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Nyerere, Julius (1922–1999)

Ayokunle Olumuyiwa Omobowale

Subject History » Political History
Legal and Political » Political Philosophy

Place Africa » Southern Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics bibliography, leadership, nationalism, revolution, socialism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01121.x


Julius Nyerere emerged on the Tanganyika political landscape in the mid-1950s as the British prepared the country for political independence. Born on April 13, 1922 in Butiama village, Nyerere's father, Nyerere Burito, was recognized as a visionary who predicted the coming of the Europeans. And thus, when the first white man arrived, he was taken to Nyerere's father who confirmed that the white man was part of the new people he had talked about. Nyerere Burito was subsequently appointed a traditional chief by German colonial officials. After completing primary education in Tanganyika, Julius Nyerere went on to receive a diploma from Makerere University College in Uganda. From Makerere, Nyerere enrolled in the University of Edinburgh, where he earned a master's degree in the arts. Though he had western training, Nyerere's ideology diverged from the oppositional capitalist and socialist worldviews of the Cold War. The system evolved around what he termed African socialism. Since the 1960s, Nyerere's initiative was quite novel in the context of global politics to the extent that Tanganyika (later Tanzania) became first and foremost associated with Nyerere as the personification of the nation. Thus, in the words of historian Ali Mazrui, “A major element in the mystique of Tanzania is, of course Julius K. Nyerere himself.” Hence, starting from his ascension to power in 1961, to his voluntary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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