Euphrase Kezilahabi

Tanzanian novelist, poet, and scholar Euphrase Kezilahabi passed away on Thursday, January 9, 2020.

Euphrase Kezilahabi was born on April 13, 1944, in Ukerewe, Tanganyika which is now known as Tanzania.  He grew up to be a scholar who was also a novelist and poet who wrote mainly in the Kiswahili language. Some of his books included Kichwamaji (1974), Karibu Ndani (1988), Rosa Mistika (1988),  Nagona (1990), Mzingile (1991), Gamba la Nyoka (2006), Dunia Uwanja wa Fujo (2007), and Stray Truths: Selected Poems of Euphrase Kezilahabi (Translations by Annmarie Drury) (2015).

Apart from his fiction, he also delivered talks on subjects such as ‘Aesthetic Ambivalence in Modern Swahili’ and ‘The Concept of the Hero in African Fiction’.

His last known posting was as an associate professor at the Department of African Languages (now African Cultural Department) at the University of Botswana.

You can read more about this scholar from this tribute by Kiswahili and cultural scholar Prof Kimani Njogu. You can also read some of his poems in translation from our friends at Warscapes here.