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Elizabeth Heath

Ahmad Baba was one of the best-known Islamic scholars and writers of his time. Born into the prestigious Aqit family near Tombouctou (Timbuktu) in 1556, he was educated in Islamic theology and law. After completing his studies, he began writing books and treatises on theology, Islamic jurisprudence, history, and Arabic grammar. Over the course of his life he wrote more than fifty-six works. More than half of these are still in existence, and several are still used by West African ulama (scholars). Ahmad Baba also was a great collector of books; he amassed a library containing thousands of volumes. At this time, Tombouctou, ruled by the Songhai empire, was renowned throughout the Islamic world as a center of learning.

In 1591 the sultan of Morocco invaded Tombouctou. Ahmad Baba and other scholars refused to serve the Moroccan rulers and, by some accounts, instigated a 1593 rebellion against ...

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Elizabeth Hope Timbs

was born in Babanango, South Africa. I. N. Nyembezi, his father, worked as a Methodist minister, meaning that the family moved frequently. They lived in Babanango, Ingwavuma, Vryheid, Indaleni, Edendale, and Nyanyadu. Concerned with the impact of frequent moves on their sons’ education, Nyembezi’s mother and father sent the children to Driefontein to stay with his mother’s family. During his childhood, he attended schools in Vryheid and Driefontein, before training to become a teacher at Nuttall Training College in Edendale and Adams College in Amanzimtoti.

Nyembezi took his first teaching position at Newcastle Secondary School in 1938. He later earned a college education diploma and distinctions in English and Zulu at the University of Fort Hare in 1943. He continued his education at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1945 pursuing a B A Honors degree During his time there he became a language assistant in the ...