South Africa honours Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere

Pretoria - The National Heritage Council of South Africa (NHC) will on Monday hold an honorary ceremony in Tanzania for the late President of that country, Dr Nwalimu Julius Nyerere.

The ceremony will be held at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, where Maria Nyerere, the President’s widow, will receive the Ubuntu Honour of 2014 on behalf of her late husband.

Arts and Culture Deputy Minister, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, is travelling to Tanzania to bestow the Ubuntu Honour on Nyerere, her department said on Monday.

Dr Nyerere joins other citizens of the world, who received the honour for their living evidence of the values of ubuntu, such as Dr Nelson Mandela (2006), Dr Kenneth Kaunda (2007), Fidel Castro (2008), Dr Boutros Boutros-Ghali (2009), Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (2011) and Miriam Makeba (2013).

“Dr Nyerere has been identified by a select committee of eminent persons as one such citizen of the world who, during his lifetime, lived a humble life prioritising the improvement of the quality of life of citizens of Africa,” the department said.

South Africa and Tanzania have a strong bond, which was formed by leaders like Nyerere, Oliver Reginald Tambo and President Mandela.

“Tanzania forms an integral part of the South African Liberation Heritage Route, which is about the recognition of people, communities, icons, places, sites and recognition of epoch-making events that had a significant impact on the South African struggle for liberation,” said Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi.

The Ubuntu Honours were conceptualised by the NHC in 2006 as a means to give recognition to prominent persons who have, over a long period in their lives, selflessly given and served their immediate societies and in some cases, the entire world.

Partners in support of this year’s honour are the Somafco Trust and the University of Dar es Salaam in celebration of the 20 Years of Freedom, which also coincides with the 50-year celebration of the formation of Zanzibar. 

By More Matshediso