Ugandan celebrated academic Prof. Mahmood Mamdani has been appointed the new   Chancellor of Kampala international University. His replaces long serving Prof. J.M .P Sebuwufu.

Elsewhere, East Africans will be delighted to learn that Prof Mahmood Mamdani’s  Ugandan born son Zohran Kwame Mamdani  28 years old – an insurgent Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) candidate, toppled NY Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas in a hotly contested primary election in Queens, New York Council.  He won by 53% of the vote .

The little known  DSA is becoming a growing force in US politics drawing big names like – Bernie Sanders and  is especially strong in NY, with Alexandria Ocasio Cortez its best known leader. 

Kwame Mamdani’s primary win automatically guarantees him a seat in the state legislature, since no one is registered to run against the Democratic nominee in the November general election.

Mamdani is a housing counselor and Indian-Ugandan New Yorker. While East Africans know his father as a path breaking public intellectual from Makerere and now Columbia University, internationally he is known as Mira Nair’s son, the internationally-renowned Bollywood film Director. Among her great films is Queen of Katwe, about the young chess “master” Phiona Mutesi from the sprawling Kampa

Kwame Mamdani had a stint at Daily Monitor Uganda’s leading local independent daily

Zohran Kwame Mamdani was born in Kampala, Uganda but was raised in New York since he was 7 years old. His family moved to the United States after being expelled from Uganda in 1972 by the late dictator Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada. Kwame Mamdani once tried his hands at journalism during his high school vacation . He wrote for the sports section of Daily Monitor Weekened editions (Saturday and Sunday  Monitor) which were at the time edited by Moses Paul Sserwanga.  

Who is Prof. Mamdani

Prof .Mahmood Mamdani, FBA (born 23 April 1946) is a Ugandan academic, author, and political commentator. He is the Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University and the Professor of Anthropology, Political Science and African Studies at Columbia University.

Mamdani is a third generation Ugandan of Indian ancestry. He was born in Mumbai and grew up in Kampala. Both his parents were born in the neighbouring Tanganyika Territory (present day Tanzania). He was educated at the Government Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Government Primary School in Masaka, K.S.I. Primary School in Kampala, Shimoni and Nakivubo Government Primary Schools in Kampala, and Old Kampala Senior Secondary School.

He received a scholarship along with 26 other Ugandan students to study in the United States. The scholarships were part of the independence gift that the new nation had received. Mamdani joined the University of Pittsburgh in 1963 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1967.

He was among the many students in the northern US who made the bus journey south to Birmingham, Alabama organised by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to participate in the civil rights movement.

He then joined The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and graduated in 1968 with a Master of Arts in political science and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy in 1969. He attained his Doctor of Philosophy in government from Harvard University in 1974. His thesis was titled Politics and Class Formation in Uganda.

His intellectual work

  • The Myth of Population Control: Family, Class and Caste in an Indian Village (1972)
  • From Citizen to Refugee: Ugandan Asians Come to Britain (1973)
  • Politics and Class Formation in Uganda (1976)
  • Imperialism and Fascism in Uganda (1984)
  • Academic Freedom in Africa (1994)
  • Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism (1996)
  • When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and Genocide in Rwanda (2001)
  • Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror (2004)
  • Scholars in the Marketplace. The Dilemmas of Neo-Liberal Reform at Makerere University, 1989–2005 (2007)
  • Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror (2009)
  • Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity (The W.E.B. DuBois Lectures) (2012)
  • When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda (2014)

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