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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.
Buy now

Emerging Powers Digest: 14th Edition, 5 December 2014

In today’s newsletter the Emerging Powers project announces a call for grant applications; gives a summary of Zuma's travels to China and the signing of the 5-10 Year Framework on Cooperation between the two countries; highlights Ethiopia's budding textile industry and relations with China; India's growing investment presence in Africa; militarization of the continent by the emerging actors. The news digest also provides analyses and news reports on China's evolving foreign policy and diplomatic relations. Read these and other news items in this week's edition of the Emerging Powers in Africa news digest.

Call for Grant Proposals

The Emerging Powers in Africa Project is issuing a call for grant proposals. The grants are aimed at examining the political, economic, social and cultural impact of the emerging powers footprint in Africa. The grant is specifically related to empowering civil society actors in gaining the appropriate knowledge and developing the necessary tools to articulate an informed perspective on the emerging powers in Africa and the corresponding impact.


+ Read the Emerging Powers Digest

+ The Emerging Powers Project Homepage

Pambazuka News Broadcasts

Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

See the list of episodes.


This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


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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'.

Professor Haroub Othman Memorial Gathering

Saturday 18 July 2009, UDSM Nkrumah Hall, Dar es Salaam

2009-07-16, Issue 442

The Institute of Development Studies in collaboration with the Directorate of Public Service (UDSM), Mwalimu Nyerere Chair, UDASA, University of Dar es Salaam School of Law, UDSM Philosophy Club and Educational Perspective UDSM Chapter, is organizing...

Tracking Taju’s political roots

Okello Oculi

2009-07-16, Issue 442

Obituaries of the late Pan-Africanist Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem continue to arrive at Pambazuka, such was the stature of the man and the esteem with which he was held. In this article Okello Oculi discusses Nigeria's broader historical background in the immediate post-independence period and Tajudeen's many experiences of tumultuous times across different political settings.

Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem (1961–2009): A celebration of a life in full

Kayode Fayemi

2009-07-09, Issue 441

With a 40-day period of mourning having elapsed following the untimely death of Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem on Africa Liberation Day, Kayode Fayemi looks back on the life and work of the great Pan-Africanist activist and scholar. Highlighting his extraordinary energy and compassion for ordinary people, Fayemi salutes Tajudeen's unfaltering commitment to speaking truth to power. Looking back on an array of institutional, activist and scholarly achievements, Fayemi points out that while Africa may have lost one its brightest gems, Tajudeen will forever remain a symbol and inspiration for ongoing struggles.

At least not in my lifetime

Remembering Professor Haroub Othman (1942 – 2009)

Chambi Chachage

2009-07-09, Issue 441

Chambi Chachage pays tribute to Professor Haroub Othman, a man passionate about the Pan-African ideals of peace, justice and unity, who was ready to be among 'what is left of the leftists'. Chachage writes that while his encounters with Professor Othman were 'brief, albeit memorable', they were 'filled with lasting humane impressions'.

Haroub Othman: A friend and a comrade

P. Anyang’ Nyong’o

2009-07-02, Issue 440

The late Haroub Othman, professor of development studies at the University of Dar es Salaam, 'worked very hard and was singularly dedicated to his work and his people', writes P. Anyang’ Nyong’o, in a tribute to 'a friend and a comrade'. Professor Othman died on 28 June 2009.

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