PROMINENT United Kingdom-based African historian Terence Ranger has died.
He was 86.
Ranger reportedly died at his Oxford home in the United Kingdom on Saturday evening.
According to Marieke Clarke, who was asked by Ranger’s wife to send the news of his death around, the renowned historian, who was also involved in Zimbabwe’s nationalist movement, died peacefully at around 7.20pm.
“Shelagh Ranger and Mercy Mawema, the Ranger’s close friend, asked me to inform you that Terence Ranger died peacefully at home last night (Saturday) in his sleep,” he said.
A polarising and sometimes controversial figure, Ranger is considered an authority of Zimbabwe’s history.
Ranger is also best known for his influential work as the co-editor, with Eric Hobsbawm, of the 1983 text, The Invention of Tradition.
However, he has spent most of his career researching and publishing on the history of Zimbabwe.
In 1957, following doctoral work at Oxford on Richard Boyle, First Earl of Cork, Ranger came to the then University College of the Rhodesia and Nyasaland, to teach early modern and late mediaeval British and European history.
In Rhodesia, Ranger and his wife Shelagh became very active campaigners opposing the institutionalised discrimination against black Africans.
Ranger was ejected from the country in February 1963 for his political subversion, after he joined Zapu as a district vice-chairman.
He had also fallen foul of the system with his work on “Revolt in Southern Africa”, which was in bold variance with the settler policy to annihilate authentic African history.
Ranger is survived by his wife Shelagh and daughter Franny.