On this day in 1922, Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the prime minister of an independent Tanganyika and the first president of Tanzania was born. This article has been edited and was first published on October 14, 2018.
One of Africa’s leading independence heroes and the major force behind the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union), Nyerere was a politician of principle and intelligence who was willing to work with different groupings and he would use these traits to lead his country to independence in 1961 without much bloodshed.
The soft-spoken and quick to laugh personality would later become popular across the continent due to his African socialist philosophy (ujamaa) which revolutionized Tanzania’s agricultural system.
Widely known by the Swahili honorific title ‘Mwalimu’, meaning teacher, Nyerere was credited with impressive oratorical skills and unusual powers of political perception. He died of Leukemia in London after his retirement from political office in 1985.
Here are seven of the powerful quotes he left Africa with in his quest for the continent’s unification and development: