ISBN 9789987753222
Pages 448
Dimensions 230 x 150
Published 2022
Publisher Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania
Format Hardback

38 Reflections on Mwalimu Nyerere

edited by Mark J. Mwandosya, J.V. Mwapachu

Now avaialable in hardback, the novelty of this book is in the choice of individuals selected to be interviewed, the kinds of probing questions asked, and the quality of the conversations held. These led to the disclosure by the interviewees of details that would not normally have been known about Mwalimu. The individuals selected had each worked closely or lived with Mwalimu and, we believed, had unique insights and perspectives to share about him. It was an approach that we think evoked candid anecdotes that constitute the chapters of this book.

“He detested senseless and unmitigated loss of human life. I recall his conversation with Mzee Abeid Amani Karume in 1964. Mwalimu told him, “Sheikh, now that your revolution has been successful, and you are in power, please do not kill people, don’t kill, please don’t kill”. Karume responded, “Mwalimu, I understand what you are saying. However, some people are difficult to deal with”. Mwalimu insisted again, “No, No, No, don’t kill your citizens, don’t kill people.”

– Joseph Butiku

Mwalimu once told me, “Cleopa, if I were to become president again, I am sure we could do a lot of things”. When I asked him why, he said, “I have learnt one important lesson. Wherever I have gone, I have been reminded that you can’t have a good philosophy, idea or theory to restructure a society if that philosophy, idea or theory is not translated into the tummy, bread and butter.”

– Cleopa Msuya

“Before knowing Mwalimu closely, I had heard from some people that Mwalimu was a dictator. I discovered that the perception was false. At meetings, Mwalimu allowed maximum space and freedom to air views and to debate. Mwalimu was a good listener. Mwalimu made people feel free to speak out. We respected him.”

– Seif Sharif Hamad

“It is a gigantic task to reflect on and write about Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. How can one do justice to the remarkable leader and teacher that Mwalimu was? Even a year would not be enough to cover all aspects of the life and times of Mwalimu Nyerere, and the immense contribution he made to humanity; the man who Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda has described as, ‘the greatest black man that has ever lived’.” reflections.

– Mark J. Mwandosya

In the period between 1994 and 1996, I saw a man who was angry, disappointed and openly vocal about what he perceived as the erosion of ethical governance and entry of corruption in high office at that time. Mwalimu’s speeches to the Tanzania Press Club in Dar es Salaam on 14 March 1995 and at the ‘Mei Mosi’ (Labour Day) event in Mbeya on 1 May 1995 reflected grave concerns about the erosion of society’s values. He said it was as if the values had been struck by an earthquake. He even boldly talked about the State House being abused; turned into a ‘den of corruption’.

– Juma V. Mwapachu

“Mwalimu was a very humble man. He had a strong faith in Catholicism and went to church every morning. He rejected pomp; he was a simple man. He refused long motorcades. He limited the vehicles in his presidential motorcade to four. He discouraged stopping people on the road to allow presidential cars to pass. He hated the routine.”

– Mark Bomani

“I learned two things about Mwalimu. The first was that he was a master media manager, a quality some other contemporary leaders could well emulate. He spoke to journalists on his terms when he had something to say. Interminable lectures and harangues were not his style. The second point was that you gave Nyerere ultimatums at your own peril. His logic was disarming; his determination both forceful and occasionally somewhat chilling.”

– David Martin

“Mwalimu consistently preached about the importance of human dignity. He was not one of those politicians who did the opposite of what they preach. He walked the talk. He was a man who sincerely believed that all human beings are equal as creations of Almighty God.” – Anna Mwansasu “Mwalimu’s children were brought up to appreciate that they were just like any other Tanzanian children. He never wanted them to feel or appear special. In this aspect, therefore, he was very different from other African leaders. He was utterly selfless as an individual and as a leader.”

– Maria Kamm

“If Mwalimu Julius Nyerere was to be identified with just one cause to the exclusion of any others; that cause would be the fight for man’s emancipation and liberty, the total and unconditional opposition to all forms of domination and subjugation.”

– Jenerali Ulimwengu

“What comes out from my experience with Mwalimu is his continuous use of power and authority even when he was outside the government and CCM. He enjoyed a lot of respect for his leadership. He was listened to. His iconic stature and charisma were beyond description.”

– Pius Msekwa

“Mwalimu Nyerere hated corruption in all its manifestations. He believed that people had the right to change and, if need be, overthrow a corrupt and therefore unaccountable government.”

– Job Lusinde

“Mwalimu Nyererre kept his distance from hypocritical people.”

– Ibrahim Kaduma

“His monumental achievements for Tanzania and the people of southern Africa, and indeed beyond, cast into insignificance whatever errors Mwalimu might have committed as a human being.”

– Kenneth Kaunda

“I would simply say that Julius Nyerere was completely free of fear – fear of what people may think of him or putting on an image to the world as if he was saying to the world, ‘this is who I am.”

– Devaki Jain

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