English: Unidentified African American woman with Afro-textured hair, cerca 1850 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I remember those so many years watching aunties black and white sembule TV in our small living room we preferred to call a siiting room even though it had only two chairs and a small table positioned in the centre. Even at a young age i wasn’t a fan of movies and soaps weren’t the in thing like the kids today who spend countless hours following up on the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies or the newest copy and paste TV show from India, or Pakistan or any of those countries in that region of the world. Back in the day TV was so boring apart from pingu and inspector Derrick it was literally boring even the guy in studio had a habit of getting bored and would completely switch off his studio and place a rainbow of colors accompanied by an annoying screaming sound in the background if he was in a lighter mood then you got the #transtel logo from Germany spread on the TV screen thanking you for watching and it stood there for ages until you switched off the TV.
With such a boring schedule the only good thing that came from that was repetitions of the shows over and over that sometimes you didn’t know whether the episode you were watching was the new one or the old one. Some shows were classics others had me switching off the TV at the quickest glance. However there was a show i used to watch ironically never to learnt its showing times nor the title of the show however its content has stuck in my head to this day and it was repeated over and over again several times but i never had chance to ever catch it from the beginning. It was presented by a black man with up right Afro hair and a white patch at the top his name Ali Mazrui his name spread at the bottom of the screen. My young mind watching his show was like reading a history book only this time the heroes were not white but black the scholars were black, Arabic not white and the examples were organically black and African. The show brought out a side of Africa i never knew existed, the white books never bothered to explore either and was never examined in the numerous end or beginning of term exams i and to sit through to qualify for the next class.
I am embarrassed to say i have never left Uganda but i knew places like Timbuktu way back in primary school long before i had to choose whether to major in east west or north African history in school no wonder social studies was my favorite subject even though i ended up majoring in sciences in upper school. All this was to a man called Ali Mazrui seated in front of the camera behind him pictures of the pyramids or some African artifact as i travelled along with him as he re opened old scholarly books, he taught me religion was all about art not chopping peoples heads no wonder i am interested in world affairs big time. Looking at today’s so called scholars at the various Ugandan universities all i see are people scrambling for better pay, discussing the latest failed attempt to dislodge the president or stealing project money from the university and no real documentation of Uganda’s history as its all skewed and biased. Rip Professor Ali Mazrui