When Tony Achmat passed away
Tony Achmat Legacy Fund
Tony’s unexpected death left us shocked and unprepared, with no contacts for his extensive network of business clients and friends he helped for years and years. Many people benefited from his knowledge and encouragement with skyrocketing careers and lucrative business deals. In some cases, his advice and strategy helped companies secure deals worth millions of dollars. We hoped that it would be only natural to give back.
We established a funding page to ensure a better future for Tony’s ‘adopted family’ Sri Lanka. Tony died literally days before moving in with them permanently and retiring. With his Prague flat emptied out, clothes given away, possessions sold, he was ready to fly to Sri Lanka and enjoy his well deserved time on the beach and teaching little kids English. Needless to say that they were both devastated and financially in a difficult situation, with their plans and dreams dashed.
Over time, we collected 60.000 CZK, mostly from our personal friends, rather than Tony’s contacts. Thank you all! By the time we transferred the donations, we had to add another 10.000 CZK of our own for the various processing fees and, finally, Kumar was able to buy a small boat for taking tourists on river cruises. He named it Tony Achmat and painted Tony’s personal logo on it.
Then the bombings took place in Sri Lanka and tourism dried up overnight. And so, the struggle continues. We try to keep in touch and maintain the website for their little tour business. If you plan to go to Sri Lanka, we have the right people to take you around 🙂
Tony’s Contribution to Value Anatomy
Tony was the inspiration behind my Value Anatomy project. It all began in February 2017, when he was invited to Mumbai, India, to receive the Global Trainer and Leadership Developer Award at the 25th Jubilee Global HRD Congress. As he prepared his acceptance speech, we discussed the issue of values in our living room. When he came back, I had a list of 500 human values compiled and took it from there.
He later did a series of illustration drawings of animal archetypes for the project. Two days before he fell ill, as we loaded our car with things he gave away, he handed me an envelope and
Our entire Value Anatomy team attended the Buddhist ceremony held by the monks in Sapa Vietnamese community in Prague. As we walked out, we realized that, unlike most attendees, we all fell into meditative states and felt Tony’s presence. It was a profound spiritual experience that left us far from crying. Rather, we felt elation, deep gratitude and connection.
For many years, Tony was essentially hiding is exceptional spiritual skills and in those moments, I promised him that I’ll stop hiding mine. I feel committed to continue his legacy as best as I can, knowing full well that I can’t begin to measure up to someone as iconic with such incredible depth of experiences. But I can try, I have to.
For sure, I’ll send 10% of the licensing royalties for Value Anatomy to his adoptive family as soon as we get the project off the ground.
Art for Sale
In the fall of 2019, we received a box of Tony’s paintings that were left behind in a café where Tony intended to exhibit and sell them to raise money for his planned Sri Lankan school. In the meantime, the café changed hands and we had no idea that the current owner still kept them. And so, our next fundraising challenge appeared.
We are not sure exactly when and how we’ll organize something, but if you are interested in purchasing some of Tony’s art, let us know. The proceeds will go to his Sri Lankan family – the people with whom he intended to spend his last years, who loved him and were ready to take care of him.
- GoGetFunding page where we collected money for the Tony Achmat boat (now closed for further donations but with lots of information)
- Tony wrote an article about his hands-on philanthropy in Sri Lanka for the Slovak magazine United Life