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Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
Buy now

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
Buy now

Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
Buy now

China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
Buy now

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
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    In memory of Nontsikelelo 'Mama' Albertina Sisulu

    Shaka Sisulu

    2011-06-09, Issue 534

    The death of Albertina Sisulu has been met with national mourning in South Africa. At age 92, Sisulu, an anti-apartheid struggle icon, had survived the darkest days of apartheid rule. She was banned for a continuous 18-year stretch by the apartheid regime and was separated from her husband, Walter Sisulu, for 25 years while he was in jail. In this article, Shaka Sisulu pays tribute to his 'Gogo'.

    Abdias do Nascimento: In memoriam


    Molefi Kete Asante

    2011-06-02, Issue 532

    ‘Abdias do Nascimento defended the oppressed, advanced creativity, sought human community and made our lives better by his art, reason, emotion, and laughter,’ writes Molefi Kete Asante, in a homage to ‘this brother genius who has cherished our history and culture and who has made the life and struggle of the African Brazilian people his personal mission.’

    Glenn Cowley: An appreciation of a South African publisher

    Robert Molteno

    2011-05-25, Issue 531

    South African publisher Glenn Cowley, who ran the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press in the period 1998-2009, has passed away. Robert Molteno pays tribute.

    Zim Ngqawana: ‘I sing with a sword in my hand’

    (25 December 1959 – 10 May 2011)

    Aryan Kaganof

    2011-05-12, Issue 529

    ‘Music was not an end result for Bra’ Zim, it was the means to provide healing.’ Aryan Kaganof reflects on the life of South African musician and mentor, Zim Ngqawana, ‘one individual whose life was not going to fit into an obituary.’

    Dipping our banners for May Brutus

    8 May 1929 – 12 March 2011

    Tony Brutus

    2011-03-17, Issue 521

    May Brutus, wife of South African poet-activist Dennis, died suddenly on 12 March in London. ‘Those who knew May will remember a feisty, outspoken and awe-inspiring figure, speaking her mind on racism and injustice wherever she found it,’ writes her son, Tony Brutus.

    Malangatana, force of nature


    Pauline Wynter

    2011-01-12, Issue 512

    Mozambican poet and painter Malangatana Ngwenya passed away on 5 January. Pauline Wynter celebrates the iconic artist who brought the world around him to life.

    Giving his body for the spirit to grow

    Odipo Jacob Odhiambo: An obituary

    Philo Ikonya

    2010-11-24, Issue 507

    Following the passing of Odipo Jacob Odhiambo, Philo Ikonya pays tribute to the Kenyan activist and shares personal experiences of their arrest together last year.

    Jacob Odipo: Source of strength to many

    Raphael Obonyo

    2010-11-18, Issue 505

    Jacob Odipo’s resilience and resolve for a more equal Kenya was always on full display, writes Raphael Obonyo.

    Passing on of Comrade Peter Young Kihara

    Release Political Prisoners (RPP) Trust

    2010-09-30, Issue 498

    Comrade Peter Young Kihara, veteran human rights defender, died on 26 September 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya. Kihara played 'a crucial role in constitution making' and showed 'unwavering commitment to work with the poor' at grassroots level, writes the RPP.

    Lewis Nkosi, writer and academic


    2010-09-16, Issue 496

    South African writer and academic Lewis Nkosi has died, writes Margaret von Klemperer. ‘He was a fearless critic, a clear analytical voice. He didn’t have to align himself with any group and spoke his mind on both literary and wider cultural issues.’ Nkosi is survived by his wife and two daughters.

    Lewis Nkosi: He brightened our lives and thoughts


    Wangui wa Goro

    2010-09-16, Issue 496

    The sorrow is long But the sparrow must return To the nest He served well And brightened our lives and our thoughts I am sad still And pray that we all find a dry eye With which to remember our giants As they fall Go well Giant Friend You touched our lives!

    In memory of Floribert Chebeya Bahzire

    Dave Peterson

    2010-06-16, Issue 486

    In the wake of the recent death of Floribert Chebeya Bahzire, Dave Peterson pays tribute to this revered figure who was ‘undoubtedly Congo’s most prominent, committed and courageous human rights activist’.

    On meeting Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert

    Isabella Matambanadzo

    2010-05-25, Issue 483

    Following the 14 May death of Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert, Isabella Matambanadzo pays tribute to a man who 'believed in human agency and worked tirelessly for it'.

    Hamba kahle Mama Fatima

    In memoriam: Fatima Meer (1928–2010)

    Lubna Nadvi

    2010-03-17, Issue 474

    Fatima Meer, ‘a champion of human rights, an advocate of the poor and disenfranchised, an outstanding academic and author and a woman of impeccable integrity and principles', sadly passed away on 12 March 2010 after a stroke. Lubna Nadvi reflects on her legacy: ‘While there can only be one Fatima Meer, she ignited the imagination of so many others that she came into contact with to fight for a better world. That is perhaps her most enduring contribution.’

    Eulogy to Fatima Meer

    Ashwin Desai

    2010-03-18, Issue 474

    Following the passing of Fatima Meer on 12 March, Ashwin Desai pays tribute to a figure who 'was nothing less than the spiritual leader of the strivings for social justice and equality' in post-1994 South Africa.

    Fatima Meer: Reminded of society’s unfulfilled desires


    Patrick Bond and Orlean Naidoo

    2010-03-18, Issue 474

    Fatima Meer, one of South Africa’s most senior civil society scholar–activists, died on Friday 12 March. Patrick Bond and Orlean Naidoo pay tribute to the ‘always nimble’ community organiser, with her ability to ‘think and act locally, nationally and globally’, noting: ‘With this beautiful voice silenced, surely our responsibility now is to stand up and shout louder still’.

    Tribute to Comrade Ng’ang’a Thiong’o

    Stephen Musau

    Release Political Prisoner’s (RPP)

    2010-02-25, Issue 471

    Ng'ana'a Thiong'o, Kenyan social activist and legal adviser for the people, sadly passed away on 7 February 2010. ‘It is not easy to write a tribute for a true comrade, a revolutionary, an environmentalist, a peoples’ advocate, a principled politician, a global citizen, an intellectual and creative thinker like Ng’ang’a Thiong’o’, writes Stephen Musau.

    Howard Zinn, activist historian

    1922 - 2010

    Shailja Patel

    2010-01-29, Issue 468

    Howard Zinn, 87, an activist historian whose 'People's History of the United States' resurrected neglected stories of the country's past and became a surprise bestseller in the 1980s and beyond, died of a heart attack on 27 January in Santa Monica, California, where he was on a speaking tour.

    Howard Zinn: A true American hero


    Staff and Board at the Oakland Institute

    2010-02-04, Issue 468

    Howard Zinn, social activist, historian and playwright, passed away at the age of 87, on 27 January 2010. The Oakland Institute remembers him: ‘the world has not only lost a legendary historian but an individual, whose commitment to social and economic justice, peace and internationalism, and passion for telling the truth, can be matched by few others… Indeed the world has lost one of its best teachers.’

    Howard Zinn: A tribute to the legendary historian with Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein and Anthony Arnove


    Democracy Now

    2010-02-04, Issue 468

    In this tribute to Howard Zinn, historian, writer and activist, Democracy Now speaks with ‘those who knew him best: Noam Chomsky, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein and Anthony Arnove’. This is a video interview and includes a full rush transcript. Howard Zinn’s classic work A People’s History of the United States ‘changed the way we look at history in America. It has sold over a million copies and was recently made into a television special called The People Speak.’

    David Coetzee, progressive journalist and publisher


    Adrian Crewe

    2010-01-28, Issue 467

    David Coetzee, the founder of the alternative information bulletin SouthScan, for a number of years the most significant source of independent, uncensored information about what was going on in apartheid South Africa, passed away on 24 January 2010 at the age of 66.

    Bill Sutherland, Pan-African pacifist


    Esi Sutherland-Addy, Ralph Sutherland, Amowi Sutherland Phillips and Matt Meyer

    2010-01-14, Issue 465

    Bill Sutherland, unofficial ambassador between the peoples of Africa and the Americas for over fifty years, died peacefully on the evening of 2 January 2010. He was 91.

    What we learned from Dennis Brutus’ troubadour politics

    Patrick Bond

    2010-01-07, Issue 464

    ‘No South African threw themselves more passionately into so many global and local battles. But from where did the indomitable energy emerge?’ Patrick Bond pays tribute to troubadour Dennis Brutus, who died at the age of 85 on 26 December 2009, ‘battling cancer, climate change and capitalism.’

    Dennis Brutus: ‘An ironclad sense of solidarity’


    Patrick Bond

    2010-01-07, Issue 464

    Patrick Bond collates excerpts of testimonials about the late Dennis Brutus, ‘a poet whose work will be celebrated forever, and whose wisdom in so many campaigns for social justice will be sorely missed’, from institutions, individuals and the media.

    Comrade Ronnie Press

    The South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU)

    2009-11-06, Issue 456

    The South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU) pays humble tribute to Comrade Ronnie Press, one of the Movements great heroes, one of whom may not always be spoken of, but one whose contribution to the National Liberation of South Africa, the wor...

    Keith Goddard (1960-2009): Champion of LGBT rights

    GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe)

    2009-10-15, Issue 453

    Keith Goddard, champion for the struggle for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people's rights in Zimbabwe, passed away on 10 October, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) has announced.

    Ramanbhai Khandubhai Naik

    2009-10-17, Issue 453

    RK Naik, who has died aged 81, was the only Indian to have served as a member of the central committee of the Zimbabwe African People's Union (Zapu), the resistance movement started in the then Southern Rhodesia in 1961. Ramanbhai Khandubhai Naik was...

    Keith Goddard

    Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

    2009-10-17, Issue 453

    The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum is sad to announce the tragic death of our colleague, Keith Goddard, a champion of human and LGBT rights in Zimbabwe and on the world stage. Sadly, after a short illness, Keith died last night, Friday 9^th October ...

    Two poems for Haroub Othman

    Issa G Shivji

    2009-07-30, Issue 444

    Professor Issa Shivji pays tribute in verse – in English and in Kiswahili – to the late Haroub Othman, former professor of Development Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam. My dear friend and comrade, Ho: I shan’t write a letter, I can’t. I shan’t sing a song, Or recite a poem. ‘Cause I don’t have the talents. I shall say what I feel, Deep down in me. Those were the days, Of the Vietnam war. Ho Chinh Minh was your uncle, My uncle, our uncle. Demos, sit-ins and boycotts, Petitions, pictures and panels, Unclothing war criminals. People’s courts sentenced, public opinion enforced. Those were the days, Of Bertrand Russell and Stokely Carmichael, Sitting in Stockholm, Hearing napalmed men, women and children. The public gallery wept, students shouted, ‘Down with uncle Sam, Long live Uncle Ho.’ Your kinship was unmistakeable, Your Cause was clear. You stood on the side, Of the oppressed, humiliated and exploited. You proudly signed your name, with a big ‘H’ and a small ‘o’, Ho. Moderate in language, Measured in tone. Civil in demeanour, Generous in kindness. Gentle in argument, Steadfast in disagreement. That was our Ho. In Lebanon and Palestine, In Vietnam and Indonesia. In Chile and Cuba, In Iraq and Afghanistan. In Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau. Wherever there was oppression and injustice, Our Ho knew his side. Imperialism he condemned, Human rights he upheld. On union, he stood his ground, Often stoutly, Seldom silently. Unity he applauded, Secession he feared. More I say, more I want to say. But a little more I’ll say. Jenerali wrote: ‘Poor Saida! She wanted to retire. Now she’ll have to unretire, To lead us from where Haroub left off.’ + Ndugu yangu, rafiki yangu, kamaradi Harubu: Sitaomboleza kifo chako; Sitatowa salamu za rambirambi. Tumelia ya kutosha, Tumehuzunika ya kutosha. Tumesononeka, tumelalamika: Ewe Muumba, Kwa nini unatupora watu wetu wema? Kwa nini? Eti ulimpenda zaidi ya sisi, Kwani upendo wetu una kikomo? Sasa basi: Mamia tumekutana Nkrumah, Maelfu wametega masikio, Moshi, Miatu na Mbezi. Sio kuomboleza, wala kulia, wala kulalamika. Bali kusherekea. Kusherekea maisha yako, Fikra zako, Msimamo wako. Kusherekea maisha yako, Harubu, Mwana wa Miraji, Mwana wa Zanzibar na Tanzania, Mwana wa Afrika. Tunasherekea fikra zako, Tunatamani kuchota kutoka busara zako, Hekima yako, Mtazamo wako. Fikra zako za uungwana, Fikra zako za ukombozi, Ukombozi wa wanyonge, Ukombozi wa mwana wa Adamu. Fikra zako zisizotingisika, Kupinga dhuluma na ufisadi na ubeberu. Fikra zako za kutetea, Haki za wanyonge. Harubu, umetoweka bila kutuaga. Hatulalamiki, hatukulaumu. Kwani, kila pumzi la uhai wako, Ulikuwa na ujumbe na nasaha. Enyi makamaradi, wana wa harakati. Katika medani ya mapambano, Hakuna kuaga wala kuagana. Hakuna muda, Hakuna anasa Ya porojo za kuaga na kuagana. La kesho, tendeni leo. La siku, tekelezeni kwa saa. Mapambano sio lelemama. Ukombozi sio usanii. Buriani ndugu yangu, Rafiki yangu, Kamaradi Ho. Kwaheri za kuonana.

    Haroub Othman: Champion of social justice

    Chris Maina Peter

    2009-07-16, Issue 442

    Haroub Othman could have worked anywhere in the world, but out of a deep love for the country, 'he chose Tanzania as his station in life', writes his former student and friend Chris Miana Peter, in a tribute to the 'irreplaceable' professor. Othman was one of the most committed academics and civil society activists in Tanzania and Zanzibar, says Peter. His remarkable work through the Zanzibar Legal Services Centre established him as a local institution, while many of his students, whom he treated as equals and to whom he gave opportunities to excel, have gone on to 'hold high offices in governments all over the world'.

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