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Alonford James Robinson

Cheddi Jagan was born in 1918 on a Sugar plantation in the English colony of British Guiana. The son of indentured servants from India, Jagan became one of the most popular politicians in this predominantly working-class Indian nation. Although poor, Jagan's parents managed to send him to secondary school in the capital of Georgetown and from there to Howard University in Washington, D.C. Jagan enrolled at the predominantly African American Howard University as a premedical student, and he supplemented his income by working part-time during the summers as an elevator operator and patent-medicine salesman in the Harlem area of New York City.

After graduating from Howard, Jagan attended the Northwestern University Dental School in Chicago, Illinois. While earning his degree Jagan met his wife, a white American nurse named Janet Rosenberg; they married in 1943. Together, the couple began studying the principles of Socialism ...

Article

Richard Pankhurst

Ethiopian statesman, prime minister, and writer, was born the son of Balambaras Endalkachew Abreqe, a respected warrior, and Weyzero Abonesh Tekle Maryam, in the district of Addis Addisgé, near Tegulet in northern Shewa, which had become prestigious during the reign of Emperor Menilek. His maternal uncle was one of that monarch’s principal noblemen, Ras Tesemma Nadew, later regent for Lij Iyasu. Mekonnen received a traditional Ethiopian church education, partly at the renowned church of Debre Libanos, and was an accomplished traditional church artist. He also learned French at the then new Menilek II school in Addis Ababa.

Joining the Ethiopian government service in 1916, Mekonnen held a number of different posts, including inspector of the Jibuti-Addis Ababa railway company, kentiba, or mayor, of Addis Ababa, deputy minister of the interior, and governor of Illubabor, with the title of dejazmach. In 1924 he accompanied Regent Tafari Makonnen the ...

Article

Eric Young

Throughout his life, Ian Smith has been a conservative rebel. For years he was one of the most ardent proponents of white settler society in southern Africa, and he has since become one of the most vociferous critics of independent rule in Zimbabwe.

Born and raised in colonial Southern Rhodesia, Smith joined the British Royal Air Force in 1939. After serving as a combat pilot in World War II, Smith attended Rhodes University in South Africa and after graduation returned to Southern Rhodesia to work on his large cattle ranch. Smith was elected to the Legislative Assembly of the British colony as a member of the Liberal Party in 1948, only to switch five years later to the more conservative United (Federal) Party. He later became chief whip but left the party in 1961 to help form the Rhodesian Front a party opposed to making concessions ...

Article

Blake Whitaker

Southern Rhodesian politician and prime minister of Rhodesia from 11 November 1965 until 1 June 1979, was born in Southern Rhodesia on 19 April 1919. His father was the prominent farmer and rancher John Douglas Smith, MBE. His mother, Agnes Smith, MBE, was the daughter of Rhodesian miner Tom Hodgson. While seldom involved in politics, the family was heavily involved in civic and agricultural activities. As a young man, Smith was educated at the Chaplin School in Gwelo. While he enjoyed math and the sciences, he excelled in rugby and cricket. In 1938 he began studying for a bachelor’s degree in commerce at Rhodes University in South Africa. His studies were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II; from 1941 until 1945 he served in Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot During his service in North Africa a mechanical malfunction caused his Hawker Hurricane to ...

Article

Cyril Daddieh

Ivorian student activist, rebel leader, author, and prime minister of the Ivory Coast, is a Senoufou born on 8 May 1972 in the village of Kofiplé, located in the Diawala county of the Ferkessédougou district in the north, just a few kilometers from the Malian border. His late parents were Muslim, although Soro is a practicing Catholic, having attended a Catholic seminary in Katiola and then the Lycée Classique in Bouaké.

A graduate of the University of Abidjan-Cocody with a degree in English, he was actively engaged in campus politics as a member of the radical student movement, Fédération Estudiantine et Scolaire de Côte d’Ivoire (FESCI), rising to become the secretary-general of the movement from 1994 to December 1998 He was replaced by Charles Blé Goudé his current nemesis and the leader of the Jeunes Patriotes Young Patriots the militantly partisan supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo who have been ...