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Women Forgotten In The Shadow Of History: Mama Maria Nyerere

Icon Of The African Anti-Colonial Struggle

Mama Maria Nyerere served as the inaugural First Lady of Tanzania from 1964 to 1985. She was the seventh of nine children born on December 31 1930, to Gabriel Magige, of Baraki, Tareme and Hannah Nyashiboha. She’s the widow of the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere; anti colonial activist, Politician and political theorist and Tanzania’s first president after independence.
Ugandan President Museveni honours Mama Maria as An Icon Of Africa’s Anti-Colonial Struggle

Mama Maria was educated at the White Sisters’ School at Nyegina, followed by Ukerewe School, then as a boarding scholar at Sumve Teacher Training College; she attained a teaching certificate there, and began teaching at Nyegina Primary School at Musoma.

She married Julius Nyerere in 1953 and they have seven children; Maria, John, Anna, Rosemary, Makongoro, Madaraka, Andrew and Magige.

Mama Maria still commands the respect she did when she was first lady. She currently serves as one of ten members of the council of elders of the Alliance for Tanzania Youth Economic Empowerment (Atyee).

At the beginning of the year, Mama Maria was honoured as a female icon of the anti-colonial struggle. She was officially recognised as such at the re-launch of the Pan African Women Organisation’s (PAWO) East Africa Chapter at the Multi-Purpose Hall in the African Union Complex in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The event, held on the sidelines of the 30th Africa Union Heads of State Summit, saw several female icons of the African anti-colonial struggle recognized and honoured.

Those present at the function were Maria Nyerere, Miria Obote, Joyce Mpanga, Phoebe Asio and Muthoni Likimani. For Joyce Mujuru, Rebecca Mulira and Hellen Faith Nkrumah, their awards were picked by their family members.

Juxtaposing with the practice in the army, President Museveni said recognizing the women was similar to the army honouring its veterans.

“We soldiers insist on bravery. If you are a commander, you make sure your soldiers are brave. However, one way of undermining bravery in the army is to neglect veterans,” President Museveni said. “When you ignore veterans and do not look after them and their families, the soldiers become cowards. They ask, what will happen to my family when I die?” http://businessfocus.co.ug/museveni-africa-celebrate-mothers-struggle/

Related articles:

SATURDAY JUNE 2 2018. Mama Nyerere: 12 years of pilgrimage http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Mama-Nyerere-pilgrimage-Tanzania-Entebbe-spirituality/688342-4591612-cgpp7t/index.html

 

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