Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, son of Chief Nyerere Burito of the Wazanaki, was born on 13th April, 1922, at Butiama, a village 26 miles outside Musoma Town in Northern Tanzania, near Lake Victoria. Though a son of a chief, his thinking was not affected by chiefly privileges. Rather the democratic process influenced him. This upbringing laid a firm foundation for Nyerere’s exemplary national leadership. He remained uncorrupted by fame or position throughout his life.
1933 – 1940: Primary Education
Nyerere walked to Musoma at 12 years of age to begin schooling at Government Primary School at Mwisenge.
1941 – 1942: Secondary Education
He joined Tabora Government Secondary School and passed Standard Ten Territorial Examination. He was a School Senior House Prefer and a member of School’s Boy Scouts Troop.
1943 – 1945: Higher Education
He was sent on scholarship to Makerere University College in Uganda. He was awarded a Diploma in Education, specializing in the teaching of Biology and English.
1949 – 1952: Continued Higher Education
He was awarded a scholarship to Edinburgh University in Scotland where he graduated with a Master of Arts Degree. Throughout his school career, Nyerere participated in debates on different subjects pertaining to people’s development besides his outstanding academic work. In the debates, he demonstrated courage and outstanding ability to analyze issues and argue convincingly. He defended the cause of women’s emancipation, the importance of education, human equality, harmony within and between races and ethnic groups, human rights, and justice. He demonstrated that education is not meant to alienate a person form his family and village life. In this respect, Julius Nyerere was a unique intellectual.