While a thick mystery remains about the life or death of Paul Biya, in a recent message, the post-colonial theorist philosopher, political scientist, historian and university professor explains that he was seized for the writing of the obituary of the Cameroonian president.
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Since midnight yesterday, South Africa as a whole has experienced an abrupt halt. If yesterday seemed to be circulating, today we are all called to stay put, at home. Most of life has moved inside the walls, behind the barricades and other electric fences. This will be the case for three weeks. We therefore enter a kind of dark area with our eyes open, in the hope that there will be an “after”, but also aware of the fact that many, unfortunately, will not pass through the needle hole. At the same time, yesterday’s activities continue. I receive the reading note from BRUTALISME signed by Catherine Poitevin. It is published in the issue of PHILOSOPHIE MAGAZINE dated April 1, 2020 and is entitled “A world of brutes”.
Other news includes the BRUTALISME Turkish translation assignment contract with ILETISM editions, and the Portuguese translation assignment for European territory with ANTIGONA editions. Also worth noting is a long interview with Diogo BERCITO to be published earlier this week in the largest Brazilian daily newspaper. But on this first day of confinement, the most astonishing information is undoubtedly the following.
In the middle of the afternoon, I receive a written message from one of the largest news agencies in the world. I am asked if I would agree to contribute to the drafting of the “obituary” of the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Mr. Paul BIYA. I am told that the request may seem strange, but that such notices, written during the person’s lifetime, are commonplace. I knew it. I do not wish death to the Cameroonian Head of State. Contributing, while he is still alive, to writing his obituary does not suit me at all.
Last news. Professor Thandika MKANDAWIRE died early this morning in Stockholm. A renowned economist, Thandika had long been the Executive Secretary of CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa). I had replaced him in this function in 1996. He had subsequently pursued an eminent career in several research institutions, including the London School of Economics in England. Thandika has been in all the great fights for African emancipation since the 1970s. A tireless witness and intelligent and relentless protagonist, he leaves behind a huge work, most of which is unfortunately little known in French. Originally from Malawi, he was one of those citizens of Africa whose entire life has been a long and fruitful journey around the world. May he rest in peace with the Ancestors.