Renowned Tanzanian academic and writer Professor Euphrase Kezilahabi, whose works were a staple in the Kenyan secondary curriculum, has breathed his last, BBC Swahili has reported.

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His 'Mayai Waziri wa Maradhi' short story was studied by secondary school students in Kenya between 2008 and 2010.

His other works include Rosa Mistika, Nagona, Mzingile, Dunia Uwanja wa Fujo (Novel), Dhifa (Poetry) and Kaptula la Marx (play),  and Gamba la Nyoka.

Media reports say that the Swahili writer died after a long bout with illness at a hospital in Dar es Salaam where he was undergoing treatment.

Kezilahabi was born in 1944 and worked as a lecturer at a university in Botswana.

News of his death was confirmed by Edmund Makaranga Mkangi, a relative of the legendary writer.

Among high profile Kenyan writers who mourned his passing was Ken Walibora, another titan of Swahili literature.

"'The world of literature has lost a prolific writer, a man whose contribution is so huge for those who love Swahili literature. His use of language was simple with hidden meaning that required the reader to think deeply to get to the bottom of what he meant

(Ulimwengu wa Kiswahili umepoteza nguli, mtu ambaye mchango wake ni mkubwa sana kwa jumuia ya wapenda fasihi ya kiswahili na lugha yake''.''lugha yake aliyokuwa akitumia ni maneno rahisi yenye maana ya kujificha, yana falsafa ya kina kirefu yanayokufanya ufikiri anachokimaanisha)'' Walibora said as quoted by BBC Swahili on its news portal.