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Mohammed Hassen Ali

last king of the kingdom of Jimma in Ethiopia, scholar, was born in Jiren, the political capital and commercial center of southwestern Ethiopia. As a young man Abba Jobir received the best Muslim education under several prominent Muslim scholars who settled in Jimma during the reign of his famous grandfather Abba Jifar II (r. 1878–1932).

His grandfather was the most famous, wealthiest, and most popular Oromo king throughout Ethiopia during the second half of the nineteenth century. He was a very foresighted politician who had an excellent grasp of the importance of firearms in warfare. He sent agents to the expanding kingdom of Shewa and realized that King Menilek had superiority in weapons; therefore, he peacefully submitted to Menilek. Although four other Oromo kings who resisted Menilek were destroyed, Abba Jifar II signed a peace treaty with the Christian king of Shewa in 1882 In exchange for local ...


A. L. Dawn French

was born on 8 January 1951 at Riviere Doree, a community in the southeast section of the island. He was one of nine boys of David William Barnard and Andrazine Anthony, better known as (and officially known as) Lucy Rosemond, who hailed from Saltibus. They also had two girls, both of whom died in infancy.

Anthony grew up in the south of the island, in the villages of Degatierre and River Dorée. His education started at the River Dorée Anglican Combined School, but was interrupted when he moved to the nearby island of St. Vincent. From 1959 to 1963 he attended the Kingstown Preparatory School in the capital, Kingstown. In 1963 he returned to Saint Lucia and attended the Laborie Boys School for one year; in 1964 he moved to the Vieux Fort Secondary School. Upon graduation in 1968 he worked at the business house of Minvielle and Chastanet ...


Gloria Chuku

journalist and president of Nigeria, was born into the family of Obededan Chukwuemeka Azikiwe, a clerk with the Nigerian Regiment of the West African Frontier Force in the northern Nigerian Hausa town of Zungeru. Later known affectionately as Zik, as a child, Nnamdi learned Hausa before his parents sent him to Onitsha, their Igbo hometown, for his primary education in 1912. In 1918, he graduated from Christ Church School, Onitsha, and he briefly taught there as a pupil teacher (1918–1920).

His education also took him to the Efik town of Calabar where he enrolled in the prestigious Hope Waddell Training Institute Following his father s transfer to Lagos Nnamdi moved with the family and enrolled at the Wesleyan Boys High School Lagos a predominant Yoruba town By the time he graduated from high school Nnamdi had acquired three major Nigerian languages Hausa Igbo and Yoruba and ...


Gloria Chuku

A renowned Nigerian nationalist, a powerful orator and philosopher, a frontline politician, and a first-class journalist, Nnamdi Azikiwe was born in 1904 into the family of Obededan Chukwuemeka Azikiwe, a clerk with the Nigerian Regiment of the West African Frontier Force in Zungeru town of northern Nigeria. Nnamdi started his primary education in 1912. His education took him to Onitsha (his hometown), Calabar, and Lagos. After his secondary education, he joined the Treasury Department in Lagos as a clerk in 1921. Armed with a sense of dignity and self-worth his father instilled in him, and strong encouragement from the Rev. James Kwegyr Aggrey, a distinguished black minister and activist, Azikiwe left Nigeria in 1925 for further studies in the United States. By 1934 Azikiwe had earned an Associate Degree a Bachelor s two Master s and ABD degrees from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania Howard University in Washington ...


A member of the Igbo people of western Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe was educated at mission schools in the city of Lagos. He worked briefly as a clerk for the national treasury at Lagos, but in 1925 he left Nigeria in 1925, a stowaway on a ship bound for the United States. There, he studied history and political science while supporting himself as a coal miner, casual laborer, dishwasher, and boxer. As a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Azikiwe became familiar with black activist Marcus Garvey and the Back to Africa movement.

In 1934 Azikiwe moved to Ghana, became editor of the Africa Morning Post, and published Liberia in World Affairs, a book about another West African nation. He published Renascent Africa in 1937 That same year he returned to Nigeria where he joined the executive committee of the Nigerian Youth ...


Maxwell Akansina Aziabah

Ghanaian prime minister and sociologist, was born in Wenchi in the British Gold Coast colony on 11 July 1913. His mother was Nana Yaa Nsowaa, a prominent member of the royal Safoase Yefre matrilineage of Wenchi, and his father was Yaw Bosea. His mother later remarried, not long after Kofi was born. It is believed that Busia grew up under the tutelage of his stepfather, Kwabena Janso, since his biological father had little to do with him. At age six he was baptized Joseph Busia, a misspelling of his biological father’s surname that he would retain throughout his career.

As a boy Busia developed a keen interest in religious studies, which was bolstered by his contact with Wesleyan Methodist missionaries, notably the Reverend William Whittle and his wife Alice Whittle, a teacher. Busia impressed the Whittles, who encouraged his academic interests. In 1922 the Whittles brought Busia with ...


Martha King

Born a member of the royal family of Wenchi, Kofi Abrefa Busia attended the Kumasi Methodist and Mfantsipim Secondary Schools and Wesley College. He received a B.A. degree in politics, philosophy, and economics and then an M.A. degree in social anthropology from the University of Oxford. Busia wrote his doctoral thesis, titled The Position of the Chief in the Modern Political System of Ashanti, in 1951. He held teaching positions at the Ghana University College at Legon in the African studies and sociology departments.

Busia left the university to devote himself to politics in 1956. In the fall of 1957, he formed the United Party, composed of different parties in opposition to President Kwame Nkrumah He was outspoken in opposition to Nkrumah s government Busia fled to England in fear of the increasingly repressive government In exile Busia maintained his opposition to the Nkrumah regime ...


Edmund Abaka

Fulani scholar and Muslim cleric Osman dan Fodio was one of the leaders who emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when West Africa had seen a series of revolutions which consolidated Islam in West Africa. Born in 1754 to Fulani parents in Gobir, Osman dan Fodio led a movement for reform caused by political, economic, and social grievances, but voiced through a powerful religious revolution in the Hausa States. It culminated in the creation of the one of the largest Muslim polities, the Sokoto Caliphate, in eighteenth-century Africa.

As a young man, Osman received a Muslim education and studied under a number of famous and reformist teachers who affected his outlook on life and religion. When Jibril b. Umar the last of his teachers fled Agades after an unsuccessful jihad among the Tuareg the twenty year old dan Fodio returned to Hausaland to begin life as a teacher ...


Emma Hunter

Tanzanian teacher and politician, was born in Machame on the slopes of Kilimanjaro in Tanganyika. His father was Solomon Nkya, one of the first African Lutheran ministers ordained by the Leipzig Evangelical Mission in Kilimanjaro. Eliufoo was educated at Makerere College in Uganda, at the time the foremost institution of tertiary education in East Africa. He was later awarded a scholarship to study for a BA in social sciences at Bethany College, Kansas, and then spent a year at Bristol University in England.

Eliufoo began his career as a teacher. After receiving his diploma in education, he taught at Makerere from 1944 to 1946. On his return to Kilimanjaro, he continued teaching and played an active role in the Lutheran Church. Kilimanjaro in the late 1940s was undergoing dramatic economic political and religious change The Chagga had enthusiastically embraced coffee planting after World War I and by the ...


Richard A. Bradshaw and Juan Fandos-Rius

writer, school inspector, politician, diplomat, and foreign minister of the Central African Republic (CAR), was born at Pointe-Noire, Middle Congo, on 27 November 1927. His father, Pedro Franck, was from Cabinda, Portuguese Angola, and his mother, Baza Souzat, was from the former Belgian Congo, but he was granted CAR citizenship on 12 January 1967. After studying at the École des Cadres for French Equatorial Africa in Brazzaville, Franck was sent to Ubangi-Shari as an administrator in 1945. On 24 October 1951 he married Marie-Josèphe Jeannot Valangadede, who bore three girls and four boys before a divorce on 19 May 1973. She was a leader of the CAR National Women’s Association and the first female member of a CAR government.

Franck was active in the Éclaireurs Boy Scouts and represented them at the Grand Congrès des Mouvements de Jeunesse de Toute l AEF Grand Congress of Youth ...


Cyril Daddieh

university professor, political dissident, and former president of Ivory Coast from 2000–2011 was born in Mama, near Gagnoa (center-west region) on 31 May 1945 to Zepe Paul Koudou and Gado Marguerite. He attended primary and middle schools in Agboville and Gagnoa, completing his studies in June 1962. He went on to high school at the very competitive Lycée Classique d’Abidjan. After graduating in June 1965, Gbagbo enrolled at the University of Abidjan for a year before he transferred to the University of Lyon, in France, to study Latin, Greek, and French. His love of Latin earned him the nickname “Cicero.” However, Gbagbo did not complete his degree in Lyon; rather, he returned to the University of Abidjan, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1969.

Gbagbo became a trade unionist and an unflinching opponent of the regime of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny. In 1969 Gbagbo s ...


Judith Imel Van Allen

mohumagadi (queen or queen mother) of the BaNgwato of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, now Botswana, and Christian leader and teacher. Semane Setlhoko was descended from BaBirwa and BaSeleka from the Tswapong Hills on the edge of the Limpopo valley, subject or vassal peoples of the BaNgwato, the largest, wealthiest, and most powerful of the BaTswana kingdoms. In 1900 she became the fourth wife of Khama III, kgosi (king) of the BaNgwato, despite initial disapproval by many BaNgwato because of her ancestry, which was far from the royal birth customary for the wife of a kgosi. Khama III’s daughter Bessie Ratshosa handpicked Semane as an appropriate mohumagadi to lead BaNgwato women into the modern world because of her achievements as a teacher a committed Christian and a temperance advocate Semane was also beautiful and intelligent as well as youthful and potentially fertile Khama III one of the first baptized Christians ...


Nana Yaw B. Sapong

, teacher, diplomat, politician, and president of Ghana’s Third Republic, was born in Gwellu in the Upper Region of Ghana in 1934. His father was a blacksmith and farmer in a region noted for predominantly producing cereal, root crops, and legumes. Limann was an accomplished individual. After completing his elementary education at Lawra and Tamale, he earned a teacher’s certificate from the Tamale Government Teacher Training College in 1952 and the General Certificate Examination Advanced Level in 1957. This earned him a place at the London School of Economics, where he completed a bachelor of science in economics degree in 1960. He journeyed to France where he earned a doctorate in political science and constitutional law from the University of Paris in 1965 Limann also received a high diploma in the French language from the Sorbonne 1962 and a bachelor of arts in history from the ...


Born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Albert John Luthuli was educated at the mission school in which he later taught (1921–1936). The son of well-respected Zulu parents, Luthuli was elected chief of the Zulu Abasemakholweni ethnic group in Groutville in 1936. He joined the African National Congress, a black political group, in 1946 and took an increasingly active role in campaigns to abolish Apartheid, the system of racial segregation in South Africa. In 1952 he was removed as chief by the South African government, which opposed his activities, and was forbidden to enter major South African cities and towns for one year. That same year he was elected president-general of the African National Congress. Because of his continued political activities, he was restricted to his farm in Groutville for two years in 1953, and again in 1959 for five years For ...


Dorothy C. Woodson

South African teacher, Zulu chief, political leader, and Nobel Peace Prize winner, was born in Rhodesia around 1898 of South African (Zulu) parentage. His mother, Mtonya Gumede, was born and raised in the Royal Kraal of Cetshewayo, the Zulu king. His father, John Luthuli, was the elected chief of Groutville, home of the Umvoti Mission, an American Board of Commissioners station near Stanger, north of Durban, in what is now Kwa-Zulu Natal. He attended various local schools and was later awarded a two-year teacher-training scholarship at Adams College. Luthuli remained at Adams as a teacher, becoming one of only two African teachers at the school, the other being Z. K. Matthews (1901–1968). He married Nokukhanya Bhengu in 1927, and they had seven children.

In 1936 Luthuli reluctantly left Adams College and returned to Groutville after being elected to the chieftainship of the Umvoti Mission Reserve during which time he ...


Peter Limb

Albert John (“Mvumbi”) Lutuli (1898–1967) was a distinguished South African political leader who led opposition to apartheid in the 1950s and early 1960s. He was President of the African National Congress (ANC), a Zulu chief, teacher, and the first African awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. His political thought combined Christianity, African nationalism, and liberalism in a form typical of the ANC of the time.

Lutuli was born in 1898 to Zulu parents in Bulawayo in what is now Zimbabwe but moved back to South Africa where he received a mission education at Groutville School and Ohlange Institute near Durban Natal The young Lutuli soon became imbued with the Christian ethics that would guide his life His early years were also marked by commitment to the teaching discipline and his love of Zulu culture and soccer After qualifying as an elementary school teacher from Edendale Methodist ...


Waseem-Ahmed Bin-Kasim

president of Ghana and university professor, popularly referred to as “Prof,” was born on 21 July 1944 at Tarkwa in the Western Region of Ghana, although he grew up in the town of Ekumfi Otuam in Ghana’s Central Region. Mills was born to a family that was Fante, an Akan-speaking ethnic group. In 1963 he earned his A-level certificate at the prestigious Achimota Secondary School in the capital city of Accra, before attending the University of Ghana, Legon, where he earned a bachelor’s degree (1966) and a professional certificate in law (1967). He distinguished himself in academia, earning a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1970. Awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study in the United States, he earned a PhD in 1971 from Stanford Law School in Palo Alto California his doctoral dissertation focused on the relationship between ...


Robert Fay

Daniel arap Moi was born in Karing’wo village in the Baringo Rift Valley District of Kenya. He is a member of the Tugen, a subgroup of the Kalenjin, a relatively small ethnic group famous for producing many of Kenya’s champion long-distance runners. Moi has displayed a different kind of stamina. President from 1978 to 2002 , he was also a longtime legislator in Kenya, joining the Legislative Council (now the National Assembly) in 1955 and retaining his seat two years later in Kenya’s first elections. Previously, Moi worked as a schoolteacher, rising to become headmaster of the Kabarnet Intermediate School in 1948, where he taught many current members of the National Assembly.

In 1960 Moi was one of the Kenyan representatives to the Lancaster House Conference in London where the terms of Kenyan independence were negotiated Shortly afterward he became the national chairman for the Kenya ...


Eric Young

A teacher by training and a politician by practice, Robert Mugabe has been the preeminent political leader in Zimbabwe for more than two decades. Born, raised, and trained as a teacher at Kutama Mission in Zvimba in what is now northwestern Zimbabwe, Mugabe taught at the mission school between 1941 and 1943. After several other brief teaching jobs around Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia), Mugabe won a scholarship to the University of Fort Hare College in South Africa. There he was introduced to literature on communism, Marxism, and Gandhian passive resistance. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he returned to Zimbabwe to teach. He later taught in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Ghana.

In 1960 Mugabe returned home to enter politics. He first joined the nationalist group the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU), but in 1964 after several arrests and a falling out with its leadership Mugabe went to Tanzania ...


Clapperton Mavhunga

prime minister and then president of the Republic of Zimbabwe, was born on 21 February 1924 to Bona Shonhiwa and a carpenter named Gabriel Matibiri. The couple, who lived near the Catholic-run Kutama Mission, had their first child, Michael, in 1919 and a second, Raphael, in 1922. Their third son, Robert Gabriel, was born two years later at Matibiri village near Murombedzi. After him came another brother, Donato, and a sister, Sabina.

In his boyhood, Mugabe accompanied his devoutly Catholic mother to mass, a filial attachment that grew even more after 1934 when his father left the family to seek work in the western Southern Rhodesian city of Bulawayo a decision prompted by Michael s death Schoolmates say Mugabe kept to himself avoided distractive things like sports and made books his only friends The cattle pastures were an extension of the library to him and he herded with ...