Farewell letter of Ambassador Kanat Tumysh – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

12 January 2023



After a wonderful three years and five months in the Rainbow Nation, it is time to bid farewell to this incredible country and the neighbouring nations of Southern Africa, in which I have had the honour to serve as the Kazakh Ambassador. I am leaving this very special part of the world with numerous pleasant memories that I shall always cherish.

After all the interesting countries my diplomatic career took me to, from Turkey to Hungary, from the Slovak Republic to the United States/United Nations, I was pleased to work between 2019-2023 in South Africa, the cradle of humankind.

These years, as the second resident Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Pretoria, I have focused all my efforts on the promotion of bilateral and multilateral relations between Kazakhstan, South Africa and SADC. During my tours of duty, I have seen stable development of relations in political, trade-cum-economic and cultural cooperation. I am very much confident that the next stage after my departure will be an even more exciting one. Kazakhstan and Southern Africa are geographically distant from each other, but we should continue to make additional efforts to learn more about each other.

During my term of office here, I served my country proudly, and made effort in my capacity as an Ambassador to build its longstanding friendship with South Africa, as well as other SADC countries.

At this juncture, let me express our sincere appreciation to all of you for your warmth and solidarity.

As was said once by His Late Excellency Madiba Nelson Mandela, world icon, Nobel Prize laureate, first democratic President of the Republic of South Africa, “ . ℎ ℎ . ℎ ℎ ℎ ℎ .”

In this vein, I cordially appreciate your cooperation with Kazakhstan, the Land of the Great Steppe in the heart of Eurasia. Your professionalism and valuable support made important contributions to our Embassy’s work and enabled us to achieve some outstanding results, considering the small size of our mission.

I need to thank first of all, Right Honourable President Ramaphosa and His Excellency’s Cabinet, Parliament, all the departments and agencies, as well as provincial authorities and communities. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to all my dedicated colleagues at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation led by the Honourable Minister H.E. Dr. Naledi Pandor, and to all my high-ranked counterparts, Ambassadors and High Commissioners posted in South Africa, without whom my assignment would have lacked the support, understanding and friendship that I have heavily relied on.


I was born in the European part of my country, and my junior son in the Americas, Western hemisphere. I love these continents, but I equally love South Africa and Africa as a whole. I am proudly Turkic Muslim, and also Asian. Saying that, I express my sincere appreciation to my brothers and sisters from different parts of the world. We all are fellow citizens of the planet, and our diversity enriches us.

I am also very thankful to the entire South African society, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and other ethnic and religious communities, traditional leaders, the Mandela family, and former presidents, academia, media (, , , ), SACCI and business cycles, South African women and youth, military people and police, agrarian, traders, personnel of the other Embassies. And of course, I would like to thank my great Embassy team for their unwavering support over the years, and my spouse Madame Leila Tumysh.

I am delighted to be one of the Turkic Ambassadors, and my thanks also go to the Turkic community in RSA, including such important Turkish institutions in South Africa, as the Yunus Emre Institute and Turkish Cultural Centre, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Maarif Foundation, as well as Turkish Airlines and others.

In the last few years, I witnessed the steady growth of the bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the entire region of the Southern Africa. Human-to-human connection has been an integral part of my job here. While travelling across this wonderful part of the world, I have encountered the fellow Muslim community, with whom we enjoy strong historical bonds, due to the heritage of Abu Nasr Al Farabi and Sayyid Khawaja Ahmed Yasawi, who was born in the ancient Kazakhstan and are well-known to the South African Muslims, and other citizens as well.

I will never forget our joint political, diplomatic, economic, social, humanitarian, educational, scientific, sporting, and cultural events, as well as other formal and informal functions.

Working in South Africa has been an incredible experience and it will always be the highlight of the career of many diplomats.

Despite the expression that as various peoples of our planet “ , ,” we were like a mini world here in the beautiful Tshwane. Yes, we worked for different purposes in accordance with our national interests, but always did it in great harmony and mutual respect. These memories will always linger with us. Yet, let me say not ‘farewell’, but ‘see you.’

I can say that “ ℎ ,” as goes an old adage.

SWEET because one recalls the wonderful memories and times spent together, for which we will be always thankful to each of you. You were all most generous, kind and helpful to me and my Embassy in all possible ways. It was an honour to know and interact with you personally, and we learned so much from each of you. We will never forget your acts of kindness, as you were so helpful personally and professionally to us in promoting many of the initiatives of Kazakhstan.

And we also say, SORROW, because we do not know if we will meet you all again and if our paths will cross. However, in our contemporary world, sorrow is greatly diminished as we can be in touch digitally and via social media. So, this old proverb is not that heavy in its impact.


I am proud to call each and every one of you my friend and precious colleague. We can in fact look forward to keeping in touch and learn from one another and be inspired by the new prospects of our future assignments, and yet contribute to the global processes of multilateralism. I would like to let you know that whether I be in Kazakhstan or elsewhere in the world, our hearts and homes are always welcoming you as we will embrace and receive you with open arms.

I can say that you all deserve the best and that may the Almighty always bless you and your loved ones with the good that you so richly deserve.

During my tenure, I have been outspoken about the need to increase bilateral trade and investment, and I have encouraged Kazakh companies to enter the South African market and the RSA’s companies to enter Kazakhstani market. Despite COVID-19, I believe we have indeed made good progress.

I would like to commend the outstanding diplomatic community I was surrounded with in Pretoria, the second largest in the world. It was a great pleasure to have a joint diplomatic service in this great Land. I will always miss and remember all the countries
of the Southern Africa and all my friends there.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude for your support and every assistance that you have always extended to me and to our Embassy’s staff. It has truly been a great honour and privilege working with all of you. This has offered me the unique opportunity not only to interact with distinguished personalities such as yourselves, but has also stimulated and enriched both my personal and professional life.

I therefore wish to seize this opportunity to express profound gratitude and deep appreciation for the warm friendship, camaraderie and generous support and cooperation that you so kindly extended to me personally and to my mission over the years.

As you may aware, I have completed my mission as the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to South Africa and SADC countries. .. . – , , , .

I will be leaving South Africa in a few days!

I am sure that my successor, .. will be met with the warm welcome and support I have had the privilege of receiving from the people and governments of South Africa and other SADC countries, as well as the diplomatic corps, and broad local societies and communities.

I leave South Africa very optimistic, as we are continuing to build bridges and constantly enhance our mutual understanding and solidarity. I will remain a great supporter of cooperation between Kazakhstan, South Africa, SADC, and Africa as a whole. This unique continent will always be close to my heart. And I hope, we will meet again soon.


The Diplomatic Informer
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