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Last Updated: Friday, 15 June 2007, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Your favourite African teacher
A teacher watches a pupil writing on a blackboard
Did you have a teacher who really inspired you?
Africa faces a teaching crisis as it is estimated that it lacks 2m teachers.

The shortfall jeopardises the continent's ability to reach one of the key millennium development goals - giving all children the right to free primary education by 2015.

Next week, the BBC is examining the lives of teachers in Africa; the problems they face; why recruitment can be so difficult and how the number of teachers leaving the profession, or jetting out of Africa in search of greener pastures, can be addressed.

As part of the season, the BBC wants to collect your memories of teachers in Africa.

Who is or was your favourite teacher? Do you have one who really inspired you? Send us your memories using the form below.

A selection of them will be printed below and broadcast on the BBC's Focus on Africa programme on Saturday 16 June 1700 GMT.


I attended a very strict Catholic boys' secondary school in Bo, Sierra Leone. The teachers never smiled to you but there was this French teacher called Mr Williams. He knew we were finding it difficult to understand French. He started composing songs for us from the lectures. It was so interesting that other students were sneaking other classes to attend the French class. He became so popular in the school. We loved him but unfortunately he vied for the principle's job but didn't get it. He left and after that no student was interested in French lessons. Mr Williams, I still miss you.
Magnus Fortune-Wright, Loughborough, Uk

My favourite teacher was my JSS III mathematics teacher Mr. Odo at Boys Sec. School Ezzamgbo, Abakaliki Nigeria. He is very intelligent and friendly. Mr Odo has a friendly way of making a difficult subject easy. He is one of the few who would stand before their students and admit he is not very sure of an answer he gave and would provide the real answer in a subsequent class. He is an awesome teacher.
Ngwoke Kenneth Gerald, Belfast , UK

My favourite teacher is Mr Tesfaye at Bole Community School. He taught me English and was also my home-teacher for both grade 7 and 8. I must admit that I am having a great difficulty writing this little paragraph, in fear of disappointing him with its quality. He gave me a lot of confidence and prepared me for life at that young age. It is my sincere hope that when I head back home some day that I will find him and kiss his knees (sign of utmost respect in Ethiopian culture) for all I have become in life. Thank you, Teacher Tesfaye.
Dr. Yoseph Gabre Kristos Mekonnen, Denver, Colorado. USA

My best teacher was Mrs Wainmbah, she taught me in class 1 in the St Jude's primary school in Fundong. This woman taught me especially how to spell my name in a special way (by singing). The first time i presented a poem in school, starting by singing my name, the entire school body laughed and each time i passed around, i was asked to stand and say my name, which of course i did by singing. I'll forever remember her especially given that most children learnt how to spell their names only when they were already in class 3 or 4.Thank you "mama" as we called her affectionately.
Nora Atah, Douala-Cameroon

My favourite teacher was my English Literature teacher in Secondary school. His name was Mr Magaya and he was blind. He was a great teacher, he had a way with words that could make even reading the most boring book exciting. He encouraged us to work hard and read. He put a love for books in my heart, its because of him that I appreciate literature today and that I decided to became a writer. He always reminded us that the greatest tragedy in life is people who have sight, but no vision. He challenged us to have a vision and purpose for our life. I am forever grateful to him because he taught me the reading culture and the quest for knowledge.
Sharon Mazingaizo, Harare, Zimbabwe

'Sir' Anyang 'Simple' Sammy instilled the spirit of sanitation in me. Back in my primary school days as a pupil of Presbyterian School Akou-Bambili, we always referred to our teachers simply as 'sir/madam'. But the name Mr Anyang 'Simple' Sammy has stuck in my head all for more than ten years now because he added 'Simple' to his name for some reason which I can no longer remember. It was very common to distinguish mission teachers at the heat of the economic crisis here in Cameroon during the early and mid 1990s because of their tattered dresses and battered shoes thanks to arduous years of hardship without salaries to cater for their basic needs. But the man I knew as my favourite teacher stood above the test of time by always showing the most tidy and decent appearance even when the going was tough. He was neat to say the least beyond compare with his well oiled favourite ox-blood shoes radiating brilliance and his trousers, shirt and tie well pressed until to lines were as vertical as our blackboard ruler. His comportment taught me a lesson that personal selling through a decent appearance at the job site was the best way to market one's profession, no matter how humble.
Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Bamenda, Cameroon

In primary school, I was just average when it came to mathematics. Indeed I managed grade c in my final exams. However, when I joined Ofafa Jericho Secondary school in 1974, the new mathematics teacher Mr. D.L. Patel, Lord Rest his soul in peace, made me develop a keener interest in the subject. But Patel was not only a math's teacher, he was equally interesting. Students nicknamed him Majee, a corruption of mzee, a Kiswahili word for an old man. He was quite advanced in age but a great mathematician. He had a hand made abacus of bottle tops with which he demonstrated to the class. This ensured whatever he taught sank into our little heads. He was equally a very strict teacher. If for instance a student dropped a pencil or a ruler on the floor, that was a punishable offence. Indeed this was the greatest offence one could commit during the math's session. We all feared and tried as much as possible not to drop anything that would disturb the serenity. Woe unto you if you dropped something. He would shout from wherever he was, "Stand up the rascal, stand up the rascal" as he approached the offending student. Depending on how he saw and judged you, he would deliver a devastating slap to your face. If he read mischief in your act, then you received the full punishment. Sometimes he would just pat the offender on the back and tell him/her don't do it ok, don't do it. On other occasions the offending student would not own up. In such circumstances Majee would shout looking from side to side, "The neighbour should tell, the neighbour should tell. Who is the rascal"? If the neighbour was coward enough and gave you away, then the slap was swift and terribly terrific. I once inadvertently fell a victim by dropping a ruler and still got the full wrath that went with the offence. To Majee, dropping a pencil or a ruler distracted the other students from following and getting the sum's methodology. His strictness helped us to give him our rapt attention during lessons and in turn made us understand what he was putting a cross. Such was his character. But believe me; he was one of the most liked teachers on the compound by students who enjoyed imitating him at the slightest opportunity- of course out of ear shot. He inspired me to become a good mathematician, eventually landing a job with a leading International Bank in Kenya
James omedo kihali, Nakuru, Kenya

Mr favorite teacher is Mr Chung peter who taught me in Class seven ( primary school).Once i was not able to raise the money that i needed for transportation to attend inerview for entry in to secondary school, he paid it for me. That is how i got to secondary school and who/what ever i am today is thanks to this God sent man Mr. Chung Peter. I owe this man all my academic successes.
Nshom Ernest Bah, Mbingo Cameroon

My favourite teacher was called Mr Sayid Ahmed Ramadan he was Egyptian. My Favourite Teacher is an opportunity to recognise and reward. He always encouraged us to tell the truth. For instance, if you have not done the homework, you need not lie. He allows for mistakes - saying, you can't be perfect all the time. But you should strive for it. God Bless you.......Djibouti
Abdirahman Haybe Djama, Hyderbad, India

Teachers are the ones who have made all of us who we are today. Bank Managers, politicians, engineers, Accountants and many more fields, we all passed through teachers. But i wonder why teachers in most cases are not remunerated so that they are motivated. Instead what we hear is that teachers are leaving for other countries for greener pastures. I think it is high time we started thinking and acting on motivating our teachers. If we motivate our teachers even the quality of education will improve in the end the countries economies will improve. I personally remember Mr. Kosha from Mukuba secondary school in Kitwe, who was teaching book keeping and principles of Accounting at my all level stage. Up to now am working as an accountant and using the same basics he showed me! Fortunately enough MR. Kosha is still teaching at the same school. I meet him sometimes whenever am visiting the same place were the school is situated. Long live all the teachers!!!
Gady Mwamba Museka, Mazabuka, Zambia

My favourite teacher was Mr Solomon Ntuli we used to call him Mphemba, he was my maths & physics teacher in matric @ St Lewis Bertrands High School. He was my inspiration to always try and do better. When I was In Varsity he was the first person I would show my results to, unfortunately he passed away before I graduated.
Bongani, Newcastle, South Africa

My favourite teachers were Mr Ramjan and Mr L Naidoo at Risecliff Secondary in KZN, South Africa. Mr Naidoo was my history teacher and he was inspirational. Mr Ramjan was my English teacher and he was thought-provoking, with crazy far-out ideas that only proved to inspire me.
Seema, GA, USA

Everyone who once attended school must have a teacher who inspired him or her. In my case MR.FODAY CAMARA is one of them. I could remember how he guided me towards one of the most then difficult exam that scares the hell out of every primary six pupil in West Africa at that time. This exam was the common entrance exam which allows pupils at that grade to continue to High School if they ever pass. He was also the first teacher who advised me to write and read as much as I can. The first article I wrote in my life was published at the local paper organised by teachers just few months after his coaching. Today I am a freelance writer thank God for it was after all MR. FODAY CAMARA's heroic efforts that helped me to a successful career today. BBC recent attempt to explore the teachers' plight in Africa is a very important issue which many African leaders fail to consider. And as long as this plight of teachers continued in Africa particularly in my own country the Gambia, not much could be achieved and the goal of the UN to eradicate illiteracy in Africa will still be a long miserable journey to accomplish. I am lucky to have teachers like Mr Camara a man I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Tijan Nimaga , Bronx New York

My favourite Teachers are Moses K.M Togba who taught me physics and Smith Flomo who also taught me mathematics in high school and through their excellent performance, I am currently studying physics as my major and mathematics as my minor in the University of Liberia and I am absolutely grateful to them and remain appreciative where ever we interface.
Mohammed Konneh, Monrovia, Liberia

over here in Egypt the teachers gains a lot of money as they work after school in private classes which cost so much, so they don't want to abandon their profession . there are many teachers who affected me , but there's one was my life's teacher, he was math teacher, I had got full marks in this subject till I graduated, since I was 8 years old till now no body affected in but him learnt me how to take every thing easy but seriously , he still like my guide in my life i hope him a good life and a good health , god bless him
ryad sallam, Cairo

My favourite teacher was one Mr Usman. In my sixth year in primary school (in the mid nineties) Mr Usman took us Social Studies and in his lessons he made us aware of the nature of the black man's underdevelopment been very much connected with the way he paid psychological obeisance to the white man... I cannot speak for the other pupils but since then I have been able to be conscious enough to fight subservience to the white man in any form┐ I'm not saying I'm racist, but, to put it bluntly, I no longer think the white man is a god! I owe my thoughts, in part, to Mr Usman...
Benjamin Tarachi, Minna, Nigeria

My favourite teacher is Dr. Tetemke Mehari, in Addis Ababa University. He taught me one biochemistry course. What really I liked from him was he made the course very interesting in such a way that easily grasped by students. He really connected the theory to the real world. You will be angry when the class ends. The class is funny and the teacher is easy for everybody to talk and discuss with.
yididya, Mekelle, Ethiopia

My favourite teacher is Mr Gabriel Gbedema. He taught at primary six some 23 years ago. No doubt, he later became the head teacher of the school until his retirement. Mr Gbedema wasn't too strict but he had his own ways of winning over his pupils. He was a father rather than a teacher. He once told us in class that 'if an examination is difficult for you, then it is difficult for all other examinees'. His calm persona coupled with his humility had endeared him to all and sundry. May he live to be 100!
Francis white yao loloh, Accra, Ghana

My favourite teacher is Mrs Dondolo, she is the principal of St Boniface High School. She is dedicated, and has a deep affection for her students. Her care for the less privileged in her school is overwhelming. In South Africa where students discipline is little bit low, she has tried very hard to keep the discipline of the school high. The school always have more than 90% on their matric result. The most important thing about her, is taking every contribution of her teachers while making decisions concerning the development of the school and the students.
Osuigwe Chukwuemeka, A Nigerian In Kimberley South Africa

Mr REM Ohiomokhare (the pioneer principal of Boys Model Secondary school, Evboneka) has been the biggest influence when it comes to favourite teacher. He was feared, respected and his voice was like thunder but with good lessons. His all grey hair can never be missed and so were he valuable lessons. Though he was hated then, I (and others) now realise that he was the best mentor anyone could ask for. His advice and lessons still ring in my head and they have made me a better man today. I will forever be grateful for been one of your pioneer students.
Esebamen Xerviar Omeime, Sundsvall,Sweden

MY FAVOURITE TEACHER AT KAMWALA SECONDARY SCHOOL IN LUSAKA, ZAMBIA WAS MRS.ARMSTRONG. SHE TAUGHT ME ENGLISH & ENGLISH LITERATURE. WE NEVER HAD A DULL MOMENT IN HER CLASS. SHE WAS A DYNAMIC & DEDICATED TEACHER. FORMER PRESIDENT KENNETH KAUNDA HONOURED HER FOR HER SERVICES TO ZAMBIA.
ISMAIL LUNAT, NEW YORK, USA

My best teacher was Mrs Leah Bumbo. She was an English teacher and has just come back from the USA with a degree in English. She used to drive a Volvo with number plate Oklahoma is OK. I used to love her very much especially when she told us stores of America. I used to write good English composition and sometimes she would pick me to read my essay to all the students in the class. I always wanted to come to the USA because of her stories I hope one day to see her again.
Joseph Wangugi, Columbus, USA

MY FAVOURITE TEACHER CALLED MR. MMAPEN-DARE. HE WAS A MATHEMATICS TEACHER IN MY SENIOR SECONDARY FIVE (5). ONE THING THAT CAME TO MY MEMORY WAS, WE ARE NOT IN GOOD TERMS A MONTH BEFORE MY FINAL SEMESTER. HE DENIED ME ENTRANCE INTO HIS CLASS AND EVEN PROMISED THAT, I WILL FAIL MATHEMATICS. WITH THAT IN MIND, I WENT ABOUT CONSULTING DIFFERENT MATHEMATIC TEACHERS IN DIFFERENT SCHOOLS. OUR SCANDAL MAKES ME TO READ AND PRACTICE MATHEMATICS VERY WELL AND BEYOND SYLLABUS. AT THE END OF OUR FINAL YEAR, I BECAME THE FIRST A2 STUDENT WHOM PASSED MATHEMATICS. SINCE THEN, HE CONGRATULATED ME AND SHAKED HAND WITH ME AND EVEN RECOMMENDED ME AT THE TIME OF PURSUING ADMISSION INTO NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES. WE BECAME FRIENDS AND AT TIMES, HE INVITED ME TO COME AND LECTURE HIS STUDENTS ON HIS BEHALF. ONE FUNNY THING, HE ASKED ME TO MARRY HIS SECOND DAUGHTER. SO, I WOULDN'T HAVE SCORED HIGHER WITHOUT HIM AND TODAY, MATHS IS MY COURSE OF STUDIES.
Yusuf Yebbi, Ganye-Adamawa, Nigeria

I used to be too shy especially with those bully teachers, so I embrace my computer instead.
Plato Owulezi, Nigeria

MY MOTHER WAS MY FAVOURITE TEACHER SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO READ AND WRITE ALL OTHERS ARE JUST SUPPORT AND BACK-UP SHE IS MY HERO
SOLADE NICOL, Canada

My two favourite teachers. 1) The lovely Ghanaian lady who taught me to speak English well, in a very 'unNigerian' way. I owe a lot to her - nobody understands the Nigerian accent, and thanks to her, I don't have that. She is a gem. 2) My maths teacher, who spent countless hours going over the intricacies of geometry with me. Sadly, she died a year after I left secondary school. Bless her! Teachers are worth more than gold!
Adenike Titilope, PA, USA

My favourite teacher definitely was Dr. Said...He is the Dean of mathematics Dept. in AAU and he is one of the craziest and most talented teacher I ever met. He always starts his lectures with a very slow voice and in the middle his voice will be as loud as a rocket! He takes life easily and taught me how far one can go in his/her accomplishments by taking life easily....Success is always in every one of us but what we are is the one thing which must be protected forever! Abi,USA
Abi, Ethiopian

"Inspired"? How about "pivotal"? Alfred "Are you ready" Manneh, St Augustine's High School, Banjul. History teacher par excellence. One in a million.
Arthur, UK

My most favourite teacher was Paul Apuss, the former head Master of Napata secondary school in Kakuma refugee Camp in Northern Kenya and my English language teacher, Paul was a kind of teacher that with amiable personality, despite the lowest payment in the Camp his aim was to teach children. He make joke before teaching, after classes every student remained with excitement and encouragement not to fail Paul's subject. fun is the key way to attach student minds in learning. unfortunately he died three years ago in Southern Sudan, I missed him so much. May Almighty God rest his soul in peace.
Abot Chuol-tor, Juab, Southern Sudan

It is easy to remember good teachers and difficult to remember the not-so-good ones. For me, my best teacher is undoubtedly Pius Sama, retired headteacher of St. Mary School Balikumbat, Cameroon. I always daydream and see his writing on the blackboard. I learned to write from him. He had such a stylish way of writing. That is not all. He had such a good heart; he encouraged his pupils to study hard; he gave good advice; he was not feared but respected unlike teachers of those days; he was a good Christian; he was intelligent; and above all he was real wise man. He was just a fine, clean man and a good example that is needed in today's Cameroon. Pa Sama, I feel proud to have been taught by you. I am very happy I became a teacher to take it on from where you left it. I vividly remember the evening you announced to me that I had passed the Common Entrance Examination to go to college. Though I am thousands of miles away, I still think of you and wish to see you in the days ahead. I hope you are listening. May God bless you!
George Viche Akom, Kalamazoo, USA

My favourite teacher, who has already passed off, was my French, music, civic, politics and humanity teacher. He was also the school discipline director. He was not only our bodyguard at school, but also a real Gestapo officer in his students' life in the city of Lukala in the province of Central Kongo, in the DR Congo. He was the teacher all the students hated, but twenty years later, I understood that he was the only one who introduced me to the real world of knowledge: all my reading tastes come from him. That's the reason why was RenÚ Kibonsa Sisa Mayuku is now my unique hero.
Pascal Mieluzeyi, Montreal, Canada

My favourite teacher was called Mr Femi Komolafe he taught me in secondary school and he had this way of teaching that was quite different from the others it was a government school but he was the gentle type he taught me English language and I'll be forever grateful to him for the way I pronounce my words. Unfortunately he died just before my Waec exams how I missed him.
Percy Richard, Kaduna, Nigeria


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SEE ALSO
Cameroon teachers 'fear pupils'
07 Jun 07 |  Africa

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