He was a man of immense academic stature, yet he could afford to stoop so low, to mix and mingle with students and the common man in the streets. He was so different with other professors in many respects. He was a man who refused to bow down to the BIG MEN SYNDROME that affects most African professors, who think they are ever busy and important, such that, they can’t even relate with the commoners. He was a humble and jovial man. A man who categorically said NO to Injustice. A man who fought a legitimate struggle for the cause of the albino community in Zimbabwe. He was so sensitive and committed to the struggle for democracy, human rights and social justice. We had met on countless times during my working days in the trade union movement, but we had never been so close.
The time I came close to him, was actually my first and last one-on-one encounter. May his soul find calmness in the serenity of death. Rest in Eternal peace Professor Makumbe. I had to interview the Professor during my Masters Study. I had just returned from Europe in June 2011 for my fieldwork data collection. We had met at a local hotel and I requested him to be one of my interviewees in my research project, of which he agreed without any hesitation. We then slotted for an interview date.
Days passed by and the day of the interview arrived. I had to choose my dressing carefully; I wasn’t sure whether he was a darling of formal wear or not. Also, as is the norm, when you are meeting respected people in society I just opted for formal wear. The art of presentability. Luckily, he was in his office on that particular day. As I knocked on the door, he opened and offered me a seat.
To Be Continued….