Interestingly, as will be seen from his bio, summarised in the
Goan Overseas Digest obituary (Klaus passed away on 10
December 1999), he pursued an agriculture-related course to
begin with, at the California State University and followed that
up with a Masters Degree in Poultry Science.
I was vaguely
aware that his father owned a large "Shamba" (farm or estate) in
Mombasa and therefore finding this agricultural link, did not
Also, the Digest bio does state that his father was "in
chicken farming in Mombasa"
That explains, I suspect, that his father may have been
preparing him for a life back in Kenya.
Not too dissimilar from myself, having opted to do a Masters
in ‘Tropical Agricultural Engineering’ after graduating in
Mechanical Engineering, in the hope of returning to Kenya.
All that went overboard with the political developments that
followed in Kenya and Uganda from the mid-sixties.
What did surprise me however, in my research, was to note
Klaus switched discipline to ‘Sociology and Anthropology’, which
is diametrically opposed, I would have thought, to his
agricultural qualifications, earlier.
I picked up no mention on whether he did practice agriculture
before switching disciplines.
The Goan Overseas Digest obituary hints he moved
I am most curious to find out what prompted him in that
However, I note, the two disciplines do complement his chosen
career and work, thereafter.
Following his appointment as the Professor of Sociology, at
the College of Charleston, in South Carolina, USA, in 1976, he
proves himself to be an outstanding scholar, researcher, writer
Renowned ‘Caribbeanologist’: As
per my research, after his Doctorate in Sociology, his first
work assignments were in the West Indies, with a huge focus on
the Rastafarian Movement, its politics, culture, impact in the
region and even forecasting its future.
Casting my eye over 'Selection of Books, Papers, Reviews and
Articles Published' I note that in the period 1975 to 1980,
Klaus produced three books plus a paper on the Rastafarians.
Furthermore, I also came across mention that the title of his
PhD thesis at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State
University was: "Millenarian Movements and the Politics of
Liberation: The Rastafarians of Jamaica".
That study includes: "A Rastafari and Raggae Bibliography"
My curiosity runs deep.
Where did his fascination for the Rastafarians stem from?
Was it at university, having befriended someone from Jamaica
or the Caribbean perhaps?
Or may be, love of Raggae Music ~ Bob Marley et al?
It is even more puzzling that although he was not a native of
that region, 24 of the 27 seminal listed publications, relate to
issues in the Caribbean such as:
Inter-Island Migration; Demography; Tourism Strategies;
Socio-Economic Impact of Political Change, Agriculture, Drugs,
Crime, Gender Equality etc…
His rich legacy still lives on as his work continues to be a
vital reference source, to modern day students, on the
Based on the subject matter of his work, which clearly
demonstrates his strong affiliation to, and deep understanding
of that region, it will not be amiss to describe Klaus, as a
"Son of the Caribbean".
Probably more so, than East Africa.
From my research, he is ‘An Outstanding Caribbeanologist’.
What an honour for this fellow Mombasa Goan School/ Sacred
Heart School ex-student.
Parallels between East Africa and
the Caribbean: I have been trying to figure out how his deep
love and attachment to the Caribbean will have come about.
There are similarities with East Africa, where he was born
Both geographical regions were formerly parts of the British
Hence, systems of colonial administration would be quite
similar and in the same language.
Like East Africa, the ethnic mix of citizens comprised of
people of African, European and Asian origin, in many parts of
East Africa and the Caribbean would be termed ‘developing
countries’ and hence the challenges for advancement would not be
Based on these similarities, it may be no big surprise, that
he adapted so well to the Caribbean.
I have no doubt that Klaus, that multi-gifted and illustrious
ex-student, will have been a success wherever he went, and with
whatever he did.
We see from his work, that his genuine concerns for the
advancement, welfare, social justice and inequalities towards
the poor, were the same wherever he went.
His upbringing in East Africa will have provided him with
‘real-life experiences’ when he took on the Caribbean challenge.
His life on a farm in Mombasa and subsequent agricultural
studies, will have given him a good insight into the problems
confronted by rural communities in developing situations.
His work shows he proposed visionary ways to address
His accomplishments, understanding, knowledge, insight and
contribution to wide ranging development issues, relating to the
Caribbean, are highly regarded and respected to this day.
International Scholar: Apart from his links with East Africa
and the Caribbean, Klaus also made an impact in Papua New Guinea
He spent some years at the PNG University in the ‘Institute
of Applied Social and Economic Research’.
There he published two books and a Paper.
His first book was: "Social Implications of Population
Growth in Papua New Guinea, 1980-1985".
His paper: "Spatial Inequalities in Papua New Guinea"
was co-authored with Eddie D’Sa, a lecturer at the PNG
University, (later the Editor of the Goan Overseas Digest),
who by all accounts, appears to have known Klaus well.
He states in the obituary, that Klaus returned to the USA
because of a "virulent strain of malaria".
Prolific Writer: Selection of
Books, Papers, Reviews and Articles Published by Klaus, gives a
good measure of what a prolific, scholarly writer he was.
That listing is only a selection extracted from my research.
I expect there must be many more that I have not come across.
He commanded the respect of politicians, academics and the
media alike for his seminal works.
Being a statistical researcher, he offered hard
research-based evidence when putting his arguments forward.
Concluding Remarks: Another of
Klaus’ confidantes will have been his son - Aneel James de
Albuquerque - who would have been at the tender age of 13 or so,
when his dad passed away.
As per the obituary by Eddie D’Sa, Klaus was close to his son
and did produce an unpublished 177-page Memoir, strictly for
Aneel, that was distributed to close network of family and
friends, before he passed away.
My research picked up mention of the "De Albuquerque Klaus
Trust", presumably set up by the family in his honour.
This outstanding Mombasa Goan School/ Sacred Heart school
ex-student has left a lasting legacy of his academic and
scholarly excellence, evident from his numerous publications.
Obituary: Professor Klaus de
Albuquerque [by Eddie D’Sa ~ Editor ~ Goan Overseas Digest,
Issue 8.1 (2000)]
Professor Klaus de Albuquerque died on 10 December 1999 after
a three-year battle with cancer.
He was on the Advisory Panel of the Digest for several years
and contributed a number of articles, the last in January 1999.
Klaus was born in Uganda in 1946 of a Goan father and German
He schooled in Mombasa and left for higher studies in the US
He acquired the Masters in Agriculture in 1968.
He then switched to Sociology, taking the MS and then the PhD
at Virginia State University in 1976.
He joined the College of Charleston in South Carolina at the
Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
He taught courses like Development of Social thought, Race &
Ethnic Relations, Urban Sociology and Population and Society.
He was full time Professor there until his death.
Klaus published scores of original articles, reviews and
He had a special interest in tourism in the Caribbean and
wrote on various aspects (development models, crime, drugs and
the behaviour of female tourists).
But Klaus had wider literary interests.
He was deeply attached to the East African region and has
written vividly about his life there.
An account of his early years in Kenya appeared in the US
based journal ‘Transition (issue 73, 1998)’.
A shorter version appeared in two parts in the Digest (Oct
98, Jan 99) under the heading ‘Growing up in Colonial Kenya’.
There was a fine review ‘Saving Africa from the Africans’
in the literary journal ‘Wasafiri (1998)’.
It was a critique of Hollywood representations of Africans in
Another delightful piece, ‘On Golliwogs and Flit Pumps’,
appeared in ‘Jouvert (1998)’.
It recounts how assorted British products foisted on colonial
subjects became household names.
Klaus’ research output was considerable.
Though he could not make it to the millennium, at least five
of his articles are due to be published this year, four of them
I first met Klaus in 1984 in Papua New Guinea in 1984 where I
taught at the University.
Klaus had joined the Institute of Applied Social & Economic
We soon undertook joint research work.
He had to cut short his stay in PNG because he caught a
virulent strain of malaria.
But we kept much in touch.
Klaus’s paternal grandfather, John Baptista, was business
He came to Africa in late 19th century and began trading in
hides and skins in Kericho (Kenya).
Klaus’ father Alfonso was the second of eight children, six
of them girls.
Alfonso trained as a barrister but later gave it up in favour
of chicken farming in Mombasa.
There were two children, Klaus and an older girl, Claudia.
Klaus had just one son, Aneel, now about 13.
Though his marriage ended in divorce, the couple stayed on
His ex-wife came down to Charleston when Klaus’ condition was
getting worse and his son (who lives with the mother in New
Jersey) visited Klaus regularly.
Aneel kept asking him about life in East Africa, relatives
and so on.
Klaus obliged by writing a highly readable 177- page account
‘A Colonial Boyhood: Growing up in Three Different Worlds’
just for his son.
There are some 100 photos of family, relatives, friends and
places of interest.
It was published in September 1999 and copies were
distributed to relatives and friends.
To those who knew him, Klaus was a kind, warm hearted and
generous person, deeply concerned about issues of social
Aneel must no doubt feel proud to have had such a father.
Marci Pereira - Project: "Archiving Memories of
Mombasa Goan School/ Sacred Heart School"
Klaus de Albuquerque. A well known scholar and teacher. His
enduring professional legacy is his research on Caribbean