20 November 2012

Rwanda: Kenyan Playwright Mourned in Rwanda

Photo: The New Times
The late Prof Francis Imbuga.

Prof Francis Imbuga is best remembered in Rwanda for his works in the set book "Miracle of Remera"- a book still being used in literature classes at Kigali Institute of Education (KIE), where he taught for five years from 2000 to 2005.

Across Africa, the Kenyan playwright and poet is celebrated as one of the continent's most influential people in the field of literature with over ten published novels and set books.

Imbuga passed away on Sunday at the age 65 after suffering a stroke in his house in Nairobi, and according to those he mentored and worked with at KIE, his tragic death leaves a void that is impossible to fill.

"Professor Imbuga was an inspiration to teachers and scholars alike and his death is a big loss to us all. He pioneered the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at KIE, where he worked as the dean, and created a whole new way of literature learning at the school," Frank Tanganyika, a Professor of Literature at KIE told The New Times yesterday.

"His book 'Miracle of Remera' which is a set book for literature classes at KIE helped to boost the status of the institute and education in Rwanda in general."

One of Imbuga's former students at KIE, Paul Ntambara, expressed sadness upon news of his death adding that he was an inspiration to all he crossed paths with.

"He was a fatherly figure to all those that he taught. He was an accomplished academic, his death is a big loss to the academic fraternity and to African literature, Imbuga's former student at KIE told The New Times.

Imbuga's other famous works include Betrayal in the City, The Married Bachelor, Game of Silence and The Forth Trial.

He served as the chairman of the Literature department at Kenyatta University; until his death, and as the Director of Quality Assurance at Kenyatta University.

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