PROFESSOR Venkatesh Seshamani, who died last Wednesday, July 3, was yesterday cremated in Lusaka, with several notable figures eulogising him.
Prof Seshamani, 72, was working since 1982, in the economics department at the University of Zambia (UNZA).
Socialist Party 2021 presidential candidate Dr Fred M’membe, who was at the cremation ceremony, told The Mast afterwards that Prof Seshamani was his lecturer.
“Professor Seshamani taught me in econometrics, which was the most difficult course for me, when I was doing my Masters’ programme. He simplified it for me, I followed and passed,” Dr M’membe said.
“He was an extremely helpful person, full of simplicity, unparalleled humility – a complete intellectual – who believed in sharing his knowledge with others. Professor Seshamani’s knowledge has reached many people in this country and this world.”
He added that most Zambian senior economists today were Prof Seshamani’s former students.
“Anybody who learnt economics in Zambia, especially at the University of Zambia, has passed through Professor Seshamani’s hands. I’m one of his products,” he said, adding that Prof Seshamani’s contributions on issues of research, poverty and justice stood out.
“Also you see that in his in former students; Professor Seshamani was loyal to his students, kept track of his former students. For me, when we started the Socialist Party project, Professor Seshamani was always trying to find out what we are doing and sending me this and that paper. He had so much data about anything. On issues of poverty, he was feeding me with all the literature that I need. I’ll always miss him.”
UNZA acting deputy vice-chancellor Professor Mundia Muya described Prof Seshamani as a dedicated teacher and outstanding researcher “who was an inspiration to all of us.”
“Within the department of economics, he was key in providing intellectual leadership and mentoring staff…” noted Prof Muya.
Meanwhile, head of the UNZA economics department Professor Manenga Ndulo said: “Sesh used to tell me ‘I’m a Zambian in spirit. India is my land of birth and Zambia is a land of action.”
“Sesh was very happy about his work at UNZA, despite certain times of frustration. Sesh stood his ground…. He was very worried about the poverty in Zambia and the current inequalities….” said Prof Ndulo.
Prof Seshamani, who was born in Mumbai, India in 1947, left two children and a wife, Lalitha