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Lesley S. Curtis

from a prominent Haitian family of both European and African ancestry. Céligny’s date of birth is listed as 1801 on a birth certificate filed in 1805, which has created some confusion as to his real age. His father was Alexis Antoine Ardouin and his mother was Lolotte Félix Galez. Birth certificates of his younger siblings reveal that he grew up in close contact with his father, his father’s wife, Suzanne Léger Ardouin, and their seven children, including the famous historian Beaubrun Ardouin and the poet Corolian Ardouin. Céligny married Marie Angélique Liautaud in 1823 and had six children.

Céligny’s most significant work, Essais sur l’histoire d’Haïti (Essays on the History of Haiti) was written and published in sections in the late 1830s. It appeared as a revised collection in 1841, but was only published in its entirety in 1865 sixteen years after the author s death Beaubrun ...


Ruramisai Charumbira

Zimbabwean educator, political activist, member of parliament, cabinet minister, and the Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) politburo member, was born Victoria Fikile Mahamba-Sithole on 27 March 1928 in Natal South Africa, to an immigrant family from Manicaland, from then Southern Rhodesia. Young Victoria grew up in South Africa and got her secondary education from Adams College, Amanzimtoti, Natal, one of South Africa’s oldest secondary schools for black education. While at Adams College she met another student who would go on be her husband, an illustrious Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesian) nationalist named Herbert Wiltshire Tapfumanei Chitepo. Victoria Chitepo also earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Birmingham, England, and became a teacher and political activist in Natal until about 1955 when she joined her husband in Southern Rhodesia where he had just become the first African barrister From that time on Victoria s life like many wives of ...


Hassoum Ceesay

Gambia’s first woman cabinet minister and first female education officer, was born on 23 January 1922 in Banjul. She is also known as “Aunty Lou.” Her father, Sir John Mahoney, was the first speaker of the Gambian Legislative Council in 1954, and her mother Hannah was the first Gambian woman to work as a clerk in the Government Secretariat in the 1910s.

She attended the St. Joseph’s Infants School, the Methodists Girls High School, Banjul, and obtained the Cambridge School Certificate in 1942. She attended the prestigious Achimota Teachers College in Accra, Ghana, from 1942–1945. Upon her return, she taught at the Methodist Girls’ High School from 1942 to 1949; from 1949 to 1955, she taught at Bakau Primary School. She was school headmistress from 1957 to 1963. In 1958 she was appointed to the Royal Visit Committee responsible for the welcome of Queen Elizabeth ...


Richard Pankhurst

pioneer Ethiopian educationist, parliamentarian, and author, was much influenced by an unusual family background. She was the daughter of Kentiba Gebre Egziabher Desta (aka Gebru Desta), a much traveled Protestant convert. Having studied with missionaries at Saint Chrischona in Switzerland, he served in the Ethiopian government and was briefly president of Emperor Haile Selassie’s senate, established in 1930. Her mother, Weyzero Kasaye Yelamtu, an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, nevertheless brought up her children in that faith. Senedu was, however, enrolled as a child in the Swedish Protestant mission school in Addis Ababa but persuaded the emperor to send her and her sister Yubdar to St. Chrischona, where their father had studied.

Returning to Ethiopia immediately prior to the Italian invasion she began her educational career by teaching at Saint George s School a small primary school situated near the Addis Ababa church of that name At about this time she ...