An Ode to Kenyan Scholar Ali Mazrui, the Greatest African Scholar

the africans
I was introduced to your work in my doctoral class. I have been captivated ever since. You are regarded as one of Africa’s foremost intellectuals. I would say you are the best that ever lived. Your books are described as testimony of your love for Africa. I would say they are the best books ever written. You lamented the growing influence of Western Culture in Africa. You played a major role in shaping African scholarship. Your Triple Heritage will always be my favorite. Both in words and in action. Here is a man with a strong patriotic heart. An innovative thinker, who was also not afraid to popularize African ideas. Or criticize the ills within African societies. They say you are the example of what opinionated, innovative, independent-minded African thinkers look like. I would say you are the best example that ever lived.
Africa has lost a great thinker, Toyin Falola’s tribute over at Premium Times Blog says it all:
“Mazrui was the Griot of critical narratives, an agent provocateur of deeply-rooted intellectual discourses.  Never before have we seen an African intellectual so controversial, yet so loved by the same critical mass that pointed to his “controversiality.” What he wrote about, what he spoke about, how he wrote about them, and how he spoke were often the bones of contention—a fact that underscored the power of the spoken (and the written) word as observed in the life of this departed giant!”

I only hope to make you proud, to be half the African you were, both in words and in action.
ali-mazuriPlease if you don’t know this man and I am appealing to the younger African Generation, do me a huge favor, if you are reading this, get a copy of any of Ali Mazrui’s work or even watch his Triple Heritage Documentary. It would literally change your life. Our intellectual stars are dying, we need to become inspired by them or there would be nothing left for our great continent. I am sorry I had to digress from style, if you know me personally,  you would know that I have a PhD and yes, I am first and foremost a thinker, an opinionated one on anything Africa. Ali Mazrui’s work was the first African scholarship I came across in my doctoral studies and it changed my life forever. I need more Africans to know this man and if this is the only thing this blog becomes known for, then I would be grateful…Rest in Peace Ali Mazrui.

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