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Malawian nationalist leader, was born in 1930 in Nkhotakota, Malawi. He was the fourth of eight children born to a Malawian mother of mixed Mang’anja and Yao parentage and to Habil Mathew Chipembere, a Yao who became a teacher and then an ordained priest and archdeacon in the service of the Universities’ Mission to Central Africa (UMCA). Chipembere was a top pupil in primary school on Likoma Island, the isolated UMCA headquarters on the eastern reaches of Lake Malawi. He proceeded to Blantyre Secondary School, where he wrote the territory’s best examinations and received a government scholarship to finish his secondary schooling at Goromonzi School in what was to become Zimbabwe.

At Goromonzi, Chipembere also excelled and won an official scholarship in 1951 to attend Fort Hare University College in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa Fort Hare was then among the best higher education institutions on the ...

Article

Ghirmai Negash

Eritrean-born Ethiopian linguist, Africanist scholar, and political activist, was born in Asmara, Eritrea. He was fluent in several European and African languages including Italian, French, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, and Tigrinya, his mother tongue. His main area of expertise was linguistics, with particular focus on the Semitic languages of Eritrea and Ethiopia, but his intellectual interest covered a broad spectrum, including history, policy studies, and culture.

Demoz graduated from Haile Selassie University, Addis Ababa, with a bachelor’s degree in 1956. He received a master’s degree in education from Harvard University in 1957 and later studied linguistics at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received master’s and PhD degrees in Semitic languages in 1959 and 1964, respectively. Demoz started his professional career at Haile Selassie University, where he taught and served as dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1964 to 1967 He was also a ...

Article

Hassoum Ceesay

religious leader, diplomat, cabinet minister, educationist, and ardent nationalist, also known as J. C. or Reverend Faye, was born in Bathurst (present-day Banjul, Gambia) to Wolof and Serer parents. His father was a shipwright and his mother a housewife. Faye attended St. Mary’s Elementary School and the Methodist Boys High School in Banjul, where he completed his studies in 1926. He got his teachers’ certificate in 1927. From 1927 to 1942, he taught at various mission schools in Bathurst, the capital and main administrative center of the British colony of Gambia.

In 1942 Faye helped start the famous Kristikunda School in Kantora in the Upper River Division of Gambia opening the gates of education to the people living in the Gambian interior which the British ruled as a protectorate The school whose name in the local Fula language means Christ s home was a bold experiment in ...

Article

Godfrey Muriuki

Kenyan political activist and government minister, was born in March 1914 in Thogoto Village, in the Dagoretti Location of the Kiambu District of Kenya. He was the first child of Samuel Gitau and Mariam Nyaguthii. At that time, his father worked at the Church of Scotland Mission (CSM), in Kikuyu, as an overseer. Both of his parents were among the first Kenyan Africans to embrace Christianity. Consequently, Gichuru was baptized on 12 April 1914, and he remained a staunch Christian throughout his life.

He started his education at the CSM Kikuyu Primary School at the age of eight years, having already attended a kindergarten for two years. He was academically gifted and qualified for admission to the prestigious Alliance High School in 1929. He remained there until 1931. From 1932 to 1934 he studied at Makerere University then the only institution of higher learning in the ...

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Elena Vezzadini

Egyptian educationalist nationalist and feminist was born in al Zaqaziq on the Nile Delta Her father was an officer of the Egyptian Army killed before her birth during an expedition to Sudan most probably to quell the Mahdist upheaval 1881 1885 Her mother was a housewife illiterate whose name and origins are unknown and who reared her and her only brother alone From al Zaqaziq the family moved to Cairo so that Nabawiyya s brother could attend primary and secondary schools and later be admitted to the Cairo Military College This gave Nabawiyya the chance to attend the Girls Section of the Abbas Primary School After that Nabawiyya decided to enter the al Saniyya School for Teacher Training against her mother and brother s will Among middle class families like hers work for women was frowned upon and teaching was seen as particularly deplorable because it entailed regular breaches of ...

Article

Angolan poet, historian, research scholar and teacher, nationalist, editor, and foundation officer, was born in Maquela do Zombo, Angola, on 5 April 1934. His parents were Jorge de Oliveira, an African born in Ambriz, and Maria da Conceicao Fernandes de Oliveira. At a young age Oliveira moved to Angola’s capital, Luanda, where his father was a postal employee. His father was African, and his mother was either a white Portuguese or a mestica. Thus, he was a member of the mulatto or mestico community, which, as late as 1950 was a significant minority in the colony s capital In primary and secondary schools in Luanda young Mário António achieved academic distinction and soon began to publish poetry Raised and educated as a Catholic he was by age 17 a militant social Catholic In the following year he had a radical political awakening rejected Catholicism and embraced Marxism ...

Article

Ellis Goldberg

Egyptian author, literary critic, and activist who helped shape contemporary political Islam, was born in the Upper Egyptian village of Musha in Asyut province on 9 October 1906. His father, Qutb Ibrahim, was a farmer and member of the nationalist Watani party led by Mustafa Kamil. Qutb attended a state-run primary school, but had also memorized the Qurʾan in its entirety by 1916. Qutb experienced the massive 1919 revolt against British rule as a teenage activist. He left the village in 1921 and lived in the Cairo suburb of Zaytun with his mother’s brother for four years, while attending a high school associated with the modernist educational institution Dar al-ʿUlum (founded 1871). In 1929 he entered Dar al-ʿUlum itself and graduated in 1933.

After graduation Qutb first appeared on the Egyptian intellectual scene as a poet and literary critic He was then thought of as a ...

Article

Gloria Chuku

Nigerian anticolonial and feminist activist, was born Frances Abigail Olufunmilayo Thomas on 25 October 1900 to Christian parents of Yoruba descent in Abeokuta in western Nigeria. Her father, Daniel Olumoyewa Thomas, was a farmer and palm produce trader with European firms. Her mother, Phyllis Moyeni, was a dressmaker. Encouraged by literate parents who believed strongly in education, she attended Abeokuta Grammar School (AGS) from 1914 to 1917. After graduation, she taught briefly at the school before leaving for England in 1919 to study music, education, domestic science, dressmaking, millinery arts, and French. While in England, she dropped her English names and shortened her Yoruba name to Funmilayo.

She returned to Abeokuta in September 1922 and resumed teaching in 1923 Two years later she married the Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti an Anglican clergyman and educator who had also attended and taught at AGS Reverend Ransome Kuti was a ...

Article

Liliana Obregón

José Antonio Saco received what was a typical education for Catholic boys in early-nineteenth-century Cuba. He first studied in a small schoolhouse next to his home and later transferred to a Catholic school in Santiago de Cuba. Saco continued higher-level education in modern philosophy at the San Carlos seminar in Havana. Under the tutelage of Father Félix Varela y Morales, one of the most influential professors and prominent intellectuals of his time, Saco studied with a group of young men who were to become representatives of the urban bourgeoisie that promoted the independence of Cuba from Spain. In his autobiography Saco claims that these early years with Varela, who provided guidance and friendship and whom Saco considered the “most virtuous man” he ever met, were definitive in the formation of his thinking and ideology.

In 1821 Varela asked Saco to take over his seminar in ...

Article

Haggai Erlich

Egyptian writer, was born in January 1872 to a landowning family in Lower Egypt. He attended a local traditional Islamic school (kuttab) and chose to go to the khedivial secondary school rather than to al-Azhar. Having read translated scholarly works, notably Darwin’s Origin of Species, he was admitted in 1889 to the Khedivial Law School, the alma mater of many of Egypt’s modern politicians and leaders. As a young student, he founded Egypt’s first law review, Majallat al-Tashriʿ (Legislative Review). He graduated in 1894, entered government service, and in 1897 began collaborating with the nationalist leader Mustafa Kamil, who had the support of Khedive ʿAbbas II. They advised him to go to Switzerland and acquire Swiss citizenship so that he would enjoy immunity as a journalist and would be able to criticize the British occupiers freely. However, in Geneva in 1897 he came under ...