Who is Dr Yusuf Kodwavwalla aka Dr Yusuf Dawood?The Famous Author Doctor.

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By Selija Achaya

Dr. Yusuf Dawood is famed for his article in the Sunday Nation newspaper the lifestyle magazine section writing the surgeon’s diary column and has been writing that for over four decades. He died on 30th January aged 94 years old. He died while in the UK where he had relocated to from Kenya four years ago.

But who is this famed doctor who has been writing the amazing column? Where he talked about medicine, his relationship with his wife Marie, and his experiences with his patients?

Early life

Dr. Yusuf was born in western India in an area called Bantwa in a small town called Saurashtra. He always described his childhood as eventful. His name Kodwavwala which was always hard to pronounce traces back to his father’s village Bantwa.

Dr kodwavwalla had three siblings two brothers and a sister. He and his two brothers attained formal education where he and his brothers were doctors and one chose to be a lawyer. His sister could not further her education because of society’s cultural norms of early marriages but she attended a convent where she learned and was very fluent in English.

Family life

Dr. Yusuf married Marie in 1959. He met in the UK after his fellowship that run from 1955 to 1958 at the Royal College Of Surgeons FRCS and also did four surgical terms at Maidenhead, Blacknotley, and Banbury Hospitals and Drewsbury General Infirmary.

When he relocated to Kenya in 1961 and in 1964 their small family grew. They had two children Jenny and Jan.

His move to Kenya

He had decided to move to a hospital in the UK and en route on the flight, a doctor handed him an aerogram. He decided to apply for the position at Agha khan Nairobi and the interview was in London.

Ten Months after the interview and working at City General hospital in Sheffield he received a letter confirming his interview. The interview went well and it was conducted in London where doctor Yusuf met His Highness the Aga Khan. Dr. Kodwavwala took up the offer and was due to fly to Nairobi the following year.

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Exciting Times

Dr. Kodwavwala arrived in Nairobi in March 1961. To his pleasant surprise, Nairobi turned out to be great . It had great weather and the people from Kenya were welcoming.

He stayed in Kenya providing medical services to many patients . He finally decided to specialize in his medical field by deciding to be in charge of treating breast cancer. The disease had ravaged many women since it was a new disease.

His pride

Dr. Yusuf was proud of his heritage. He fondly referred to himself as a child of three continents. Asia which is where his home country India is found, the Uk, and Africa where he worked in Kenya for nearly whole his life.

His writing career

Dr. Yusuf decided to indulge in writing as a hobby just to maintain his sanity after long hospital routines and running a big hospital.

When asked what prompted him to start writing Yusuf said “Writing worked as a balm for my jangled nerves. It even helped to maintain my sanity!”.

He officially wrote his first book a fictional novel titled No strings attached a book he launched in March 1979.

His other works of literature include The Price of Living, Yesterday Today and TomorrowOne Life too Many, Off my Chest, Water under the Bridge, Behind the Mask, Return to Paradise, Nothing but the Truth, and Eye of the storm. The price of Living, Yesterday Today, and Tomorrow and Behind the mask which is a book of compilations of his Surgeons Diary.

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