successfully championed and advanced a youth driven and centered agenda in both the Nigerian AIDS response and Climate Change Movement. He was also a pioneering figure in the formation of the Africa Young Positives Network, served on the HIV Young Leaders Fund Steering Committee and was an AVAC Research Fellow. 

Aware of the critical and effective roles he played in the global AIDS response. The Y+

Program mourns his death as an enormous loss to the international AIDS community. A sentiment echoed by the unending tributes pouring from young people across the globe.

‘‘Taiwo was a fearless and courageous leader. The Y+ will greatly miss his wit and wisdom’’ Duncan Moeketse, Y+ Co-chair from South Africa

‘‘Oladayo, thank you for the amazing opportunity of working with you, learning from you and sharing dreams. I'll keep all of those memories, long conversations, the plans and your unique way of expressing your opinion will remain alive in my heart. No words can express how sad I feel. Rest in peace my friend... now you are eternity.’’ Pablo Aguilera, Y+ member from Mexico and the director of HIV Young Leaders Fund

‘‘I cannot imagine the AIDS response without Taiwo. Words cannot express how empty I feel.’’ Princess Nuru, Y+ member from Uganda

‘‘Oladayo, I will miss your energy’’ Korey Chisholm, Y+ member from Guyana

“Taiwo has been instrumental in making the HIV response more responsive to the needs of young people living with HIV. Much success of the Y+ Programme today is thanks to Taiwo’s commitment, dedication and determination to improving the lives of young people living with HIV around the world” Ed Ngoksin, GNP+ Key Populations Officer based in South Africa

In remembrance of his life, his role as our Co-chair and contribution to the global AIDS response, the Y+ Program will be celebrating his life at the forthcoming International AIDS Conference slated to take place in Melbourne, Australia in July 2014.

In the meantime, we are still collecting and collating tributes and thoughts for Taiwo from friends, colleagues and loved ones from across the globe. Please feel free to share your tributes via: thoughtsoftaiwo@gmail.com.  For his widow, you may also donate via: (Link to be determined).  

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