Nyerere, The Soul Of Tanzania

Nairobi, Kenya – Three months before the end of the last millennium, Africa’s arguably greatest leader-president breathed his last in a big city hospital, far away from the peasants who held him in awe and whom he loved to banter with so much.

On October 14, 1999, Africa woke to the sad news of the demise of Julius Kambarage Nyerere. He was 77, a tender age considering that his beloved mother died at the ripe old age of 100-plus years. His elder brother Wanzagi had died at the age of 86 and his maternal uncle died at the age of 96 years.

The founder-president of the Republic of Tanzania died at St Thomas Hospital in central London. He had been diagnosed with a rare terminal illness — lymphatic leukaemia — a disease that is primarily caused by persistent multiplication of the white blood cells in the blood.

The course of the disease is very slow, but towards the end, is one of extreme discomfort. It is probable Nyerere suffered great pain as he lay in his bed. To date, the ailment has no cure.

Even the magnanimously forgiving first president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, would not have kept silent in the face of the swamp of corruption his party, the ANC, which prides itself as a liberation movement, now finds itself deeply mired

Given his…

Continue reading

Nyerere on the quarterly review of comparative education

Julius Nyerere, the former and founding President of the United Republic of Tanzania, is known not only as one of the world's most respected statesmen and an articulate spokesman of African
liberation and African dignity but also as an educator and an original and creative educational thinker. Before launching his political career, he was a teacher, and as a result of his writings on
educational philosophy and the intimate interaction between his political leadership and educational leadership for the country, he is fondly and respectfully referred to by the title of "Mwalimu"
(teacher) by Tanzanians and others.

This is Gillette's view of him: Indeed, part of Nyerere's charisma lies in the fact that, before launching his political career with the founding of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954, he was a teacher and that his concept of his role as national leader includes constant reassessment, learning and explanation, i.e. education in the broadest sense. Since Independence, and particularly since the threshold year of 1967, Tanzania has been something of a giant in-service seminar, with Nyerere in the professor's chair (Gillette, 1977).

Many features of his educational philosophy have a universal relevance and have inspired many educators and educational and development organizations around the world. In particular, his
educational philosophy has often been regarded as an appropriate and rational educational…

Continue reading

Racial And Religious Tolerance in Nyerere’s Political Thought And Practice

Salma Maoulidi unpacks Nyerere's legacy in the realm of racial and religious tolerance. "As Nyerere became more exposed to politics and other races," she observes, "he attained the sophistication of tolerating mutual coexistence where acknowledging the humanity of others in lieu of settling scores informed a more encompassing political strategy." However, despite all his efforts and those of the liberation struggles, prevailing racial and religious tensions continue to find expression in post-independence Tanzania. Salma concludes that "Tanzania's inability to overcome the vestiges of racial and religious exclusion exposes the government's and the ruling party's inability (or unwillingness) to address racial and religious discrimination that continues to dominate Tanzania's political culture in a forthright and objective manner."

What does racial and religious tolerance signify to a nation like Tanzania? Is it solely the absence of violent conflicts i.e. kisiwa cha amani ('island/pocket of peace') as described by the current 'political speak'; or is it the absence of grievances explained as peaceful coexistence? Specifically, what is the legacy of Mwalimu Nyerere with regards to the question of racial and religious tolerance in the larger political culture of Tanzania?

The literature revieed for this piece suggests strongly that the question of racial and religious tolerance has been glossed over. The fuzziness with which the…

Continue reading

Integrity and honor defined Nyerere

One of the most important and respected African leaders to emerge out of the colonial era has passed away. Julius Nyerere, the former president of Tanzania, died of leukemia at age 77 on Oct. 14.

By Clarence Lusane <clusane@american.edu>, 19 October 1999

It is easy to be loved when one has an endless record of successes. Nyerere did it the hard way. He led Tanzania as its first president from 1962 until 1985 and he is as much noted for his mistakes as for his achievements.

As a contemporary of Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda, Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah and others from the liberation movement era of the 1950s and early 1960s, Nyerere flowered in a period of transition in Africa that saw black majorities come into power grappling with all the problems of development and democracy that colonialism had left behind. Nyerere's solution was what he called "African socialism." For Nyerere, this meant nationalizing property, banks and large plantations, as well as efforts at collective farming and one-party rule. Although Nyerere's policies did make Tanzanians more literate and healthier than before, they failed to eradicate Tanzania's poverty.

Nyerere sometimes mistakenly supported nationalist-talking African leaders such as the former Ugandan President Idi Amin, who was a butcher of the first order. He atoned for this by sending in Tanzanian troops to overthrow Idi Amin in 1979.

While as president and after his retirement,…

Continue reading

The Genius with Julius Nyerere

Mwalimu Julius Nyerere

Julius Nyerere, the former President of Tanzania and architect of Tanzania's Independence movement, is one of the few African leaders that will receive a favorable mention in history. From 1962 when he became president until his retirement in 1985--the first African leader to do so voluntarily--Nyerere worked to free the continent of Africa from white minority rule, and for closer ties between African states. He instilled a sense of limitless possibility among Tanzanians and Africans in general, and took wise steps to diminish the impact of ethnic identification in Tanzanian society. Nyerere's advocacy of self-reliance introduced a new paradigm for development in Africa

Author: Muna Kangsen

Julius Kambarage Nyerere was born on April 13, 1922 in Butiama, on the eastern shore of Lake Victoria in northwest Tanganyika. He was the son of a minor chief of the Uzanaki, a small ethnic group in Tanzania. Nyerere excelled in primary school and was permitted to study at Tanganyika's only secondary school at Tabora, a place he subsequently described as being "as close to Eaton as you can get in Africa". Nyerere received a scholarship to study at Makerere College in Uganda in the early in 1940's. He graduated in 1945 with a teaching degree and taught for several years in Makerere, where he helped found the Tanganyika African Association, a civic organization that assumed a greater political role as Tanganyika moved closer to its independence…

Continue reading

J.K.Nyerere talks with Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Mwalimu Nyerere
American Award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent for National Public Radio, and the Public Broadcasting

Published in December of 1996, is the talk that journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault had with former Tanzanian President Julius K. Nyerere about seeking an end to ethnic conflict in the Great Lakes Region of Africa.

ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: Next, Charlayne Hunter-Gault concludes her series on the origin of the crises in Central Africa. She talks with Julius Nyerere, a key figure in efforts to bring peace to the region.

CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Julius K. Nyerere, the 74-year-old former president of Tanzania and one of Africa's most respected elder statesmen, led his country to an independence in 1961 and presided over it until 1985. Searching for a development path for his dirt-poor country, he introduced a governing concept that was meant to meld socialism with traditional tribal government. He called it "Ujamaa," Swahili for familyhood.

Through benign one-party rule and emphasizing racial and tribal harmony and moralistic self-sacrifice, Nyerere unified Tanzania from a far flung collection of tribes into a nation. But the country faltered. After Nyerere stepped down from power in 1985, the country was in shambles, and the socialist experiment was viewed as a failure. Nyerere resigned voluntarily after serving four terms. He handed over power to a constitutionally chosen successor, one of the few peaceful transitions in a region dominated by military governments and coup d'etats.
Rwanda and Burundi.


Continue reading

Julius Kambarage Nyerere : How Much War?

This is a transcript obtained from the Time magazine. Read through the mind of Mwalimu about liberating Zimbabwe then and the then East African Community.

This was published on Monday, Mar. 14, 1977

What would happen if South Africa intervened militarily to prop up the white minority regime of Prime Minister Ian Smith in Rhodesia? Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere's answer: the five "frontline" African states that support Rhodesia's black nationalist guerrillas might well invite Soviet or Chinese intervention.

For Nyerere, 55, who led his country to independence 16 years ago, the simmering guerrilla war in Rhodesia overshadows matters much closer to home. Besides the problem of his socialist nation's faltering economy, he is confronted with the collapse of the East African Community that bound Tanzania with neighboring Kenya and Uganda in economic union, and the open hostility of Ugandan Dictator Idi Amin Dada, who accuses him of plotting an "invasion" in cahoots with former Ugandan President Milton Obote. Nonetheless, the future of southern Africa remains Nyerere's main concern, as he made clear in an hour-long interview with TIME Correspondent Lee Griggs last week at his two-story villa in Dar es Salaam:

Q. Will the insurgency in Rhodesia develop into full-scale war?
A. It is no longer a question of whether there will be war but of how much war. How much armed pressure is necessary…

Continue reading