Tag Archives: history

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.  Continue reading

The centre cannot hold

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”

from The Second Coming (1919), by William Butler Yeats.

A personal crisis, a nervous breakdown?

Inspiration for a ground-breaking literary masterpiece?

A view of early 20th century European politics that seems to bear ominous relevance to present day Tanzania?

Proof that poets can describe the second law of thermodynamics?

Or all of the above?

Preparing for spontaneity: Kissinger and Nyerere in the Wikileaks cables

The folks at Wikileaks have just released another huge batch of US diplomatic cables, this time dating from 1972-1976. They’re calling them the Kissinger Cables, after the controversial US Secretary of State at that time.

With nearly two million cables, this is a vast resource for historians with an interest in US diplomacy at the height of the cold war.

There are over 4,000 cables sent from Tanzania, as well as nearly 11,000 cables sent to the country, making it rather more than an afternoon’s work to look through. But skimming through, there’s clearly a wealth of information here, most particularly on Tanzania-Uganda relations during this difficult period, and on President Nyerere’s views (privately expressed to various US diplomats) on African politics.

But as with the previous release of US diplomatic cables, it’s the little details that are most intriguing. Continue reading