23 Years later, the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere legacy lives on

Every year on the 14th of October, Tanzanians commemorate the death of the ‘Father of the Nation’, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, who was the first President of Tanzania.

(FILES) Photo dated 28 June 1996 shows former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere during a press conference in Paris. The condition of Nyerere, in intensive care at a London hospital, is deteriorating after a stroke and he “cannot recover,” the country’s high commission (embassy) said in London late 13 October 1999. (Photo by PIERRE VERDY / AFP FILES / AFP)

Every year on the 14th of October, Tanzanians commemorate the death of the ‘Father of the Nation’, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, who was the first President of Tanzania.

Julius Kambarage Nyerere was born in March 1922 in Butiama Tanganyika (Tanzania at present) and died at the age of 77, and was buried in the village of Mwitongo Butiama in Northern Tanzania. He achieved the independence of Tanganyika in 1961 against British colonialism.

Tanganyika gained independence in 1961 under his leadership without shedding blood, something he was praised as one of the leaders who grew up with a socialist faith. Mwalimu Nyerere grew up believing in the philosophy of socialism and self-reliance. The life of Mr. Nyerere made various speeches in local and foreign meetings during his leadership and even after his retirement. Mwalimu Nyerere will be remembered as the Father of the Nation in various major things that he achieved.

The following are some of the things he liked to emphasize in his speeches during his lifetime:

  • Ethnicity – The issue of ethnicity is a sensitive issue that Nyerere touched on in many of his speeches. He once said “I met a mother and she told me she was working in the East African community, and we Ugandans grew up knowing each other by our tribes, Kenyans grew up knowing each other by their tribes, this one from Kikuyu, this one from Luhya. But we Tanzanians don’t know people’s tribes, I told my mother it was that time, right now Tanzanians want to know their tribes, why do you want to be famous? Our neighbors grew up imitating from Tanzania, now without shame we want to ask each other tribes? Mwalimu Nyerere in his speech at the 1995 CCM general meeting.

Nyerere criticized the issue of ethnicity every time he had the chance to speak and he did not want any questions like what tribe are you? In that he succeeded to a large extent, it is not usual in Tanzania to ask each other about ethnic issues.

  • Religion – This was largely delivered in his speeches, especially when he told leaders not to seek leadership by using religion. He once said “when these things that incite hatred of religion start and we give them a chance, there is no simile, when the time comes there is no one to stop it”.
  • Ignorance, disease and poverty – Mwalimu Nyerere emphasized on these three main things. He also added that if Tanganyika and later Tanzania succeed in ending them, then it will become one of the most progressive countries in the world. In the matter of fighting poverty Mwalimu Nyerere once said “this country is still for farmers and workers, we cannot be a country of people who demand and demand, I pray to my Tanzanian brothers, we are not too crippled, but the handicap is there, our leaders only demand and demand, the people are poor, the few are strong to lead this country are the only ones who demand it”.
  • Leadership – The values ​​of leadership is something that he prioritized, among them are leaders who can meet the expectations of Tanzanians. One of the quotes from his speech talking about the leadership is “Tanzanians want change, if they don’t get it within CCM, they will get it outside CCM, should you ask the question that he will fight corruption?” The answer should come from the heart, our country is poor yet it has not become rich, so we want to continue dealing with our poverty and the problems of the people, we want our country to have a clean leader”.
  • Unity – One of Mwalimu’s wishes was to unite the countries of East Africa, and to have a common leadership. Although he did not succeed in that, he succeeded in uniting Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1994. He said, “My hope grew to unite these countries of East Africa and to be one union, on the Zanzibar side, I spoke with Karume, he said that I am ready to call the newspaper people right now, I told him to do the procedures and we will succeed. In East Africa, we would have three governments of each country and a coalition government, that is, a combination and a coalition”.
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