Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Quotations


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The African is not ‘Communistic’ in his thinking; he is – if I may coin an expression – ‘communitary’. more…

We, in Africa, have no more need of being ‘converted’ to socialism than we have of being ‘taught’ democracy. Both are rooted in our past – in the traditional society which produced us. more…

If a door is shut, attempts should be made to open it; if it is ajar, it should be pushed until it is wide open. In neither case should the door be blown up at the expense of those inside. more…

In Tanzania, it was more than one hundred tribal units which lost their freedom; it was one nation that regained it. more…

If real development is to take place, the people have to be involved. more…

We spoke and acted as if, given the opportunity for self-government, we would quickly create utopias. Instead injustice, even tyranny, is rampant. more…

When we were at school we were taught to sing the songs of the Europeans. How many of us were taught the songs of the Wanyamwezi or of the Wahehe? Many of us have learnt to dance the rumba, or the cha cha, to rock and roll and to twist and even to dance the waltz and foxtrot. But how many of us can dance, or have even heard of the gombe sugu, the mangala, nyang umumi, kiduo, or lele mama? more…

Independence cannot be real if a nation depends upon gifts. more…

A house should not be built so close to another that a chicken from one can lay an egg in the neighbor’s yard, nor so far away that a child cannot shout to the yard of his neighbor. more…

The greatest contraceptive one can have in the developing world is the knowledge that your children will live more…

Cooperation and conflict are two sides of the same coin; both arise out of man’s relationship with his fellows. The larger the group, the greater the possibility of development through cooperation, and the greater the possibility of conflict. more…

I have read and re-read the Arusha Declaration and found nothing wrong with it except perhaps replacing a few commas here and there… it was clear for some of us that it would only be a mad man who would stand up and defend the Arusha Declaration. more…

There is no time to waste. We must either unite now or perish. more…

No nation has the right to make decisions for another nation; no people for another people. more…

You cannot develop people. You must allow people to develop themselves. more…

Take every penny you have set aside for aid for Tanzania and spend it in the UK, explaining to people the facts and causes of poverty. more…

Having come into contact with a civilization which has over-emphasized the freedom of the individual, we are in fact faced with one of the big problems of Africa in the modern world. Our problem is just this: how to get the benefits of European society – benefits that have been brought about by an organization based upon the individual – and yet retain African’s own structure of society in which the individual is a member of a kind of fellowship. more…

Decisions made in Washington are more important to us than those made here in Dar es-Salaam. So, maybe my people should be allowed to vote in American presidential elections. more…

Freedom to many means immediate betterment, as if by magic… Unless I can meet at least some of these aspirations, my support will wane and my head will roll just as surely as the tickbird follows the rhino. more…

Democracy is not a bottle of Coca-Cola which you can import. Democracy should develop according to that particular country. I never went to a country, saw many parties and assumed that it is democratic. You cannot define democracy purely in terms of multi-partist parties. more…

African nationalism is meaningless, dangerous, anachronistic, if it is not, at the same time, pan-Africanism. more…

Small nations are like indecently dressed women. They tempt the evil-minded. more…

Should we really let our people starve so we can pay our debts. more…

Violence is unnecessary and costly. Peace is the only way. more…

In Tanganyika we believe that only evil, Godless men would make the color of a mans skin the criteria for granting him civil rights. more…

Education is not a way to escape poverty, it is a way of fighting it. more…

Unity will not make us rich, but it can make it difficult for Africa and the African peoples to be disregarded and humiliated. And it will, therefore, increase the effectiveness of the decisions we make and try to implement for our development. My generation led Africa to political freedom. The current generation of leaders and peoples of Africa must pick up the flickering torch of African freedom, refuel it with their enthusiasm and determination, and carry it forward. more…

Freedom to many means immediate betterment, as if by magic. Unless I can meet at least some of these aspirations, my support will wane and my head will roll just as surely as the tickbird follows the rhino.

 

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