Hi everyone, how has December been treating you?
Mine has been exceptional for a while, until today thou. It started early this morning as I go on with my daily routine of having a walk in Facebook land. The first post that I saw, changed my whole world. A news that never crossed my mind. My mentor and my close friend, Rabani H.M Ayub (I’m sorry I can’t bring myself to call him ‘the late’) has passed away while on assignment at Sukau, Kinabatangan.
I do not wish to write about what happened to me after reading the post because today I want to write all about him. Come to think of it, I once told a friend that one day I would want to write about all the people who has inspired me greatly in my photography journey but this was not the way I would imagine it should be written.
Years ago, a week after getting my first DSLR, I started my learning proces from abang Rabani and a week after that, my first assignment with him was covering Sabah Base Jump at Tun Mustapha Tower. I followed him everywhere I could after that, hoping that one day I will be able to make him proud with my photography work. The whole time he was mentoring me and my friends, I found that he was a mentor who gives unconditionally, always patience with my jokes during any outing, able to put my feet back on the ground when I gone overboard, full of wise brotherly advice, understand the hardship I was struggling with but most of all always asking me to give my best in everything I do.
As a photojournalist, he took photo of everything and make a big deal out of his subjects. However knowing him, his true passion is the mountain and valleys of Sabah. He was not afraid to spend his time knowing and understanding his subjects, he reads a lot and a good writer. He has infectious determination and always try to make time to be with his friends and family when he was not on field. I can’t thank him enough for all the knowledge that he has given to me.
There is so much that I wanted to tell him, especially on what I am doing now…to ask for his blessing again and to thank him. For he was a part of the mold that puts me at where I am now. His passing is a great loss to many of us, but his passion and legacy will always remain here, in the heart and memory of his friends and students.
His last SMS to a friend,
‘…Abang will always be out there among the mountain and valley.’ Rabani Ayub
Rest in peace abang, I will miss you. Al – Fatihah