Reverend Dr. Dibinga wa Said, 80, passed away on Friday, August 14, 2020, surrounded by his children and grandchildren at the home of his eldest daughter, Musau Misenga wa Dibinga in Roslindale, Massachusetts after a short illness. Rev. Dr. Dibinga wa Said was born on February 19, 1940 in Luebo, Kasai province, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to his father Saidi Yenga Kakese and mother Muadi Bijimba wa Nfumu Misakabu, both of whom are deceased.
His educational achievements included obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from The College of Wooster in 1967, a Masters of Divinity from Harvard University in 1970, a Masters in Theology from Harvard University in 1971, a Doctorate in Theology from Harvard University in 1979, and a Doctorate in Philosophy from The Sorbonne in Paris, France in 1981. He could speak, read and write in English, French, KiSwahili, Lingala, and Tshiluba, along with possessing the ability to read and write in German, Spanish, Latin, and Hieroglyphics.
His professional experience included The PanAfrican Council (President), The Mindolo Ecumenical Foundation (Zambia, Executive Director), Bentley College (Assistant Professor, Philosophy Department), Boston College (Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Theology), Universite Nationale Du Zaire (Acting Academic Dean and Professor of Philosophy, Ethics and Social Sciences, and Harvard University (Teaching Fellow, Faculty of Arts & Sciences) .While a Professor at Boston College he established The Third World Studies Program, was Editor-in-Chief of The Black Literary Review, and counselled International Students. He was editor-in-chief and publisher of Omenana Publishing, and co-founded, along with his now widowed wife Dr. Ngolela wa Kabongo, a summer camp for Congolese youth in the early 1980’s in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was also one of the original organizers, along with Brother Sadiki Kambon, of the annual Community Kwanzaa events held in Boston. In February 2019, he was featured in The Faces of Divinity exhibit at the Andover-Harvard Theological Library for his leadership at the Harvard Divinity School.
He enjoyed playing soccer, advocating for freedom in his homeland and speaking out against global injustice such as Genocide in the Congo and Apartheid in South Africa, and writing and speaking at religious gatherings. Whether carrying a protestor sign, teaching in a classroom, or preaching at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church on Humboldt Ave in Roxbury, he was always challenging authority and societal “norms” where he saw fit. Reverend, Dr. Dibinga wa Said is survived by his wife of nearly sixty years Dr. Ngolela wa Kabongo and his children and their significant others - Said Yenga Kakese Makenga wa Dibinga, Musau Misenga Mua Tshibuabua wa Dibinga, Muadi Bijimba wa Dibinga, Shaumba-Yandje Masanga wa Dibinga and Taalib Robinson, Kabongo wa Dibinga and Csilla Ilkei, Kamanampata Balawebe wa Dibinga and Mary Dibinga, Omekongo Luhuka wa Dibinga and Kendra Blackett-Dibinga, Simba Sultani wa Dibinga and Janelle Dibinga, and Moumie wa Dibinga. He also leaves to live out his legacy his 12 grandchildren: Taalib-Said Dibinga-Robinson, Ngolela Saafi wa Omekongo, Shaumba-Subira Ngolela Dibinga-Robinson, Mzuri-Ngolela Rose Dibinga, Ndeji Nyla Muadi wa Omekongo, Ngolela Christine wa Kamanampata, Zoltan Simba Ilkei Dibinga, Yandje Katica Betu Ilkei Dibinga, Dibinga Said wa Kamanampata, Kasai-Kabongo Aubrey Dibinga, Yenga Kakese wa Omekongo, and Jalani-Musau Alecia Dibinga. He also leaves behind a host of close friends such as Minister Don Muhammad, students and relatives in the United States and the Congo.
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