The statement “In Tanzania, it was more than one hundred tribal units which lost their freedom; it was one nation that regained it” by Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first president, refers to the process of Tanzania gaining independence from the colonial rule of Britain.
Before the arrival of European colonial powers, Tanzania was made up of various tribal groups with their own distinct cultures and traditions. However, under colonial rule, these tribes were forced to live under a foreign power and had their autonomy and freedom taken away.
When Tanzania gained independence on 9 December 1961, it was not just a victory for one tribe or group, but for the entire nation, according to Julius Nyerere, who was also the leader of the Tanganyika Africa National Union (TANU).
The process of regaining independence allowed these previously divided tribal units to come together as one united Tanganyika, i.e. Tanzania.
Nyerere’s statement emphasizes the idea that Tanzania’s independence was a unifying moment for all of the people who lived within its borders, regardless of their tribal or ethnic background. It highlights the importance of national unity and the strength that can be found in diversity.