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Rosemary Elizabeth Galli

nationalist, journalist and indigenous rights advocate, was born in Magul, Mozambique, on 2 November 1876. His father, Francisco Albasini, married the granddaughter of the head of Maxacuene clan in the Portuguese colony’s capital; her name is not recorded. João dos Santos was also known by his Ronga nickname, Wadzinguele. His grandfather João Albasini, a Portuguese trader, later established himself and a second family in the republic of the Transvaal where he became the vice-consul of Portugal. João dos Santos Albasini received a limited education at the Catholic Mission of Saint José Lhenguene; secondary education was not available in Mozambique. However, he was a keen reader especially of political tracts and gained great facility in writing both Portuguese and Ronga. Sometime around 1897 Albasini married Bertha Carolina Heitor Mwatilo but the marriage was unhappy and they divorced in 1917. They had two children.

As Albasini reached adulthood Portugal defeated ...


David Dabydeen

Africanjournalist and nationalist born in Egypt of Egyptian and Sudanese parentage. At the age of 9 or 10 Ali was sent to England to be educated. He never returned to Egypt and spent most of his time between 1883 and 1921 living in Britain. During this period, he was poverty‐stricken, attempting to earn a living through his pen and tour acting. Ali published Land of the Pharaohs in 1911, an anti‐imperialist book that became a significant contribution to the decolonization efforts in the United States and West Africa.

In 1912Ali and John Eldred Taylor, a journalist from Sierra Leone, inaugurated the African Times and Orient Review (1912–20), a magazine that sought to deal with anti‐colonial issues that not merely embraced Pan‐African matters, but incorporated Pan‐Oriental topics as well. The journal was inspired by the Universal Races Congress in London in 1911 which advocated ...


J. Ayo Langley

In his lifetime (1866–1945), Duse Mohamed Ali, actor, historian of Egypt, newspaper editor, Pan-Africanist, Pan-Islamist, and promoter of African American and African trade and investment, was known to African American leaders such as Booker T. Washington, the principal of Tuskegee Institute, and Washington’s successor, R. R. Moton. He was also known to Arthur W. Schomberg, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the founding father of African American history, and W. T. Ferris, author of The African Abroad (1913). He was known to African nationalist leaders, public intellectuals, merchants, and lawyers, particularly to West Africans. His book In the Land of the Pharaohs (1911) and monthly journal The African Times and Orient Review, “a monthly journal devoted to the interests of the colored races of the world,” played an important role in increasing his public outside Britain.

According to his autobiography serialized ...


Matthew LeRiche and John Young

Sudanese journalist, politician, and government official, is the son of a Dinka chief from Twic Mayardit County in the province of northern Bahr El Ghazal, in southern Sudan. Bona has pursued careers in journalism, academia, and most prominently, politics. After the 2010 national election, he was named advisor to President ʿUmar al-Bashir, of the National Congress Party (NCP).

An accomplished student and athlete, Bona went to the US on scholarship. While there, he earned an MA in journalism and communications before returning to Sudan, where he became a leading southern Sudanese nationalist. Building on his academic training, Bona became the editor-in-chief of The Advocate, an early publication defending the human rights of southerners and calling for devolution of power to the south. He was a cofounder of the Southern Front and served as its first secretary-general. He was then elected to the national assembly in 1968 only to ...


Julia A. Clancy-Smith

Tunisian nationalist, writer, women’s rights activist, and artist, was born in the provincial city of Sfax, where her father worked in the Arabic publishing business and was an amateur actor, which helps explain her lifelong involvement in the arts. Her mother, Cherifa, was educated and quite unconventional; after her husband’s death, she taught primary school in Nabeul from 1943 on, riding a bike to school while still wearing a black veil, which scandalized the conservative local community. Since there were no educational institutions for Tunisian girls in the town, Dorra Bouzid studied in the local French secular school from the age of four on, with students from a range of religious and ethnic backgrounds. After her father’s death—his family had been opposed to Cherifa teaching school—Bouzid’s mother received a post in Tunis just prior to World War II and married again, to Mahmoud Messaâdi (1911–2004 an important figure ...


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 ...


Livia Apa

Mozambican writer and nationalist who is considered to be the national poet of independent Mozambique, was born on 28 May 1922, in Lourenço Marques (present-day Maputo). His father moved there in 1908 from Algarve, southern Portugal, where he left a son born outside his marriage. Craveirinha’s mother, an ethnic Rongan, lived with the family until his father decided to marry a Portuguese obstetrician, who moved to Mozambique and raised his sons as her own. Craveirinha’s stepmother did not impede the relationship between Craveirinha and his mother, unlike what would normally happen in Mozambique at that time. However, Craveirinha’s father, natural mother, and stepmother all died when he was still very young. As a result, both he and his brother moved to their uncle’s house.

For financial reasons Craveirinha could not pursue his studies so he focused his research entirely on his father s library which contained all the main ...


Margaret Power

was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. At the time of her birth, the coastal town had one of Puerto Rico’s highest concentrations of people of African descent. Following the death of her parents, and then of her foster parents, de la Cruz, like many poor Puerto Ricans in the 1920s, went to work at a young age. The principal source of employment for young women in early-twentieth-century Puerto Rico was needlework, so de la Cruz began to work in a textile factory in Mayagüez. She later worked in a tobacco factory, where she read newspapers to the workers. In the process, she learned about international politics and the French and Russian Revolutions.

In Mayagüez she met and married her husband with whom she had two daughters Unfortunately both children died as a result of the impoverished conditions in which the family lived which made it impossible to provide the girls ...


Elsie A. Okobi

Nigerian journalist and anticolonial activist, was born in Onewa in Uromi Edo State, Nigeria, in 1923. His father was Okotako Enahoro and his mother, Inibokun Okoje. The British killed his great-grandfather, and his father spent over twenty years in exile, developments that go a long way to explaining Enahoro’s hatred for Nigeria’s colonial rulers (Sklar 1963).

Enahoro was educated at Government School Uromi, Government School Owo, and King’s College Lagos, where he became involved in student activism as well as antiwar and anticolonialist activities and became chair of the Nigerian Union of Students. Two leaders of the newly formed Nigerian Youth Movement, H. O. Davis and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, inspired Enahoro. In 1942 Enahoro joined the West African Pilot as a reporter and enrolled at the Extra-Mural Department, University of Ibadan, taking courses in English and economics. In 1944 at the age of twenty one he became the ...


Douglas Wheeler

Angolan writer, journalist, lawyer, civil servant, and nationalist, a mestico, was born in Luanda, Angola, in 1823, the offspring of a marriage between a Portuguese father and an African mother. Like many generations of the assimilated Afro-Portuguese elite in the Portuguese colony’s capital, he was raised and educated a Catholic; self-taught in the law, he acquired a license to practice law and served as a government law clerk. His principal legacies came in decades of combative, reformist journalism and in his advocacy of Angolan nationalism.

His generation witnessed an increased pace of economic and social change, political upheaval, and new international pressures on Portugal’s sometimes tenuous rule over Angola. By 1866, when Fontes Pereira was forty-three, he had witnessed the long-delayed process of the abolition of Angola’s slave trade (1842–1850 efforts to replace the slave trade with legitimate trade agriculture and manufacturing the struggle including a ...


Ahmed Jdey

Tunisian union leader, journalist, writer, poet, militant nationalist, reformer, and social thinker, was a contemporary of Mohamed Ali al-Hammi, Aboulkacem Chebbi, Habib Bourguiba, ʿAbd al-ʿAziz Thaʿalbi, and other figures of the colonial period in Tunisia. He was born in Tunis. His father, Ali   Belhaj   Belgacem Ben Farhat El Hammi al-Fatnassi, was a native of Fatnassa, a quarter of the city of Gabès, in the south of Tunisia, and worked in a small family-owned business in Tunis. Little is known of Haddad’s mother. From 1905 to 1911 Haddad attended a qurʾanic school, where he memorized the Qurʾan and studied Arabic. He continued his studies at Zitouna University, where in 1920 he received the Attatwi diploma, having been trained in Muslim jurisprudence, language, literature, grammar, and theology. One of his professors was the Algerian shaykh ʿAbd al-Hamid ben Badis.

Haddad began working in 1921 as an administrative secretary Soon he left ...


Said M. Mohamed

Somali author and nationalist leader, was born in Sacmadeeqo, Somalia, sometime between 1856 and 1864 His name in Somali is given as Sayid Maxamad Cabdulle Xasan His father originally from the Ogaden region that is currently part of Ethiopia was a religious teacher in the Nogal area and Hasan received his early Islamic education from him Hasan later attended different Islamic seminaries in the Horn of Africa and during the early 1890s traveled to Mecca to perform the Hajj obligation with other Somali religious leaders There he met Shaykh Muhammad Salah the founder of the reformist Salihiya Islamic Tariqah of which the sayyid became a follower Upon his return from the pilgrimage Hasan landed at Berbera the main administrative seat of British Somaliland When he reportedly encountered Somali children being Christianized by missionaries he started preaching against British colonization and Christianization However he met with opposition not only from ...



Christopher Wise

poet and Tuareg nationalist, was born in the northern Sahara region of modern-day Niger. He is an Amazigh (Imazighen, pl.) or “Tuareg” poet from the Aïr Mountains, or one of the kel Aïr, or “people of Aïr,” a phrase that also means “caravan moving northward”; that is, Hawad hails from one of the five traditional homelands of the Tuareg people. “Tuareg” is an Arabic word that literally means “savage,” but Tuaregs are sometimes referred to as Berbers from the Latin barbarus, or barbarian. However, Tuaregs differ from the Berbers of the northern Arab countries of the Maghreb because of their nonsedentary lifestyle. Hawad is one of the “blue men” (tel tagalmust who were historically entrusted with the care of the camel In contrast the Fulani cared for the Sahara s cattle the Mossi attended to the region s horses etc From time immemorial Tuaregs have lived a nomadic ...


Elsie A. Okobi

Nigerian journalist, newspaper founder, and nationalist politician, was born in Twon-Brass to Obidiah Joshua Ikoli from Ogbia and Rhoda Bogofanyo Egebesi from Twon-Brass, in present-day Bayelsa State. Ernest Sisei Ikoli’s elementary education was at Bonny Government School in Bonny, Rivers State, Nigeria, and his secondary education was at the capital, Lagos, where he was a member of the first group of students admitted to Kings College in 1910. An excellent student, Ikoli’s outstanding performance in his Cambridge Senior Local examination in 1912 led to his appointment as the first African teacher of mathematics and science at Kings College, a position he held from 1913 to 1919. During that period he taught Sylvanus Epiphanio Olympio, who later became the president of the Republic of Togo.

In 1919 Ikoli left his teaching position for journalism It was in this capacity that he was most successful earning the accolade of ...


Gambian nationalist politician, journalist, and editor popularly called M. B. Jones, was born in 1918, in Bathurst (now Banjul) in Gambia, to Aku parents. Like his mentor E. F. Small, he combined crusading journalism with militant politics and trade unionism to challenge British colonial rule. As a cub reporter under E. F. Small at the Gambia Outlook, he wrote astoundingly courageous denunciations of the infamous Newspapers Ordinances of 1944, via which the British Colonial Office sought to stifle the voice of the few independent newspapers in Bathurst. Jones inherited the Gambia Outlook from Small in 1958 and edited it for many decades until the mid-1980s, when poor health made it difficult for him to continue.

Jones was uncompromising in his stand against colonial rule and wayward colonial officials He never hesitated to expose and condemn white colonial officials and settlers who abused their powers or were racist ...


Lisa Clayton Robinson

Roger Mais is one of the pioneers of the contemporary West Indian literary tradition. He was born into a middle-class, mixed-race Kingston family but spent most of his childhood in Jamaica's Blue Mountains before returning to Kingston, where he graduated from Calabar High School in 1922. For the next fifteen years he worked intermittently as a civil servant, an insurance salesman, and even an overseer on a Banana plantation. He kept returning to jobs in journalism, however, and through his writing became involved in the Jamaican nationalist movement.

Mais was an early supporter of the People's National Party (PNP) and its leader, Norman Manley. By the early 1940s he was publishing short stories, poetry, plays, and essays in the PNP's journal, and in 1944 Mais was jailed for four months after writing the essay Now We Know which criticized British colonialism While in prison Mais began ...


Efraim Barak

writer, poet, journalist, and a pioneer of Egyptian nationalism, was born in Alexandria to a lower-class family. His father, Mis.bah. ʾIbrahim, was a carpenter. He began his formal education in a traditional kuttab, and proceeded, at the age of nine, to study religion at the ʾIbrahim Pasha mosque. Nadim terminated his studies after five years due to his lack of interest. He subsisted by taking various jobs: as a telegraph operator in Banha; as a shopkeeper in Cairo; as a clerk and a teacher at a pasha’s house in the Daqahliyya district, and as an itinerant entertainer and professional satirist. His occupation of entertainer earned him the epithet of Al-nadim (instead of Nadim), which means “the entertainer.”

In Cairo, Nadim joined the circle of Jamal Al-Din Al-Afghani, who lived in Egypt from 1871 to 1879 Afghani a pioneer of modern Islamic thought had encircled himself with the intelligentsia ...


Marilyn Booth

Egyptian writer and feminist, was born on 25 December 1882 into an economically comfortable but not wealthy Egyptian family Her highly educated father Hifni Nasif 1855 1919 was a teacher for the deaf and blind law school instructor civil servant in the education and justice ministries and professor at the Egyptian University Her mother Saniyyah ʿAbd al Karim Jalal 1869 1942 had been educated at home and was a fierce reader who took great interest in public affairs Malak their eldest child helped rear and educate six younger siblings as she pursued school education when this remained rare among Egyptian girls This was not rare in this family though Hifni Nasif and Saniyyah Jalal strongly supported girls education and all three daughters and all four sons had professional careers Malak was the very first Egyptian female to earn a primary diploma from a state school in Egypt 1900 She ...


Wunyabari Maloba

Kenyan nationalist leader during the Mau Mau Revolt, was born in Laikipia District, Rift Valley Province, the son of squatters on settler farms in the former “white highlands.” As a result of drastic restrictions in the amount of land made available to squatters by white farmers in the 1930s, his father, Njama Karari, decided to return to his ancestral home village in Mahiga location, Othaya Division, Nyeri District, in 1937. Prior to this, most squatters, including Njama’s father, could at least cultivate as much of the settler’s unused land as he could and maintain a substantial herd of cattle and sheep and goats. But as white settlers needed more land and fewer laborers, due to mechanization of agriculture and a new influx of white settlers, each male squatter was limited to one acre per wife, and fifteen sheep or goats and no cattle.

Back in Nyeri Njama saw further ...


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 ...