Mamade Kadreebux is a world traveler and self-styled painter, poet and photographer. He is also a storyteller; and has authored five books of profound literary and poetic quality: Journey to Ancient Arabia, Life in the Shadows, The Book of Journeys, Following the Muse, and Destiny.
Today Kadreebux is well known and loved in Berkeley, California As a Muslim community leader and spiritual pioneer. he founded and hosts a modest but highly significant movement at his home called 'Friday Nights Free'. These non-alcoholic weekly gatherings allow people of any faith--including agnostics and atheists--an opportunity to enjoy food, friendship, poetry, music; and intellectual, literary, political, and scientific discussion together. Mamade Kadreebux is also revered as a great master orator and as an enigma as most great masters are
Mamade left his homeland of Mauritius--a small island just east of Madagascar not even located on many maps--as a young man to accept a scholarship for higher studies in Pakistan. Little did he know then it was the beginning of a worldwide adventure, a voyage of self-discovery with humility as its destination. Less than a year after arriving for his education in Pakistan he left, with the equivalent of only 12 in his pocket, and embarked on a journey to find himself.
Mamade traveled the globe for many years. He hitchhiked through two continents, traveling without tickets on the train, walking, beating the freezing cold, and resisting the blinding sun. His feet were often swollen from years of walking. Mamade never carried a map. For him, traveling was a form of learning. "It was perhaps the best school. I didn't even know where I was going. I was just living from day to day," Kadreebux says. "And then I couldn't go back."
Along the way he photographed some of the most secluded places in the world. His images were taken in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the Sahara Desert, and the Bandiagara cliffs of Mali, home to the Dogon people.
Kadreebux returned from his travels with a wealth of experiences, including a new talent for cooking and world languages. He speaks French, Creole, Spanish, English and broken Urdu and Arabic. His rare photographs have been shown in England, Iceland, California and Mauritius among other places in the world. Now more than 70 years old, Mamade also become a self-styled painter. He says, "If, through photography and my paintings, I can uplift their hearts, if I can communicate through images, bring inspiration, comfort, and solace; I'd be thankful that my mission has been accomplished."