Professor David Rubadiri, the former University of Malawi Vice Chancellor and grandfather to media personality Victoria Rubadiri is dead.
Eulogizing her grandfather, Victoria posted that she was proud of the legacy he left and would carry his name with pride.
“This literary giant now rests. Prof. David Rubadiri breathed his last today, but his words continue to inspire so many across this great continent. His legacy is one I could never live up to. The name he gave me is one I will continue to carry with pride. Rest in peace Babu.”
The Malawian poet and academician passed on yesterday and was highly praised for his memorable literary works such as Poems from East Africa and Stanley Meets Mutesa among others.
Illness had seen the 88-year-old poet, playwright and novelist travel to Nairobi on several occasions for treatment.
Born in 1930, his father served as a District Officer while his mother was a homemaker who took care of the children as his father worked across the border in Tanzania.
Rubadiri crossed over to Uganda in search of better education and attended both primary and secondary education at King’s College, Budo, near Kampala From 1941 to 1950.
He later joined the prestigious Makerere University between 1965 and 1975 for his bachelor's degree in English literature and History before flying out to the University of London where he studied for a BA in Literature, History and Geography, and graduated with a first class honours degree. His MA in Literature was at Cambridge.
In an interview with Saturday Nation in 2013, Rubadiri explained that he was living out his retirement in a “small two-acre plot with what he described as a simple house” with his first wife Gertrude.
He married Gertrude - a teacher - in 1957 before taking the second wife Janet in 1955 - a Ugandan nurse of Rwandese origin.
The marriage with Gertrude bore four sons Kwame, Sékou, Tengo, Lunga and a daughter Lindiwe. With Janet, he was also blessed with four other children; son Desiré and daughters Natasha, Inga, and Linka.
Regarded as one of Africa's most celebrated poets to emerge after Malawi's independence, Rubadiri has left behind an enviable legacy and innumerable grandchildren scattered across the globe.