Dr. Abdulai: The Mad Doctor From Airtel’s ‘Touching Lives’ Fame
Ghanaians are largely perceived as kind and warm people. There are naturally different variations or levels of this kindness. One such level of kindness which may not be too common is the one Dr. David Fuseini Abdulai possesses. In the latter part of 2009, the entire country woke up to the news of how the exceptional achievements of a rather humble man with the greatest compassion for his fellow man went unrecognized for nearly two decades.
That was when the searchlight of the first edition of the TV Reality Show, Touching Lives put together by telecommunications provider Airtel Ghana, travelled up north and settled on the hitherto forgotten hero, Dr. David Fuseini Abdulai, founder of the Shekhinah Clinic (Home of Love) in the Northern Region.
Compelled by the countless nominations he received and his incredible work for the needy around him, Touching Lives unveiled and “sung the hitherto unsung hero” (Dr. Abdulai) for his marvelous work of saving lives and restoring hope to the visibly hopeless “societal outcast”, whom he made kings and queens in his Home of Love. Instantly, The Mad Doctor as he is affectionately called, shot to national fame after the awards and subsequently, the screening of his episode, which happened to be the flagship story of the entire first edition.
The show left in its wake the chorus “a well-deserved award” on the lips of many in apparent reference to how deserving The Mad Doctor was of the award. Now a national figure and a hero in the real sense of the word, it was not difficult arriving at the conclusion that more awards were going to rain on him for his great sacrifice to humanity especially considering the exposure he received through the show. It is not as though Dr. Abdulai needs the awards to motivate him any more than he already is.
This year, as the United States of America celebrates the 83rd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birth, the US Embassy (Ghana) finds no other person better deserving of the prestigious Martin Luther King (MLK), Jr. Award for Peace and Social Justice than Dr. Abdulai, seen to have best personified the philosophy and actions of Dr. Luther King, Jr.
Noble as the award is, it comes to add to his laurels, pushing him further from the national stage onto a much more coveted international platform. Not only does he join the league of noble past awardees and or recipients of this esteemed award, he brings along his own zest of selflessness and benevolence redefined which stands him in a unique stead among the previous recipients.
What stands him out more?
He has targeted his acts of kindness mainly at the lowly placed in society for which reason he found no better place to practice his much needed medical profession than the Northern Region where it’s most needed. Often a no go area for many such professionals, he planted himself in that part of the country at a place called Gulugu, a remote but vantage location to serve not only the hopeless and destitute in the three northern regions but neighboring Togo and Benin.
He houses the homeless, the destitute and the terminally ill, shielding them from the scorns of society and feeding them on a regular cycle of three meals a day. What is more amazing is the additional task of feeding the mentally ill on the streets of Gulugu and the surrounding communities on a daily basis without failure and this he has done since January 1992.
As if that is not enough of a burden for one man to shoulder, he has taken unto himself the responsibility of – without ever defaulting – feting during Christmas over 3000 lepers, mentally ill and perceived misfits.
This year, Dr. Abdulai received the award as the 5th recipient since its inception 5 years ago. Started in the year 2008, the maiden annual MLK award was jointly presented to The Right Rev. Vincent Boi Nai, Bishop of Yendi and Alhaji Al-Hussein Zakaria, Director, CODEYAC, Tamale with the second going to Angela Dwamena-Aboagye, Executive Director, Ark Foundation in 2009.
Subsequent recipients include Janet Adama Mohammed, Director, West African Human Rights and Democratization Project for IBIS (West Africa) – 2010 and George Archibra, Founder of Partners in Community Development Programme (PACODEP) for 2011.