Professor George Shepperson

Mel Page's picture

   Some readers of H-Africa may not be aware of the passing of Professor George Shepperson on 2 April 2020, at age 98, in Peterborough, U.K. Many of us will remember both his Africa-centric scholarship and activism in the service of Africa, and especially Malawi. David Stuart-Mogg, editor of the Society of Malawi Journal wrote in announcing his death, that in “serving with a Nyasa battalion of the King’s African Rifles in the Burmese jungles during WWII Shepperson became a fluent speaker of Chinyanja and developed a deep and abiding love and respect for Malawi, Malawians and Malawi’s colourful history. He was a strong advocate for Malawi’s independence.” We will especially recall his co-authored seminal study, Independent African (Edinburgh, 1968) which forever cemented John Chilembwe’s place among the pantheon of African heroes. Sam, as he was also known to his friends, completed many other works on Pan-Africanism, the military tradition in Africa, and other significant African personalities—as well as personal poetic works—all of which have further insured his place among the continent’s pioneering historians.
   Stuart-Mogg has also announced that appreciations of Professor Shepperson’s remarkable life and career will appear in the next issue of the Society’s Journal later this year, at the same time welcoming contributions for that memorial edition. All those interested are specifically requested to submit their contributions in MSWord format, with any accompanying photographs or illustrations submitted as separate jpeg attachments (along with appropriate descriptions). These should be sent by August 2020 to the editor: David Stuart-Mogg 10, Robins Field, Wansford, Peterborough PE8 6JW, United Kingdom or by email to

Melvin E. Page

Professor of History (Emeritus)

East Tennessee State University


Categories: Announcement, Obituary