FORMER President Jakaya Kikwete underscored the importance of Africa unification to live in the legacy of the late South African first President Nelson Mandela.
As he addressed the celebration to honour the great contribution of Mandela to African freedom and unity at the University of Dar es Salaam in Dar es Salaam, on Thursday, Dr Kikwete appreciated the way the South African icon left an outstanding legacy in Africa and the world at large that many are proud of.
He said the journey that Mandela took to help his country to gain independence and freedom from the apartheid colonial regime was more like the work of a saint that no man could ever do.
“Nelson Mandela was an iconic leader who inspired a lot of us and I can say he is my hero, my leader and he treated us like his own children, what Nelson Mandela did to his country is more like a saint job of sacrificing his life for his country,” he pointed out.
Dr Kikwete noted that the spirit and legacy that Mandela left in Africa was that he was a leader who showed strength out of all the pain and struggles he faced, and taught us about forgiveness and reconciliation.
He added that “he was a humorous person who cared for others’ wellbeing and he was also an easy-to-talk person.”
He compared Nelson Mandela to Tanzania’s founding father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, saying: “When Nyerere was asked to choose between being a teacher at Pugu or to be jobless and venture into politics, he chose to be jobless and engage in politics.”
On her part, the South African High Commissioner to Tanzania, Noluthando Mayende-Malepe said that her country equally honours the contributions of the East African country to their freedom and independence, especially commemorating Nelson Mandela.
She added: “Today we are honouring the contribution and legacy of Nelson Mandela in the form of educational outreach so all learnt lessons are transferred to the nationals and institutions on humanity to enable us live comfortably.”
The High Commissioner further said that what Mandela left for Africa is a legacy that must be taken into consideration and celebrated as Mandela Day.
Elaborating, she pointed out: “May, I ask other ambassadors who have joined the commemoration of Nelson Mandela today (yesterday) to keep the unity and humanity.”
Facilitating the celebration’s event and speaking on the legacy and contribution of Nelson Mandela in African countries, former Prime Minister and Judge Sinde Warioba said that the South African icon was a peacemaker.
“What Nelson Mandela did in South Africa to unite people of different ethnic groups, races, cultures and beliefs was not easy…he did it because he wanted to see South Africa being a free nation and democratically mature. He wanted to unite all the people of South Africa and that’s why he insisted on peace, equality, humanity and unity,” he said.
On her part, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School Principal Prof Marcellina Chijoriga said that the teachings of Nelson Mandela contributed to what they are now teaching their students on leadership, nationalism and Pan-Africanism.
Prof Chijoriga said that “it is important for the public and leaders to go with the values and advocacy of freedom fighters in Africa like Nelson Mandela and Mwalimu Nyerere, who dedicated time working with everybody and teaching on forgiveness and reconciliation.”
The Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership School (MJNLS) was jointly established by the Former Liberation Movements of Southern Africa including the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), African National Congress (ANC), Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO), and Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).