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Makerere Staff pay tribute to Prof. Ali Mazrui

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  • 15 Oct 2014 - 5:36pm
  • By Marion Alina
  • 64
A portarit of Prof. Ali Mazrui painted by Rowland Tibirusya

Following the opening of  a condolence book at the office of the Makerere University Vice Chancellor, a number of members of staff of Makerere University have written moving messages to pay tribute to the departed Scholar. Prof. Ali Mazrui was pronounced dead in the U.S.A on Monday, 13th October 2014.

In the condolence book the Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera, wrote: 'Prof. Mazrui led an intellectually honest life. He maximized his exposure to many civilizations in shaping his positions on issues that affected the human race. I loved Prof. Mazrui’s simple approach to life. He was a man you ought to love. We remember with affection his last visit to Makerere University. We are proud to have identified ourselves with this giant of a person. It is not only his family, not Kenya, not East Africa and not Africa that have lost but the whole world. May his soul rest in eternal peace, he so richly deserves.'   The Chancellor, Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera

The Chairperson Makerere University Council, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana Etyem wrote: 'I learnt of Prof. Mazrui when I was  a young student in 1969. His oratory and intellectual power shook Makerere and Uganda. He challenged the political leadership throughout Africa without fear. He inspired young African intellectuals up to his death. We shall miss him. May his soul rest in eternal peace.'

The Vice Chancellor Makerere University, Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu wrote: 'Makerere University will forever remember the blessing that Prof Ali Mazrui was to us. He was a selfless person, who sought to impact the world through his God-given intellectual abilities. He is one of the few people who stood up to be counted for their views irrespective of the tumultuous post-colonial political period across the African continent. He laid a firm foundation for many in academia. At Makerere University, his candle will forever burn bright. We thank the Almighty God for his life. May his soul rest in the fine heavens, forever at peace.'

The Chairperson of Council, Eng. Charles Wana EtyemThe Chairperson of Appointments Board, Stephen Maloba wrote: 'What a rare gift from the Almighty! Many of us will always remember you for the inspiration, guidance, love and always being available. You always kept track of your former students and I was one such person that you graced with your acceptance of being a Guest Speaker to my history students at St. Peters College Tororo in Eastern Uganda. I was just a classroom teacher. Condolences to the family. I take this opportunity to convey our most sincere condolences from the Appointments Board of Makerere University, an institution you served to the best of your ability. Almighty God, grant Prof. Ali Mazrui eternal rest.'

Other members of Staff of Makerere Universityhave written that they will remember Prof. Ali Mazrui forever and ever, and that he will remain in their hearts. They all wish him  a peaceful eternal rest.

Many well wishers have also signed the condolence book. One of them is Henry Kyemba of the Judicial Service Commission who wrote: 'It was a great pleasure for me to interact with the late Prof. Ali Mazrui both in Uganda and in exile during the difficult years in Uganda. He was a brilliant debator during the Obote 1 regime (1962 – 1971) on Uganda’s way forward and he was an academician not to be ignored. May his soul rest in peace.'

Prof. Ali Mazrui signs his portrait at Makerere University in 2009, as the artist Rowland Tibirusya (black shirt) looks onBy press time, more Members of Staff and well wishers were at the Vice Chancellor’s office to sign the condolence book. Many others who opted for the mailing lists such as Prof. James Ntozi noted 'it was under him as a Dean of Social Sciences that courses in accounting and rural economics were started in 1968. These two courses later evolved into current MUBS and Department of Agricultural Economics, respectively. I know this because I joined Makerere at the same time with the pioneers of the two courses and graduated with them in 1971, having done both courses as my optional papers. May the soul of Ali Mazrui rest in Peace.'

The view of an Artist. An artist at Makerere University, Rolands Tibirusya says the late Ali Mazrui loved art. “Professor Ali Mazrui personally loved art which he believed to be an effective communication tool for diversity exhibited within our cultures. He gladly accepted to sign on the art work painted in his honor for his contribution to human kind. He signed two art works I painted; one at his 77th birthday at Makerere university in 2009 and another during his 80th birthday  in 2013; held in the USA alongside  the African studies conference. This was a great gesture of humility which I will live to emulate.''

 Burial: Prof. Ali Mazrui will be burried on Saturday 18th October 2014 at his family's graveyard in Fort Jesus, Mombasa Kenya.

Compiled by Marion Alina, Public Relations Office

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