from GOATHERD to GOVERNOR:The Autobiography of EDWIN MTEI. Brief Book Review


from GOATHERD to GOVERNOR: The Autobiography of EDWIN MTEI. By Edwin Mtei.

Publisher: Mkuki na Nyota,  October 2009.

A brief book review.

This is a new book officially launched on 27th October 2009 at British Council by Reginald Mengi. It is a story well and timely written by Mtei himself, aptly titled from GOATHERD to GOVERNOR: The Autobiography of EDWIN MTEI, revealing his life from a boy who looking after his families’ goats at Marangu Moshi (sharing with his mother and sister a bed covered with dry banana stalks as a mattress) to a senior person serving as the first Governor of Bank of Tanzania, Minister of Finance and later Executive Director of IMF (based at Washington DC and probably sleeping in 5 start hotels around the world).

Mzee Mtei has done a commendable work for documenting his life and times give information about facts and situation which were not well know or clear to some if not majority. He is also making records straight. In Chapter 17: Events Leading to My Resignation, he recounts his role in negotiation between Tanzania and IMF and WB. The proposal included programme of adjustment measures and the provision of credit facility to support on balance-of-payment. Keys areas which I think were reason for differing with President Nyerere was on devaluation of Tanzania Shilling and change in ownership and or operation of publicly-owned corporation which by then were bankrupt or making loss. Mzee Mtei narrates about a courtesy visit he and negotiation team paid to Nyereres’ residential place. During the talk, Nyerere was unhappy and agitated, he thanked the IMF delegate and abruptly stood and left them standing at meeting places and walked to the beach. Mtei followed him to beach, where Nyerere told him “I will devalue the Shilling over my dead body”. After this meeting, it when Mtei realised he could not cross over Mwalimu who rejected Tanzania being ‘run’ from Washington. He decided to tender his hand-written resignation letter as it was on public holiday and no secretary to type it.

After getting the book I just read the introduction, Chapter One: My Life in Summary and due to curiosity of his resignation went to read Chapter 17 and some few chapters. He started writing the book in 2004, but due to many reasons, he had some breaks and postponing but finally it has launched and he is working on its translation to Kiswahili (which is very usefully, as many will have chance to read it).

The book is not about Mtei alone, but his times, people and social, political and economics of various historical events and trends. His commitment to write the book will contribute to their understanding and make us reflect and think more about them. Most of chapters are short and it contains allot of interesting pictures.

Though, I have just read some few chapters, but I recommend the book to everyone who wants to understand Edwin Mtei, his times and get information of his role in establishing Bank of Tanzania and CHADEMA.

In his launching speech Mr. Mengi characterized, Mzee Mtei as: honest (who calls a spade spade), person of integrity, courageous and intellectual stubborn.

This is my brief review; full book review is yet to come after finishing it, hoping it will be soon rather than later.

The book is now available at Google Books.

The book is sold by Mkuki na Nyota and at Amazon.

©Adam Jackson Foya

Published in: on October 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Invatation on today’s event to honor Mwalimu’s Life@SOMA BookCafe

SOMA Book Café in collaboration with Wanazuoni Informal Network would like to invite to you at event of remembering the life of Mwalimu Nyerere.

Topic of discussion: 10 years after Mwalimu: Roles and Challenges of Youth in Leadership.

We will have three young person who are in different leadership role to share with us their experience.

There will be song performance and following poems will be recited:

  • The Days of Mwalimu by Kenneth Kolowa
  • But Dear Mwalimu by Neema Ndunguru
  • Mwalimu Wewe ni Nani? by Adam Foya

When: Today Friday 16th October 2009.

Time: From 5pm

Where: SOMA Book Café located Mlingotini Close, Plot no 53 Regent Street off Chato Street Regent Estate.

Drinks and food will be available at affordable price.

Few of Mwalimu publication will be provided for free.


You are all Welcomed

Published in: on October 16, 2009 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Download Bonus:Hotobu za Mwalimu J.K.Nyerere

Hotuba za Mwalimu Nyerere

Dada Subi of has done a wonderful job of collecting Mwalimu’s speech. Go to her blog to get link where you can download those speeches:


Thank you very much


Published in: on October 15, 2009 at 10:10 am  Comments (5)  

Nyerere: Education for Liberation

Tomorow is 10 years since Mwalimu’s body died. His ideas and philosophy lives. Let honor him by celebrating his life and thinking on what he used to stand upon.

This is part of speech during Dag Hammarskjold Dar Es Salaam, 2oth  May 1974, from Nyerere on Education Vol.I

Education has to liberate the African from the mentality of slavery and colonialism by making him aware of himself as an equaly member of human race, with rights and duties of his humanity. It has to liberate him from the habit of submitting to circumstances which reduce his dignity as if they were immutable.And it has to liberate him from the shackles of techinical ignorance so that he can make and use the tools of organization and creation for development of himself and his fellow man”
Wishing Nice Celebration on Mwalimu’s Life
Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Days of Mwalimu by Kenneth Kolowa

Kenneth Kolowa is my school mate whom I never knew if he such a talented poet. Ken thanks for sharing with us.

On the periphery of a quill my hand seeks forbearance

And my mind acquiesces the need so to do

So I grant myself consent to recollect

A lot about a man with a great intellect

Mwalimu Nyerere of course

It has been years now and I still commit to memory

The days of dimness and how they gradually petered out

But when delicate mouth of wealth stranded on its pivots

For not a soul said money talks and bought impartiality

Take me way back

To when ignorance was to Mwalimu a nation’s rival

And fighting it was the order of the day

So my paterfamilias too went to school at no cost

To when recognition of a man’s tribe was of no significance

Than the color of his eyes and his nationality

To Mwalimu Nyerere of course

To when no leader lied to hide a lie

And still asked me for my vote

To the great fortitude of integrity boundaries

Corruption too was rather sleazy

When justice decided to go busy

Take me way back I beg you

To the days of Mwalimu

To the days of honesty put in use

Kenneth Kolowa

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Poem on Nyerere:Mwalimu Wewe ni Nani?

Mwalimu wewe ni nani?

Nilipo kuwa mdogo niliona picha zako,
Nilipo kwenda shule, tuliimba nyimbo juu yako,
Hata redioni nilisikia ukihutubia,
Vijiweni ulikuwa gumzo,
Mwalimu, wewe ni nani?

Wengine walikuita Mwenyekiti,
Kwa wote ulikuwa ni Rais,
Wengi tunakuita Baba wa Taifa,
Dunia inakujua kama Mwalimu,
Mwalimu, wewe ni nani?

Wajukuu wanakuita Babu,
Watoto wanakuita Baba,
Castrol na Shivji, watakuita Comrade!
Maria anakuita mume,
Mwalimu, wewe ni nani?

Msumbiji na Angola kwao u mkombozi,
Burundi na Rwanda kwao u mpatanishi,
Idi Amini kwake u mvamizi,
Mwalimu, wewe ni nani?

Je Mwalimu wewe ni picha za ukutani?
Au maneno mazuri katika nyimbo na hotuba?
Au ni ile sanamu pale New World Cinema?
Mwalimu, wewe ni nani?

Kama ni Mwenyekiti,
Je tu wanachama?
Kama ni Mwalimu,
Je tu wanafunzi?
Kama ni Baba wa Taifa
Je tu watoto ?

Kwako, Mwalimu ni nani? *

* Limendaikwa na Adam Foya, 13.Oktoba.2009

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 10:00 am  Comments (3)  

The Importance and Pleasure of Reading By Mwalimu J.K. Nyerere

[Speech during opening Printing Works and Books Warehouse, Arusha, 29th November 1965]. Excerpt from Nyerere on Education, Volume II, Edited by Elieshi Lema, Issa Omari and Rakeshi Rajani, published by Haki Elimu and E & D Limited.

…Now let me confess to a special pleasure that is a book store and book printing works which we are today opening in Tanzania. Book production is economically important to us. We spend a lot of money on education and greater number of necessary books which can be printed and published within the country, the less will be in the short-term cost in investment in people. We shall save foreign currency if our schools can be supplied with books which are printed here. When we pay for these books we shall also be paying wages to our own people and thus promoting further development within our territory rather than abroad. These are important factors and it was not without design that the Government, in Mr. Curtis’ words, dropped ‘certain broad hints’ to the printing company to encourage them to expand their operations in this country.

At the same time I have to admit to a personal pleasure at the thought of a good book production taking place in our country. Stored in books is accumulated knowledge of man and the earth he lives in, as well as the literature of different civilizations. In time I hope that our own African traditional stories and cultures will also be fully available in this form, and I was pleased to hear Mr.Moshi say that new books are being encouraged on these subjects. But in the meantime the books which are available can teach us, can inspire us, or can refresh our minds with pleasure of good story well told. Books can break down the isolation of our lives and provide us with a friend wherever we may be.

I think we have to try hard in Tanzania to cultivate literate citizens. It is a fact which we must recognize, that in dealing with modern world, children in Europe have two advantages over our children. One is the familiarity with mechanical things; the other, and perhaps even more important one, is familiarity with books. Too often in our society a person who sits down to read is accused of being lazy or being unsociable. This attitude we must change. When we get to the position where a man and his wife sit together in the evening each reading or reading to teach other, and when children are encouraged to learn out of school by reading books which are easily available, then we shall have made a big break-through in our development….

There are many ways which we can celebrate and honour life of Mwalimu Nyerere. I am doing so by reflecting and promote literacy. For today, let reflect on Pleasure of Reading (RP). Almost everyone understands the importance of reading in life, in the excerpt above Mwalimu says: “Stored in books is accumulated knowledge of man and the earth he lives in, as well as the literature of different civilizations”.

Through reading, one can acquire knowledge which can and should be used for personal and society development. Knowing the importance of education and reading, Mwalimu made them one of central pillar in his development policies. But Mwalimu is expressing a bit of different point of view which is the Pleasure of Reading. Normal we miss this point of view when we advocate for literacy and reading. “Reading for pleasure refers to reading that we to do of our own free will anticipating the satisfaction that we will get from the act of reading. It also refers to reading that having begun at someone else’s request we continue because we are interested in it. It typically involves materials that reflect our own choice, at a time and place that suits us”. (Clark & Rumbold ,UK National Literacy Trust 2006).

Research proves that RP contributes to among other things: improving skills on writing, grammar and text comprehension, vocabulary. It also improves our thinking and communication abilities. One factor for success of reading for pleasure from childhood is availability of Print-Rich Environment, this means people can get a book or anything which they like reading. Readers should have wider range of choice as people have different taste when it comes to reading.

My call for honoring Mwalimu’s life, let’s create Print Rich Environment and make reading a family and community activity.
Mwalimu, what was buried 10 years ago was your body but your ideas and philosophy lives forever.
We remember and miss you!!
Adam Jackson Foya
Rafiki wa Vitabu.

Published in: on October 9, 2009 at 10:48 am  Comments (2)  
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Anybody know of an African school that needs books

This was shared by Chambi Chachage in Wanazuoni

If you have any information contact the person below.

From: Cynthia Brantley
I am retiring and leaving my office by October 30. Does anyone know of
an African school or university that needs books? I would be happy to
learn of any. Cynthia Brantley

Wishing you all the best

Published in: on October 7, 2009 at 9:43 am  Comments (2)