, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – Celebrated Kenyan scholar Professor Ali Mazrui will be buried this Saturday at his family’s graveyard in Fort Jesus, Mombasa.
Family spokesman Hammad Kassim Mazrui says they are making preparations to have the body flown from the US to Kenya for the burial in accordance with Islamic tradition.
“Professor Mazrui has himself said that he wants to be buried here in Mombasa. Right now communications are underway to ensure that he is brought back here in a timely manner. However as you know, America is far and tomorrow is a public holiday there so the arrangements will start on Wednesday so that he can be brought back as soon as possible,” he said.
He termed the scholar’s death as a blow not only to the family but the entire world.
“He was a person who was well read in various fields and this is a big blow not only to us Kenyans but to the world as a whole since he was many times required to give speeches in various forums and this will be missed by everyone,” he stated.
Mazrui who was born in Mombasa in 1933 is survived by two wives who are British and Nigerian nationals respectively and five children.
The scholar was an Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and the Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York.
He was the first non-president chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture Technology under the Kibaki regime.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in the meantime paid tribute to the fallen scholar describing him as a towering academician whose intellectual contributions played a major role in shaping African scholarship.
The Head of State pointed out that Mazrui was one of the greatest scholars Kenya and the continent have ever produced and that his death has robbed the country of one of the greatest writers. President Kenyatta stated that the Professor’s brilliance raised him to the apex of scholarly distinction and earned him the respect and following among his peers globally.