Mwalimu Nyerere's Qualities
Mwalimu Nyerere the hard and diligent Worker and Great Thinker
Mwalimu Nyerere was a thinker. He was also a teacher who eloquently explained in simple language the philosophy he adopted and the polices he advocated and implemented as Executive President of his nation for 24 years. His speeches and other writings are not therefore “ephemeral material” that loses meaning with the passage of time. His ideas and the underlying principles have remained important and relevant for our time and the future.
Mwalimu Nyerere as a professional Teacher and Writer
Mwalimu as President prolific writer and critical reader of every literature that came his way. He also translated the Roman Catholic Catechism and New Testament of the Holy Bible into Kizanaki language in his early years (1955).
Change and Justice
As Mwalimu passed the seals of office to his successor, Tanzania had achieved an international reputation as a united and peaceful country, proud of its sovereign independence and supportive of the principles of human equality, human dignity and freedom for individuals and nations within the context of their equal rights and responsibilities as members of the international community.
Lessons to be learned form Mwalimu Nyerere
During the 24 years of his rule Tanzanians had scored tremendous successes, so that it is not easy to list all of his achievements. Some of them are as follows:
The entire history of Mwalimu’s political career, has been a history of nation-building; building Tanzania by Tanzanians based on Tanzanians traditional roots, according to their own design.
Pioneer of Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar
Under Nyerere's leadership and co-operation and counsel form the late Mzee Abeid Aman Karume, the first President of Zanzibar and ASP, Tananzania managed to bring about the United Republic of Tanzania. Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere was the “Founding Father” as well as the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania, after the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar to form one sovereign state on 26th April, 1964. This union is also an example of what can be achieved in Africa as we strive to search for unity.
Free Universal Primary Education
Under Mwalimu’s leadership, people enjoyed free education in all schools, colleges and University. Universal Primary Education (UPE) program has meant that every school-age child in the country has a place in our schools until the programme was disrupted by the Structural Adjustment Programmes spearheaded by the Bretton Woods Institutions.
International Peace and Security
Mwalimu devoted his whole life working for international peace and security. Tanzania co-operates with progressive countries in the world, those committed to international peace and security on the basis of respect of the sovereignty of states. This was to remain the pillar of Tanzania foreign policy throughout his Presidency and did much to contribute in strengthening his movement and the group of 77 countries.
Leader by Example
Mwalimu Nyerere had more ordinary leadership qualities. He was the teacher and leader of the Party and the people. Most Tanzania and African leaders have learned form his example. He has also taught the people to face problems without fear and with courage, that they should be innovative in confronting problems and finding correct solutions to them.
He had always emphasized that what can be done today must not wait for tomorrow. That discipline must be accompanied with proper organization, planning and implementation mechanisms.
Believer in Good Neighborhood
Mwalimu had consistently spoken of good neighborliness if Tanzanian independence was to have any meaning. Among the pillars underlying this policy was non-aggression and non-inference in the affairs of neighboring states, of states all over Africa and the world.
A Man of the People
Mwalimu Nyerere continued to enjoy respect and indeed affection from the mass of the Tanzania people, including those who disagreed with his philosophy about the basic strategy for Tanzania's development. It is out of this background that there grew in Tanzania the idea of establishing a permanent tribute to Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere’s principles and the objectives he upheld throughout his life.
Led a Simple, Selfless Life
Mwalimu never used his position for personal gains. Instead, he chose to be selfless and earn his bread through his own sweat as stipulated in the Party Constitution.
Proponent of African Unity
The freedom fighter and the liberator Mwalimu Nyerere also stood firm in defense of African unity and independence, which he promoted passionately. After Tanganyika’s independence, he continued to fight for and contributed to the struggle for the independence of other African countries, most notably the long battle against Apartheid in South Africa.
Indeed, he vowed not to go to South Africa until Apart held had been overthrown and that is what happened. His consistent stand made Tanzania realize that the liberation for other African countries and particularly neighboring countries and humanity in general, helped to consolidate the country’s independence and humanity, peace and unity based on justice for all. His personal contribution and involvement in the liberation struggle resulted in the liberation of Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia.
Mwalimu’s efforts towards the liberation of the continent have earned Tanzania a respectable reputation the world over.