Tribute to Prof. Thandika Mkandawire by Mrs. Wambui Wagacha

When Abdalla Bujra was the Excecutive Director of CODESRIA, and Thandika was the deputy, I was given TORs to set up CODICE which was a success, with the support of OECD Development Center (Training) and IDRC financial support specifically to acquire desk top computers. Thandika dived into CODICE, ahead of his time and any of us in the use of computers. He was the only one with a laptop which he used the way young people use their smartphones today. With passion, quick and with concentration, he was really excited about CODICE. As CODESRIA Executive Director, he helped me to deepen CODICE and he used the center very well. Extremely hard working, and humble he was the supreme team-worker. He expected you to work very well and guided you. He was also very human and funny. My family has fond memories of him and his boys. I remember his term, “oral” Africans: that once you ask an African one thing, e.g. where they come from, you get their whole ancestry including the clans etc. It caught up with him one day when he and I attended a conference abroad for which he’d prepared a paper. The night before presentation he had a drink with some of the panelists. Asked about what he’d present, he “poured down the whole content”, only for one panelist to reproduce his contents before Thandika presented his paper the following day. Yet he’d not yet distributed his paper. He told us how he re-learnt his lesson, how he still remained the African he was.
Missed by many of us who worked under him and knew him well.

Mrs. Wambui Wagacha
First Director of CODICE

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