• Eruka, C. Raphael, Ph. D.
Keywords: Ujamaa, Socialism, Ideology, Africa, Nyerere


The immediate post-independence period for Africa was an era of ideological orientations and constructions. This was an offshoot of colonial experience whereby African leaders felt that with power in their hands, they had a great role to play in charting the course of Africa's destiny going forward. It was a date with history at the zero hour – the hour of long-awaited freedom from the shackles of colonialism. While some African leadership looked towards established systems in Western and Eastern European scientific socialisms, others felt that although socialism could do, it has to find its origination or rooting and nature in the cultural realities of the African people. This way, socialism did not have to be understudied; instead, it had simply to be rediscovered since it formed, and informed the Africa of the past (preindependence Africa). Julius Nyerere, former President of Tanzania, was a radical proponent of socialism for post-independence Africa. His brand of socialism was termed African socialism: a fundamental departure from the doctrines of Western scientific socialism with its anchor in Marxism. Nyerere's socialism sought to re-articulate the values inherent in African communal existence and highlight these values for revivification in contemporary value prioritizations. The worldview that would emerge from this would prize non-violence, freedom, equality stemming from the grand monism of inter-relationships. The African family was for Nyerere the prototype for the concretization of Ujamaa ideology. All that was needed was to extend the nuclear-socialistic values of the family to wider groups. This, it is hoped, would continue to widen tendentially towards the global scene. Besides, Nyerere hoped that Ujamaa, interpreted as brotherhood, fellowship or togetherness, would be an ideological remediation for war and the consequent entrenchment of lasting peace for Africa and mankind generally.