Nyerere Day, big boots and celebrations

Two cartoons in Nipashe newspaper offer commentary on the state of Tanzania 14 years after the death of Mwalimu Nyerere:

A celebration or a memorial? A celebration, says Mr Fisadi.

“A celebration or a memorial?” “A celebration, my brother,” says Mr Fisadi. From Nipashe 13/10/13.

Fourteen years ago today, my younger self went out for dinner out with my parents in Manchester. It was my birthday. We didn’t linger after finishing our meal, so we could get home in time for the 9 o’clock news. Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Mwalimu, had died that day. 

I had not yet set foot in Tanzania, but I was due to go just a few weeks later. I had been reading about Nyerere, devouring everything I could get hold of with a mix of fascination, astonishment, and, most of all, admiration. Here was a visionary, a genuine leader, a true giant on the world stage. Maybe his economics led Tanzania down some blind alleys and his domestic politics occasionally strayed towards the repressive, but his integrity was beyond doubt. Here was the president who left office with no more assets to his name than when he was first elected.

Looking back now, in a small and odd way that day was a key moment for me personally developing a connection with Tanzania. It was, of course, a much more significant day for Tanzania and Tanzanians, as these cartoons make clear.

UPDATE: One more, from the Citizen:

One thought on “Nyerere Day, big boots and celebrations

  1. Anonymous

    Please don’t kid yourself by believing all the propaganda about “Baba ya Taifa”- he was flying First Class on Swissair once a month to go meet his banker in Geneva. He was a conniving, wicked crook who closed down schools to keep everyone stupid so he wouldn’t be challenged.
    Don’t believe everything you read, especially the Nyerere propaganda! Educated people were celebrating when he died, only the villagers and those that were brainwashed were crying….

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