Another good and timely book about Mwalimu Nyerere. Below are words from Chambi Chachage one of the Editor sent through Wanazuoni Network.

I am almost half way reading it and its book review will come as soon as possible.


It is indeed a great honour to introduce to you a new book on Africa’s Liberation: The Legacy of Nyerere. This publication is but a modest tribute to Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. It revisits his revolutionary ideas which continue to inspire all those who still wish Africa well.

The process of publishing the book has truly been a collaborative pan-African initiative. Authors from the continent and beyond have contributed chapters that address issues that were close to Mwalimu’s heart and mind – issues that still concerns all of us today. This augurs well with Mwalimu’s wakeup call for Africa to embrace ‘Maximum Collective Self-Reliance’. Even the name of the publisher attests to this: Pambazuka Press. This Kiswahili name means dawn-awake!

In this book you will engage with the multidimensional thought and practice of Mwalimu. You will get a glimpse of his attempts to finely balance the protection of human rights and the dispensation of justice which do not necessarily go together. Our leading human rights theorists and activists, Helen Kijo-Bisimba and Chris Maina Peter, have taken up that challenge of presenting this controversial subject in a balanced way. Their chapter helps us to understand how and why Mwalimu did “whatever” he “did that could be interpreted as violating human rights.”

Mwalimu was not just a politician. He was also an intellectual. That combination produces what the late Haroub Othman refers to as ‘an intellectual in power.’ His chapter highlights how Mwalimu juggled with power that is often claimed to corrupt. How did he escape unscathed?

Those who worked closely with Mwalimu in the international arena reminisce on his global impact. Chief Emeka Anyaoku, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, tell us of Mwalimu’s wins and losses in the diplomatic battles. A former Deputy Secretary General of the then Organisation of African Unity, Mohammed Sahnoun, also recount the victories and setbacks that Mwalimu and the Frontline States encountered in the course of liberating Africa.

Time will fail me to talk of the inspiring interviews that Mwalimu gave to Nawal El Saadawi and Ana Camacho; Of the powerful question that Neema Ndunguru’s poem ‘But Dear Mwalimu’ poses; and of other chapters that attempts to capture the many faces of Mwalimu – Mwalimu the Artist, Mwalimu the Educator, Mwalimu the Economist, Mwalimu the Historians and so forth.

So, I urge you to read the book for yourself for therein is the unearthed treasure that awakes Africa!

Read. Reflect. React.

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Comradely, Chambi

Published in: on April 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm  Comments (1)  
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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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Nyerere on Education

Living, Leaving and Working Cannot be SeparetedNyerere.Photo

The excerpt  from Ten Years After Independence, presented by Mwalimu Nyerere at TANU National Conference, Septmber, 1971.

“..a workers is [not] to become simply as appendage to a machine- endlessly tightening nuts or endlessly copy typing. And for a Tanzanian to be regarded in this way is simply as a ‘unit of production’ would be quite contrary to everything we are trying to do. It would be to treat people as an instrument of development instead of as masters of development”.

“must not blind us to the horrible fact that almost the same proportion of our children now as in 1962 fail to find a place in primary school … it would be criminal if we allowed our failure to be enveloped in education. Those children without school places must remain as real challenge to us for the future”

“ In a country dedicated to change we must accept that education and working are both parts of living and should continue from birth until we die. Then we may begin to deserve the praise that was given to Tanzania by man who said that our policy is ‘revolution by education’. At the moment, and despite our undoubted achievements, such praise refers more to what we say than what we do”

Published in: on July 31, 2009 at 2:01 pm  Leave a Comment