On the ocassion today of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere's 13th death anniversary, I share a few thoughts on Tanzania's founding president, a leader who has not olny left a lasting impression on Tanzania's political landscape but has captivated the attention of admirers and detractors beyond Tanzania.
“There are many good and honest people who believe that those ideas, which in this country are associated with my name are now dead and should be properly buried. You will not be surprised to hear that I disagree! Great ideas do not die so easily; they continue nagging and every human society in history ignores them at its own peril. And I can say this without inhibition or pretended modesty because in a very real sense they are not my ideas. I never invented them. I am simply a believer, like many other believers, in the world and in human history. I believe in the equality and dignity of all human beings, and the duty to serve, their well-being as well as their freedom in a peaceful and co-operative society. I am an ardent believer in the freedom and welfare of the individual. As I speak to you now I am asserting my own individuality, in a sense of community and fellowship with all other human beings wherever they may be. “Binadamu wote ni ndugu zangu”. That was not something that was said lightly. It came from a firm and profound belief in the nature and dignity of the Animal called the Human Being. I repeat: those ideas are not mine; but I am a believer. I have articulated them and will continue to articulate them with passion.”