Sally Ninham's timely book remedies this via her in-depth interviews with a cross section of Africa's senior Catholic churchmen. Their stories provide first-hand insights into the religious, political, social and economic situations in their countries.
Some of these leaders have played key roles in the midst of political turmoil, civil wars, rampant corruption and extreme poverty.
Dr Ninham, who travelled around Africa for the interviews, believes some "have perhaps already earned the right to stand alongside such Western heroes as Martin Luther King, Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. They are men who have committed their lives to justice, to freedom and to humanity without pausing for breath."