DR. IBRAHIM ALLADIN
Sir Anerood Jugnauth
He is one of the most well-known career politicians. Sir Anerood Jugnauth was born on 29 March 1930. He is still active today. Sir Anerood grew up in the village of Palma where he also attended primary school. He pursued his education in England and called to Bar in London and returned to Mauritius to start his career as a lawyer. Anerood Jugnauth was first elected in the constituency of Rivière du Rempart in 1963 in the National Legislative Assembly and was candidate of the Independent Forward Block. Prior to independence he took part in the London Constitutional Conference on Mauritius. In the 1970s, he joined the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM), but eventually formed his own party, the MSM. He first became Prime Minister in 1982, and went on to serve as the President of the Republic. Following the election victory in 2014, Sir Anerood was appointed for a sixth term as Prime Minister. He became the longest serving prime minister with more than 16 years of tenure thus overtaking Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, who held the office for 14 years. Under his leadership, Mauritius embarked on a path of rapid economic development. He remains one of the strongest political leaders in the country.
Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
The son of Sir Anerood Jugnauth, Pravind Jugnauth is the leader of the MSM party and the current Prime Minister of Mauritius. He was born on 25 December 1961. Pravind is a lawyer by training, he graduated from the Uni- versity of Buckingham with a law degree and then went to Aix-Marseille where he obtained his LLM. He grew up in the shadow of his father and at an early age became an activist, and joined the MSM in 1990. He was first elected in 1995, and has served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. On January 23, 2017, he became Prime Minister after his father resigned. Pravind’s vision is to see a modern Mauritius that will be a key player in the African region. He has been aligning the country closer to Asia and Africa. As a result, Mauritius has for- ged important partnerships with India, China, eastern and southern Africa, and the middle-east. He has introduced some major initiatives on education, communications and transportation.
Joseph Reginald Topize commonly known as Kaya died on the 21 February 1999, at the age of 39. This day is carved in the memories of many Mau- ritians. Kaya brought about a social revolution through his songs inspired by Bob Marley. His style of music called
“seggae” is a fusion of Mauritian sega and reggae. Kaya was born in Roche- Bois and brought up by his uncle, a fisherman. Life was hard for the young Kaya. Unable to get a proper education, he survived in the streets. At the age of 16, he started to play the guitar and formed his own band called “Wind and Fire”. He changed his name to Kaya after listening to Bob Marley. His music and songs elevated Kaya’s political consciousness. Bob Marley became his mentor. Kaya, the musician turned into an activist, campaigning and speaking out for the marginalised and underpri- vileged. He later joined the band “Letou Menwar” and recorded his first album called “Letan lenfer”. Kaya was arrested and detained for smoking marijuana. He died in his prison cell. His death sparked riots across the country. Kaya became an inspiration for many. His songs influenced a generation and his political campaign brought a new level awareness on the plight of the margina- lised. Kaya sang with his heart and soul.
He has a passion for singing and sang since he was 8 years old. Serge Lebrasse started his career as a primary school teacher. At the age of 18, he joined the army and was posted in Egypt. He came back in 1951. He taught in a school in Olivia and then was transferred to Glen-Park. He taught children in Stan- dardIV.HewasTiFrère’sneighbourin Quartier Militaire and saw him singing regularly. He was fortunate to have this legend so close by. In school, Serge was singing séga in school, but when the principal intervened, he had to stop. He then realized that he could still be a teacher and give concerts on week- ends. That’s how his singing career took off. Eventually, he quit teaching. Serge had a difficult childhood. His father died at the age of 34 and his mother was unemployed and to support the family
she made dresses. Serge Lebrasse conti- nued to perform and his songs became the favourite of many. At the age of 87, he is still singing and entertaining the nation. His songs are immortal.
Sir Edouard Lim Fat
The Engineering Tower at the Uni- versity of Mauritius bears the name of Sir Edouard Lim Fat, the architect of the “zone franche”. He was born in Baie- du-cap in 1921, the son of a humble “boutiquier”, who rose to become a key figure in the economic development of Mauritius. He studied Chemical Engi- neering at Imperial College in London and Agricultural Engineering at the Uni- versity of Newcastle in England. When he returned to Mauritius he became the Assistant Head at the Ministry of Agri- culture. In 1963, he became the Director of the Mauritius College of Agriculture. Lim Fat had a vision to transform the country and he shared his plan with Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. He provided a way out of the economic problems the country was facing after attaining independence. As a result of his effort the EPZ Act was passed in 1970, and the industrialisation phase began. Several companies arrived and started to invest in Mauritius. Edouard Lim Fat, the aca- demic and entrepreneur paved the way for a new path of development. He is known as the “père de la Zone franche”. His autobiography entitled From Vision to Miracle is highly recommended. He passed away in March 2015 aged 93.
Amédée Maingard was born on 21 October 1918. While a student in London in 1939, he joined the British Army and served during the Second World War. Maingard was a brave and courageous soldier who was actively involved in the liberation of France. He
was recognised by both the British and French governments for his chivalry. He earned the Croix de Guerre from the French government in 1944 and the Distinguished Service Order from the British government in June 1945. Maingard returned to Mauritius and very quickly he made his presence felt. He was a visionary. He realised the potential of this island economy, and seized the opportunity to develop the country’s tourism industry. As a tourist destination Mauritius was still unknown then. In 1967, he founded Air Mauritius and launched the country on the international arena. Maingard enterprising spirit and his global vision made him one of the most successful post-war businessmen. His vision was to transform Mauritius into a modern economy. He died in 1982, just before the period of “took off” began. He was a pioneer and his spirit lives on.
Cardinal Jean Margéot
Jean Margeot was born on 3 February 1916 in Quatre Bornes. At the age of 17, he joined the seminary in Rome where he studied theology. He returned to Mauritius in 1939. He was ordained a priest in 1938, was consecrated as Bishop of the Diocese of Port-Louis in 1969 and served until 1993. He was President of the Conférence Episcopale de l’Océan Indien from 1986-1989. Margéot was named a cardinal by Pope John Paul II on June 28, 1988 becoming Cardinal-Priest of San Gabriele Arcangelo all’Acqua Traversa, the first cardinal from Mauritius. Following his death in 2009 at the age of 93, Margéot was lauded by Pope Benedict XVI in a public statement. Cardinal Margéot was a highly respected individual. On 12 March 1997, Cassam Uteem, the President of the Republic conferred on him the Grand Officer of the Order of the Star and Key (GOSK.). He worked closely with various commu- nities and provided spiritual guidance to everyone. He transformed the training of the clergy and was actively involved in education. Cardinal Margéot will be remembered for his humanity and com- passion. He passed away in 2009, and left his teachings behind.
Sir Abdul Razack Mohamed
He was a key figure who worked closely with Seewoosagur Ramgoolam for the independence of Mauritius. Born in India in 1906, he arrived in Mauritius at the age of twenty-two. Sir Abdool was a successful businessman but politics was also his preoccupation. He served as the Lord Mayor of Port Louis in 1949, 1953 and 1956. During his long and successful political career, Sir Abdul served in many different capacities, including deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Housing and Land Development and Minister of Social Security from 1967 to 1976. He was a visionary and founded the CAM (Comité d’Action Musulman) in 1959, which was a member of the alliance that formed the Independence Party that fought for independence. He believed in the rights of all mino- rities. His picture appears on the two hundred-rupee bank-note. Sir Abdul is believed to have come up with the colours for the Mauritian flag. He died on 8 May 1978, and will be remembered as one of the political giants in Mauritius.
Sir Hamid Moollan
Jurist, humanitarian and visionary, Sir Hamid Moollan was born in 1931. Humility and simplicity are attributes that make a person stand out. All throughout his life, Sir Hamid has kept a low profile. In spite of his position in the legal profession, he remains humble. From the law courts of Mauritius to the Privy Council in London, his name has some reverence. He is highly respected by his colleagues and the clients he has defended. In recognition of his contribution he was made a Queen’s Counsel (QC) in 1976, a rare distinction in the legal profession. Very few accomplish this feat. Sir Hamid did not make any fuss when he was recognised by the Government of Mauritius and awarded the GOSK (Grand Order of the Star and Key). It is one of highest civilian awards given for distinction and citizenship. In 1986, he received a Knighthood. A private family man, Sir Hamid rarely gives public interviews, but speaks up fearlessly on issues that matter. He is a brilliant mind.
Politician, activist, educator, Armoogum Parsuramen is not a quiet man. Born in 1951, Armoogum Parsuramen started his career as a teacher. A former graduate of the University of Mauritius, he was elected as a Member of Parliament and served as Minister of Education, Arts and Culture and Minister of Education and Science. As Minister, he pushed for many educational reforms. Parsuramen also worked for the World Bank and UNESCO. After a distinguished career in politics, he became an advocate for seniors. He was instrumental in creating the University of Third Age in Mauritius. His leadership qualities are acclaimed both nationally and internationally. He has received several awards for his work and commitment. He is the Founder-President of the Global Rainbow Foundation. He campaigns tirelessly and speaks out on behalf of the physically challenged and the seniors. He is a champion for social justice and equality.
… to be continued …