Volume 18, Issue 2, 2021

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Our first encounter with Prof. Karim Hirji was in late 2010 when he emailed us asking if AwaaZ could publish an announcement of the publication of his book, Cheche – Reminisences of a Radical Magazine which was being published by Mkuki wa Nyota. Little did we know then that this would be the beginning of a most treasured comrade-ship; and an opportunity to learn from and interact with one of East Africa’s most incisive intellectuals who, as a practising socialist, has dedicated his life to ‘making another world possible’. Karim (as he is now known to us) is a retired Professor of Medical Statistics and a Fellow of the Tanzania Academy of Sciences, widely known for the many books he has written on topics ranging from Education,…

Marxism and Maths – The Many Insights Of Karim Hirji

Karim Hirji is the only Tanzanian to have written a mathematics textbook (Exact Analysis of Discrete Data, 2005), and 69 mathematical research papers. At least four of these discredited trials which up to then had supported drugs in regular use, or dubious uses of software (for one of these see Chapter 8 of his 2019 book Under-Education in Africa). He is also one of Tanzania’s most sustained and consistent Marxist writers, and a fearless critic, as he has been since his days as an undergraduate (see Growing up with Tanzania, 2014; Cheche, Reminiscences of a Radical Magazine, 2011; The Travails of a Tanzanian Teacher, 2018; and his tribute to the work and person of Walter Rodney, 2017). Karim was born in the small South Tanzanian…

Regular column

Special Feature

Pio Gama Pinto – A New Document dated 1961

A new document enriches the material on Kenya’s freedom and social justice hero, Pio Gama Pinto. It was discovered recently by Advocate Adeel Haq of Nairobi. The document, ‘a historical snapshot’, as Haq nicely describes it, is a broadsheet entitled ‘LONG LIVE THE FREEDOM OF THE COLONIAL PEOPLE: Long Live the Forces Struggling Against Portuguese Imperialism in Africa and Asia.’ The colony had been ruled by Portugal for the past 450 years. It was issued on the day of the liberation of Goa on 18 December 1961. Pio Gama Pinto is one of the signatories of the group that issued it, who sign themselves ‘Goan Nationalists’. The statement was among the papers given to Haq by Dr Yusuf Eraj, another Freedom hero and a close associate of Pinto in the freedom struggle in Kenya. Dr Eraj was the medical doctor to whom Pinto always turned when freedom fighters or their families were in need of medical attention. Throughout the…

An Icon Crumbles

Aung San Suu Kyi turns 76: How did ‘Burma’s Gandhi’ fall from grace in the eyes of the world? Even though the Myanmarese leader is under house arrest again, the international community is much less enthusiastic about taking up her cause. ‘The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear.’ – Aung San Suu Kyi On June 19, the erstwhile leader of Myanmar, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will celebrate her 76th birthday in her home where she has been put under house arrest since the February 1 military coup. Her birthday is an occasion for us to reflect how a genocide was committed in a country ruled by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. Why did Aung San Suu Kyi, once celebrated as an icon of democracy, not only remain silent when the Rohingyas in Rakhine state were being massacred but even defend the Tatamadaw (the official name of the Burmese Army) at the International Court of Justice in November 2019? In Myanmar, however, her defence of the Tatmadaw at the…

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Book & Film Reviews

Women of Colour In Wellness

Author: Zafira Rajan Publ: Self-published Reviewer: Narissa Allibhai   Women of Colour in Wellness is a great introduction to race, privilege and cultural appropriation in the wellness industry. Without delving too deep into these…

The Power Of Two

Author: Anita Eleanor Patel Publ: Forthcoming. Reviewer: Farah Qureshi This is a warm and embracing family narrative, detailing the diversity and movements of the author’s large family. Patel spares no detail in explaining her family’s…

About AwaaZ

Awaaz is a magazine published tri-annually out of Nairobi, Kenya. It aims to provide a broad platform for debate and reflection on issues of both contemporary and historical interest. What started off in 2002 as a focus on the role of the South Asian community in the historical, political and socio-economic spheres of Kenya; has now broadened to cover the larger debates on diversity, democracy, human rights and social justice. The magazine also critically examines the role of minorities both as communities in Kenya and East Africa; as well as a concept of human rights in a society be they ethnic, racial, gender based, sexual or political.

Friends Of AwaaZ

Yash and Jill Ghai, Mohez Karmali, Gijsbert Oonk, Vijoo Rattansi, Victoria Commercial Bank Charitable Trust, I& M Bank, Willy Mutunga, Chandaria Foundation, Asian Foundation, Firoze Manji, Muthoni Wanyeki, Wanjiru Gikonyo, Kirit Pattni, Ismail Ramadhani, Dr. Ramadhan Marjan, Radha Upadhyaya, Benegal Pereira, Mburu Gitu, Neela Ghoshal, Hindpal Jabbal, Krishna Sondhi, Nyawira Muthiga, Sheetal Kapila, Fiona Mati, Ramnik Shah, Shiraz Durrani, Madhukant Shah, Rosemelle Mutoka, Nivi Sharma, Salim Damji, Juzar Hooker, Mark Ojal, Mohinder Dhillon, Karen Rothmyer, Sachen Shah, Akbar Husein, Peter Kiama, Sarah and Felix Kyalo, Karim Hirji, Sultan Somjee, Musti and Shakila Mamujee