Rushdu Atala: South Africa’s first aviator of colour

A new article published by University of Cape Town (UCT) African studies scholar Dr Halim Gençoğlu reveals a tantalising story about the country’s first aviator of colour, Muslim Abu Bakr Rushdu Atala. He was a cousin of anti-apartheid and civil rights activist Zainunnisa “Cissie” Gool, after whom UCT’s Cissie Gool Plaza is named.

Gençoğlu’s research has been published in the Bulletin of the National Library of South Africa, vol. 74, no 1, June 2020. It follows other scholarly articles about the history of early Ottoman families such as the Effendis…

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