Photos: Three African artists who have passed away: (left to right) South Sudan's Dr. Mansour Khalid; Sierra Leone's Abou Whyte; Cote d'Ivoire's Rose Marie Guiraud, a distinguished African dancer. - Photo: 2020

Africans Mourn the Passing of a Distinguished Thinker and two Outstanding Artists

By Lisa VIves, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – While the rate of fatalities in Africa is still much below that of developed countries, every life lost is a library gone, according to a saying. Here are three noted Africans who passed this year just as thousands of lives were tragically lost to the coronavirus worldwide.

Dr. Mansour Khalid, a prolific author in both Arabic and English, exposed all the ailments of Sudanese elites that led to the secession of South Sudan in July 2011. These ills are vividly elucidated in two books –The Government They Deserve: The Role of the Elite in Sudan’s Political Evolution in 1990, and The Paradox of Two Sudans: The CPA and the Road to Partition in 2015.

He passed away on April 23.

He served as a legal advisor at the United Nations and first vice-chairman of the World Commission on Environment and Development. In 1972, he joined the Nimeiri Government, serving in a number of key ministerial posts, prominently as a foreign minister. Sensing the tyrannical orientation of Nimeiri Government, Mansour resigned and went abroad, becoming one of the strongest opponents of Nimeiri regime.

With his passing, writes Dr Omer M Shurkian, representative of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, Sudan lost one of its consummate ideologues, an eminent politician, diplomat and humanist. In his second homeland – that is, South Sudan – all national flags were flown at half-mast in his honor for three days.

In Sierra Leone, traditional music lovers lost one of the country’s greatest cultural singers, Abou Whyte.

Whyte hailed from the Fourah Bay and Foulah Town communities and up to his death was resident in the State of New Jersey.

Abou Whyte was not only a musician but a painter, sculptor and soccer player; the latter came to light in the early 60s when he joined the Bolton Wanderers FC of Freetown as a goalkeeper.

He joined the musical band ‘Merry-Go Jazz’ as a song writer, composer, and percussionist, He also joined ‘Okes-Muyei’ and then ‘Muyei Power’.

One of his popular songs was ‘Good Morning Sierra Leone Good Afternoon Freetown’ which is still a melodious and refreshing song to reckon with.

He is survived by his wife, Salamatu Boye Whyte, six children and several grandchildren and was buried at the Oaklawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Last but not least, many in the African dance world are mourning the passing of Rose Marie Guiraud, founder of EDEC (School of Dance and Cultural Exchange in Cote d’Ivoire). Rose Marie, who had many strings to her bow, had a distinguished reputation in the arts.

Actress, choreographer, singer, playwright, writer, she introduced generations of young Africans to dance.

A native of Oyably in western Côte d’Ivoire, she was a pioneer of traditional dance in Côte d’Ivoire.

Born on Sept. 10, 1944, Marie Rose Guiraud was introduced to dance at an early age. At the age of 4, she began her artistic career as a spiritual dancer and traditional African singer.

A graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Liège in Belgium, Rose Marie is the founder of several social and charitable institutions, including the dance companies “Les Guirivoires” and “Les Guirettes” in Ivory Coast. [IDN-InDepthNews – 28 April 2020]

Photos: Three African artists who have passed away: (left to right) South Sudan’s Dr. Mansour Khalid; Sierra Leone’s Abou Whyte; Cote d’Ivoire’s Rose Marie Guiraud, a distinguished African dancer.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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