Renowned Kenyan scholar Prof Ali Mazrui. Prof Mazrui left behind a will in which he stated his wish to be buried at the family’s graveyard in Mombasa’s Old Town. FILE PHOTO
The late Prof Ali Mazrui left behind a will in which he stated his wish to be buried at the family’s graveyard in Mombasa’s Old Town, next to the graves of his parents and his grandfather.
The Mazrui graveyard is classified as a heritage site by the National Museums of Kenya, according to a signpost erected at its entrance and written in both English and French.
The signpost says the graveyard has been in existence for 900 years.
It claims the Mazruis were a powerful family that ruled parts of the coastal region in the 18th century.
On Monday, the late scholar's nephew Munir Mazrui, together with former Chief Kadhi Hammad Kassim, who is a close relative, disclosed that Prof Mazrui had turned down several offers by the United States government to denounce his Kenyan citizenship and become an American
BORN KENYAN, DIE KENYAN
Prof Ali Mazrui, as chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, confers a doctoral degree at a graduation ceremony.
“Prof Mazrui had a very strong patriotic heart. He was approached numerous times by the USA to take up that country’s citizenship, but he turned all of them down, saying he was born a Kenyan and will die a Kenyan,” Mr Munir Mazrui told a media briefing at the family’s home in Old Town, Mombasa.
“He told me it (the pressure) had become too much but assured me that he would never do that. He said from wherever he would die, he wished to be buried next to his father, Sheikh Al-Amin bin Mazrui, his grandfather, Sheikh Ali bin Abdallah Mazrui, and (his) mother,” the elderly Munir Mazrui said.
The family has neither set the burial date nor determined the day Prof Mazrui's body would be brought back to Kenya from the United States.
Former Chief Kadhi Kassim, chairman of the burial committee, said the arrangements to bring the body home had been complicated by the fact that Monday was Columbus Day, a public holiday in the United States.
Mr Kassim said the body was likely to arrive on Saturday or Sunday.
“The holiday in the US affected our arrangements to bring the body home. But we expect that by Wednesday, we shall have known the exact day, which could be Saturday or Sunday,” he said