Message from Dr BE Nzimande, MP, South African Minister of Higher Education and Training
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Professor Samson Moyo. His untimely passing was a great shock to me and to other South Africans who knew him. I feel his loss very deeply as he was a friend as well as a collaborator in various projects. He was wrenched from us at the height of his powers as a leading African intellectual, an activist and an institution builder.
I knew Sam for many years – from the time of our liberation struggle against apartheid in the mid 1980s. I met him through the SAPES network led by Dr Ibbo Mandaza. He had fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe and he was committed to the cause of a free, democratic, independent and prosperous African continent. His dedication continued throughout his life.
This is demonstrated by all his work and more especially his intellectual work for the benefit of our continent. Sam was held in high esteem by the intellectual community in Africa and beyond. He served for many years in CODESRIA, the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa, successively as a Member of the Executive Committee, Vice President, and finally, from 2009 to 2011 as President
Sam’s specific areas of interest was agrarian studies, in particular policy regarding agriculture, food, land reform and the environment. After working in these fields as a professor at the University of Zimbabwe and as a government advisor, he demonstrated his social entrepreneurship and institution-building skills when by established the African Institute of Agrarian Studies.
Sam was a true internationalist. His very passing in India, on a work assignment far away from his home, is testament to his internationalism and his understanding that the challenges that face humanity are universal. His internationalism is also demonstrated by his contributions in South Africa. Several years ago, I decided to establish a National Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences and asked him to assist us and to bring with him his experiences and deep knowledge of social science research across the continent. He accepted my request without hesitation and when the Institute was formally established two years ago, Sam became a valued, useful and influential member of its Board.
Despite all his accomplishments, Sam remained modest and unassuming. He was a kind and gentle person and had an easy way with people. He was the type of individual that you one quickly felt at ease with.
My grief at his loss is shared by the South African government and all South Africans who knew Sam Moyo. Our grief is profound and sincere; we will do all we can to ensure that the path that he trod will be followed by others and especially by younger academics and the youth.
Hamba kahle, Sam, brother and friend..
Dr BE Nzimande, MP, South African Minister of Higher Education and Training