Tributes to
J. Desmond Clark


In the 1970s and 1980s if one wanted to study African archaeology, the University of California, Berkeley was one's first choice. Why? Because Professor J. Desmond Clark was there. I am one of the few African students who had never met him before being admitted to Berkeley. So I looked forward to our first meeting with great anticipation and a bit of fear. I had read so much about his achievements and I knew so little about archaeology that I dreaded the day. But the day had to come and it did. He was on sabbatical in 1975-76 and was based at Palo Alto. He and Betty drove all the way to Berkeley not just to see me but to pick me up to spend the night with them at their house so that we should know each other better. He went out of his way to make me feel at ease. A lot has been written and a lot more will be written about Desmond Clark's achievements and contribution to African archaeology. One of his greatest achievements however, is his Africanization of African archaeology by training African archaeologists. Desmond Clark was instrumental in encouraging Africans to study archaeology and to carry out research in their respective countries.He brought many African students to Berkeley. Between 1972 and 1984 he trained three Malawian students. During the same period Desmond was also training other African students from Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria. Today the Desmond African Graduates are contributing significantly to archaeological research, education, museum management, cultural heritage conservation and other areas of public service in their countries. Some of them are begining to have their own offspring ("Desmonds's professional grandchildren!"). That indeed is the mark of great success. Desmond's soul must be very happy where ever it is and may it rest in eternal peace.

-Yusuf M. Juwayeyi, Hunter College, City University of New York and former Commissioner for Culture and Ambassador of Malawi to the United Nations.