b. 1943, Manéga, Burkina Faso
poet, philosopher, and lawyer
The Burkinabé poet, philosopher, and lawyer Maître Titinga Frédéric Pacéré is famous throughout Africa, not only for his French language poetry but also for his countless contributions to the preservation of Mossé and other traditional Sahelian cultures, including the founding of a popular museum in his native village of Manéga (near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso). He is the author of more than forty books on diverse subjects such as law, sociology, literature, human rights, history, and Mossé religion. Pacéré has won numerous prizes for his poetry, most notably the Médaille d'Honneur de l'Association des Écrivains de Langue Française and the Grand Prix Littéraire de l'Afrique Noire. In Europe and the United States, Pacéré is perhaps best known for his revolutionary theory of talking drums, or "bendrology," asserting the priority of the aural word of the drum (or bendré, the More word for a drum made from a calabash) over both the spoken and the written word. Though controversial, Pacéré's theory lays the foundations for an authentically Afrocentric theory of human language, eschewing speaking-writing binaries of the West. Pacéré has also been a vocal critic of Western literacy paradigms that routinely stigmatize "illiterate" peoples and undervalue African cultural systems.
b. 1939, Arusha, Tanzania; d. 1993, Tanzania
The Tanzanian novelist Peter Palangyo was educated at Makerere University, Uganda, and at the University of Minnesota, where he abandoned his studies in biology and began his literary career. He served as Tanzania's ambassador to Canada, before his death in a road accident. His novel Dying in the Sun, published in 1968, was the first Tanzanian novel in English, in a country in which