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Terence M. Mashingaidze

nationalist politician, first titular president of independent Zimbabwe, statesman, peace broker, clergyman, author, soccer administrator, academic, poet, and journalist, was born on 5 March 1936 at Esiphezini, in Essexvale (now Esigodini) District near Bulawayo in Southern Rhodesia. The versatile Banana’s father, Aaron, was a migrant laborer from Malawi while his mother, Jese, was a Zimbabwean Ndebele woman. Banana married Janet Mbuyazwe in 1961; the marriage produced three sons and a daughter. Banana attended Mzinyati primary school and Tegwani High School. He trained as a teacher at Tegwani Training Institute and then attended Epworth Theological Seminary, resulting in his ordination as a Methodist preacher in 1962 Subsequently he worked as a Methodist schools manager principal chairperson of the Bulawayo Council of Churches and member of the Rhodesian Christian Council and World Council of Churches In the 1970s Banana attained a BA with honors in theology through distance learning from ...


Jean-Philippe Dedieu

president of the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), was born on 9 June 1917 in Madibou in the South Congo to a Lari family, who were probably merchants or traders. The trajectory of Youlou illustrates the influence of missionary schools and clergy on the structuring and development of political life in French Equatorial Africa. After having been baptized in 1926, he entered into the minor seminary in Brazzaville in 1929. He completed his theological education in several religious institutions in Congo, Cameroon, and Gabon. Ordained a priest on 9 June 1946, he began his ministry at Saint-François parish in Brazzaville.

Despite opposition from the Catholic Church, Youlou gradually became involved in Congolese political life. He participated in several youth movements and charity organizations, which allowed him to build a network of support. In December 1955 church officials permanently suspended him from his parish duties This decision ...


Eric Young

The son of a Lari merchant, Fulbert Youlou, whose surname means “Heaven” in Lari, was born in Madibou, Moyen-Congo (now the Republic of the Congo). He was baptized at age nine and entered the seminary three years later. While attending mission schools in Gabon and Cameroon, he befriended Barthélemy Boganda, the future president-emperor of the Central African Republic. Youlou later taught in mission schools in what was then French Moyen-Congo, and was ordained in 1946. When Youlou began campaigning for public office, however, he was defrocked. Ignoring the censure, he insisted on wearing his ecclesiastical robes. He also claimed the mantle of Andre Matsou, the dead leader of an anti-French, quasi-religious Lari self-help organization. In 1956 Youlou was elected mayor of Brazzaville and founded the Lari dominated Democratic Union for the Defense of African Interests UDDIA a party supporting close ties with France A year later he ...