The Romani activist and entrepreneur Rudolf Zajda passed away on the afternoon of 29 April at the age of 60 after a brief illness. His family has informed news server Romea.cz.
Mr Zajda was best known to the public as the chair of the Association of Romani Advisors in Brno, which offered unemployed Romani people many educational courses aiming to teach them foreign languages and the computer, business and management skills that could increase their chances on the labor market. "I just hope that our activities will succeed to such a degree that the Labor Offices and the town halls finally notice that Romani people do want to do something for their employability and that the willingness is here," he told Czech public radio's Romani program "O Roma vakeren" in 2005.
Mr Zajda was born on 23 June 1960 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. He earned a Bachelor's degree in andragogy (adult education) at the Jan Amos Comenius University in Prague.
During the 1990s and shortly after the year 2000 Mr Zajda was active politically. Just after the 1989 Velvet Revolution he ran in Brno as a candidate for the Roma Civic Initiative (ROI) and was a member of the International Romani Union (IRU).
In his free time Mr Zajda loved to read science fiction, non-fiction literature, studied philosophy and religion, and was an active devotee of karate. In his youth he represented the Czech Republic at the national level in that martial art.
After his active career ended, Mr Zajda trained children and youth in his free time. With the exception of two years in Canada, he spent his entire life in his native Brno.
Sincere condolences to his family and surviving loved ones.