Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere and the Making of Tanzania

Joseph Waryoba Butiku


This article is about Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere. It examines the main ideas that propelled his decision to become a full-time politician (1954) and establish a political party – The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and use it to mobilize the people of Tanganyika to demand independence from the British. The article examines a number of related issues and themes in the history of Tanzania and Nyerere’s contributions to it. It starts with a section on Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere – the person , where it shows who Mwalimu Nyerere himself said he was, the ideas and principles he stood for, and the way he elaborated and used them to mobilize the people of Tanzania for independence. It notes the sacrifices he made in keeping with what he said he was, for instance by resigning from important positions of responsibility for different reasons at different times. The paper then elaborates on Nyerere’s fundamental principles and beliefs: that people (men and women) are the purpose of society, and that modern states could and should be established on the basis of the principles of the traditional African society. In the last section, the paper elaborates on the type of nation Nyerere wanted to build and provides reflections on Nyerere’s achievements and disappointments as leader of an African country in the early independence period.

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