Enjoying a Christmas party and a literary chat with Ndugu Mkapa

Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

What you need to know:

  • Indeed, I was introduced to him by my own Makerere teacher and research supervisor, the late Prof Pio Zirimu, Mkapa’s former classmate in the English Department at Makerere.
  • His humanities education nurtured in him that open-minded and tolerant attitude that enabled him to receive and evaluate opinions and standpoints without prejudice.

I spent my 1976 Christmas Day evening at the residence of Ndugu Ben Mkapa in Lagos, Nigeria. This is the now late, “Hayati” His Excellency Benjamin William Mkapa, the third President of Tanzania, who was laid to rest in his home village of Lupaso in Mtwara Region last Wednesday. Mkapa was already “His Excellency” back then, but not yet President, and certainly not yet “Hayati”.

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