Friday, October 17, 2014

The Africans: A Triple Heritage, the Legacy of Ali Mazrui

Ali Al'amin Mazrui (24 February 1933 – 13 October 2014).  

The Africans: A Triple Heritage, which was jointly produced by the BBC and the Public Broadcasting Service (WETA, Washington) in association with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), and funded by the Annenberg/CPB Project. A book by the same title was jointly published by BBC Publications and Little, Brown and Company.

This is my memorial tribute to the great Professor Ali Mazrui, one of the greatest African scholars of all time and among those leading the vanguard of the revival of the African Renaissance.

Dr. Ali Mazrui, Institute of Global Cultural Studies Director and Albert Schweitzer Professor in Humanities at Binghamton University visits Fayetteville State University, North Carolina. Photo Credit: JSD Africa.

I have been following the intellectual life of Ali Mazrui since my first knowledge of him as the author of The Trial of Christopher Okigbo published in 1972. The allegory is a Kafkaesque narrative of the trial of Okigbo for abandoning his art to become one of the heroic sacrificial lambs of Biafra, the ill fated Igbo republic led by Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu ( November 4, 1933 – November 26, 2011) from May 30, 1967 to January 15, 1970 and caused the death of over 30,000 Nigerian soldiers and over 25,000 Biafran soldiers with over 1, 000, 000 million civilian casualties of largely children who were starved to death.

"Despite the seriousness of the questions there is something detached and playful about the novel. The story never gets bogged down in its arguments. It becomes its own best proof that important political questioning and art are not mutually exclusive. The Trial of Christopher Okigbo is a fine and unusual piece of fiction." 
 ~ George Davis, The New York Times Book Review, 17/9/1972. 

I love this book, because I am a fanatic of the great Christopher Okigbo, one of the first martyrs of the first Nigerian revolution, the 1966 Nigerian coup d'état led by Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu (1937–1967).
Okigbo died a hero fighting for Biafra at the war front of the civil war in 1967. He was only 35 years old

See the complete works of Ali Al'amin Mazrui.

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