Dr. Julius Kambarage Nyerere popularly known as Mwalimu (teacher) was born at Butiama near the Eastern shores of Lake Victoria in March 1922, to Burito Nyerere - a Zenaki chief.
Despite his chiefly background, Nyerere lived generally a rural life, helping his family in daily chores.
He went to Musoma for his primary, Tabora School for secondary and later (1943) Makerere
University College (Kampala, Uganda) for a diploma in education.
While at Makerere, he formed the Makerere Boys of Tanganyika, an association of all Tanzanians studying at Makerere.
On completion of his studies at Makerere in 1945, Nyerere returned to Tanganyika to Start a teaching career at St. Mary's Tabora - a Catholic mission school.
He later (1949) went for further studies at the University of Edinburg in Scotland where he attained a
Masters degree in History, Economics and Philosophy.
While in Britain, he met various Pan - Africanists like Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta who inculcated into him a feeling to liberate his people.
In 1952, he returned to Tanganyika and was immediately elected Secretary of the Tanganyika African Peoples' Welfare Association. He also became an active member of the Tanganyika African Association (TAA).
In 1953, he was elected President of the Tanganyika African Association (TAA). He reorganized the party and made it an effective organ in national politics.
In May 1954, he was appointed a temporary member of the Legco.
On 7th July the same year (1954), at Dar es Salaam, a new party (TANU) was formed, replacing TAA. Nyerere was elected president of this new party.
The party was broad in outlook, Nyerere its leader made it clear that, TANU was opposed to tribalism and aimed at uniting all Tanganyikans for independence.
Nyerere's non - racial tendencies soon endeared him to the new governor, Sir Richard Turnbull. The two became good friends and always sat together to discuss government problems.
In the same year (1954), he presented the African case for self - rule to the United Nations visiting mission.
The following year (1955), he visited UN trusteeship committee, demanding independence for Tanganyika.
Still in 1955, he was elected to the Legislative council but resigned after two years accusing it of having no serious programme as far as speeding up the independence of Tanganyika was concerned. He decided to pursue independent moves.
In 1956, Nyerere again went to the UN trusteeship committee demanding for African independence once again.
However, in 1957, his meetings became violent and were banned by the colonial government.
The same (1957), he again visited the United Nations to demand for 50% of unofficial seats in the Legislative council for the Africans.
In December 1957, he was elected to be the President of the Legco in order to diffuse the conflicts that had risen between T ANU and the government, but after a few months he resigned due to failure of the Legco to pursue serious independence moves.
In September 1958, he steered T ANU to sweeping victory in the all - race Legco elections. T ANU supporters won in all the areas.
UTP because of its poor performance in the elections was disbanded unconditionally. T ANU's victory meant another step in the independence struggle.
In his campaigns and even through .out his rule, Dr. Julius Nyerere always encouraged unity, non - racial politics, a spirit of freedom and hard work "Uhuru na Kazi".
In 1959, he became the Chairman of the five - elected - member organization. In the August 196C elections, he steered his T ANU party to another landslide victory. It won seventy of all the seventy- one seats reserved for Africans in the Legco.
On 1st May 1961, Tanganyika got internal self - rule and Dr. Julius Nyerere became the first Prime minister.
On 9th December 1962, Tanganyika got total independence from the British, which the Duke of Edinburg "handed" to Nyerere at Dar es Salaam Stadium. He therefore became the first President of Tanzania.
This great son of Tanzania and Africa retired from government in 1985 and died of leukemia on 14th October 1999 at St Thomas Hospital in London. He left behind a wife Maria, five sons and three daughters.