There are only a few such personalities which are born once in a century and one of them is Ibrahim Joyo. He is known as the father of Sindhi Literary Movement, who died on November 9, 2017 at the age of 102.
This literary genius, educationist and writer’s services and contributions to the country spanned almost a century. He wrote, translated and edited hundreds of books which are his greatest assets.
He once said in an interview:
“I have never asked for royalty for my books because my intention has always been to enlighten the people with knowledge.”
He was the founder of Sindhi Writers Cooperation Fraternity, Sindh Friends Circle, Servants of Sindhi Society, Sindh Education Trust and Shaikh Ayaz Foundation. He also co-founded numerous other organizations and institutions such as the Sindhi Language Authority.
Joyo was born in 1915 in Abad village presently located in Jamshoro district and received his education there from a local school. For higher education he went to Bombay where he acquired a Bachelor’s degree in teaching in 1941. When he returned, he introduced himself as a Marxist (a supporter of the political and economic theories of Karl Marx) and continued teaching in Sindh Madrassatul Islam in Karachi, where he was teaching back in 1938.Inthe same year, his first book, Save Sindh: Save Sub-Continent from Feudal Lords, Capitalists and Communalism was published. He wrote his first literary essay, Birds of a Cage, in Sindhi at the age of 14.
Ibrahim Joyo was a person who loved simplicity and his love for books was unexplainable. Regardless of his old age, the reading habit has not changed even though the quantity of reading material had decreased to a few. While giving an interview to a TV channel he said:
“I have no interest in television or newspapers. But I still read books with the same interest as in my youth.”
Joyo had written almost 52 books which includes the translations of Rousseau, Plutarch, Voltaire, Paulo Freire, TS Elliot, Shelley, Rabindranath Tagore, Stefan Zweig and Francis Bacon, and also edited over 50 books of many writers and poets. He was the editor of Sindhi Literary Magazine in 1950s and greatly enriched Sindhi Literature by poets and writers such as Sheikh Ayaz. He also wrote long preferences for him explaining the themes of his poetry. He wrote books on various genres such as folk stories, drama, religion, history, politics, Sufism and women rights as well.“WehshiJeevat Ja Nshan” was one of his famous writings. He had also translated many European books.
In 2013, he was awarded by the Pakistan Academy of Letters for his literary work and was also awarded many honorary degrees from various universities.
His lifelong contributions to the field of education, teaching, learning and writing were his political service for the people, according to him. His life will truly be an inspirationfor future generations.