A former slave teaches the world Kanuri grammar (1854).
Former slave Ali Eisami Gazirma’s teachings formed the basis of Sigismund Koelle’s Grammar of the Bornu or Kanuri language (London: Church Missionary House, 1854). Gazirma was a teacher and interpreter for Koelle, a Christian missionary.
"My interpreter, who furnished me with the materials on which the grammar is based is ‘Ali Eisami Gazirma, i. e. Ali of Gazir, whose mother was Eisa, or, according to his English name, William Harding, a man of good common sense, of more than ordinary strength of memory, and of an unblameable moral character, although he is merely a baptised Christian, without making any special profession of religion. The portrait facing the title page faithfully represents him, as he was sitting with me in my study, from eight to twelve and from one to four, day after day, during the sixty-first, sixty-third, and sixty-fourth years of his age.” (page vii, preface) Pictured above is the engraved frontispiece and title page.