“Dr. Julius Nyerere”
• Dr.Julius Kambarage “Mawalimu “Nyerere was born in March 1922 and died on October 14, 1999.
• He was the son of CHIEF BURITO NYERERE, of a small ethnic group known as the Zanaki, in Butiama in the Northern part of the former British Protectorate of Tanganyika.
• Dr. Julius Nyerere was popular known as ‘Mawalimu,’ because he was a teacher by profession.
• Educated at Makerere University in Uganda’s capital Kampala between 1943 and 1945 and the University of Edinburgh in England, 1949 and 1952, he taught in a mission high schools for a brief period of time.
• Dr. Julius Nyerere entered into politics in 1954, and founded the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), which steered Tanganyika attained independence through peaceful resistance against the British colonial rule.
• When Tanganyika because attained independence in 1961, Nyerere became the first Prime Minister and when Tanganyika became a republic in 1962, he was elected the country’s first president.
• Dr. Juluis Kambarage Nyerere brought Tanganyika and Zanzibar into a union. He thus became the first president of the United Republic of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985.
• Dr. Nyerere, voluntarily stepped down from the presidency in 1985 after most of the African continent had been liberated.
• During his active political life, Dr. Nyerere authored a policy of African Socialism (‘UJAMAA’ Meaning ‘family-hood’), characterized by economic self-reliance, egalitarianism, and local rural development.
• Dr. Mwalimu Nyerere strongly believed in human equality, freedom and unity. His philosophy was there must be equality amongst all people. According to him, only when there is equality will people work cooperatively. Dr. Nyerere believed that only when there is freedom in society will people want to be a part of that society, and that only when society is united can its members live and work in peace, security and well-being.
• Due to this philosophy, Nyerere maintained a deep respect for human rights and peace in a dangerous and unstable part of the world that Africa was known to be.
• An American officer at the United Nation during the early 60’s, described Dr. Nyerere as “a symbol of African hope, African dignity and African success.
• Emperor and Halie Sallassie I of Ethiopia, in 1963 described Dr. Nyerere as…”one of the able, modest, and democratic minded statesmen Africa has ever produced.”
• Dr. Julius Nyerere was the conscience of post-colonial Afica and its strategic leader.
• He is widely recognized as one of the most important African figures of the 20th Century from politics to economics, to language policy and education, Nyerere has had an important influence on development discourse and practice both in Africa and beyond.
• Dr. Mwalimu Nyerere was one of the most powerful forces among the founding Fathers of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU). He worked very closely with such leaders as : Emperor Hallie Salassie I, Of Ethiopia; General; Gamal Abdel Nassar, of Egypt; Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, of Ghana, Mr. Ahmed Sekou Toure, of Guinea; Mr. Leopold Sedar Senghor, of Senegal; Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Mr. Tafawa Belewa, both of Nigeria, to mention, but a few.
• Due to his commitment to the struggle in Africa during the early 1960s, Dr. Julius Nyerere offered sanctuary in Tazania to all African Liberation Movements that were waging armed struggled against colonial rule in their respective counties of origin. Liberation movements like: The African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan – Africanist Congress (PAC), both from South Africa; the Front for Liberation of Mazambique ( FRELIMO) from Mozambique; the Zambabwe African National Union (ZANU) and Zambabwe African People’s Union Organization (ZAPU), both from Zimbabwe; the South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) from Namibia; the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), from Angola; and many more, established their bases in Tanzania, until their countries became independent.
• Dr. Kambarage Nyerere was also a powerful force and one of the founding members of the policy of Non-Alignment that brought together most of the progressive third World Countries to resist any form of Western or Eastern Imperialism, during the Cold War Era.
• Dr. Nyerere was the first Chairman of the African Liberation Committee when it was formed in 1963.
• In collaboration with President William Jefferson Cilnton of America, Dr. Nyerere worked tirelessly to make sure that South Africa was independent and that Nelson Rohtilatla Mandela was released from prison.
• Before his death, on October 14, 1999 Dr. Julius Nyerere was the chairman of the Burundi Peace Negotiations, sponsored by the United Nations, to bring peace to the ethically divided nation of Burundi. It was by no accident, therefore that the only person who could fit into Nyerere’s shoes for the chairmanship of the Burundi Peace Negotiation post after his death, was a none other than President Nelson Mandela of South Africa. President Mandela has the charisma, respect, dignity, integrity and recognition that Dr. Nyerere was endowed with.
• As the great African American scholar Dr. John Henrick Clarke repeatedly used to say:” History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of today. It is also a compass that people used to find themselves on the map of human geography.”
• Ladies and gentlemen, the great Continent of Africa, your Motherland, was to a great extent emancipated, nurtured, and restored to its appropriate place of dignity as we see it today, by the outstanding, unflinching, strategic political and intellectual leadership of Dr. Julius Kambarage “Mawalimu” Nyerere of Tanzania. Mwalimu Nyerere’s wisdom unswerving dedication to African cause was the rock and the anchor upon which Africa’s freedom which has been built. In Tanzania, Dr. Julius Nyerere was known as “LION OF AFRICA.” He was the torch bearer of Africa’s Redemption. It is for the reason I stand here before you tonight to humbly propose the name of this great son called Africa, to be the name of Dr. Julius Nyerere, (through not very popular here in America), will take root and deservingly start to shine here in America and beyond.
• Remember, “NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF COMMITTED PEOPLE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD, INDEED IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT EVER HAS.”
Thomson Masosi Mwakyanjala