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Celebrations in memory Mwalimu Nyerere in Tanzania

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When is Mwalimu Nyerere Day?

Mwalimu Nyerere Day is a public holiday in Tanzania observed on October 14th each year.

This holiday commemorates the death of Julius Nyerere, the “father of the Nation”, on this day in 1999.

History of Mwalimu Nyerere Day

Julius Nyerere was born in March 1922. After working as a teacher, he was a founder member of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) and became a strong voice in the struggle for independence of Tanganyika from Britain. 

After independence was gained, he became the first Prime Minister of Tanganyika from 1961 to 1962 and its first President from 1963 to 1964. 

When Tanzania was formed by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, Nyerere became its first president, ruling from 1964 to 1985.

Nyerere did create a one-party state and there have been accusations of economic mismanagement and detaining his opponents without trial. Despite these misgivings, his rule brought stability to the country after independence and his legacy is viewed favourably by most Tanzanians. He is often described as the “Father of the Nation” and Mwalimu, his honorific Swahili title means “Teacher”, reflecting the regard in which is he was held.

Did you know?

Nyerere translated two plays by William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice and Julius Caesar, into Swahili.

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