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NYERERE HOME AND MUSEUM AT BUTIAMA

 
 

This tour is one day trip by car.

Julius Nyerere

Leave Mwanza on the road north toward Musoma. It is possible to stop at the Bujura Museum which is on the way. In the Kiabakari village, two kilometers before leaving the main road and turning to the right to Butiama, there is the Catholic Shrine of Divine Mercy  on a hillside to the left. It has a beautiful church, a chapel and lush green surroundings. A Polish priest or Zambian Sisters will receive you.  

Observe the magnificent rolling landscapes during this part of the journey. It is also possible to see zebras along the road as well as Massai tribesmen tending their flocks. The journey from Mwanza to Butiama takes between two and a half and three hours with a land rover vehicle.

Mwalimu Nyerere is the world famous scholar, writer and co-founder of the African National Liberation from colonialism. He led his Tanzanian nation into a union of two independent countries, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the only United Republic in Africa. During his leadership he promoted a philosophy of African love and collectivization implying familyhood and African socialism. A selfless and unselfish leader he matched the likes of Mahtama Gandhi. Although he died in 1999 he is still fondly called the Father of the Nation and frequent references are still made to the excellence of his leadership.  His home and tomb lies in Butiama.

The setting at Butiama is very rural with a beautiful view of the valley below. Nyerere’s father was the chief of the Zanaki tribe.  In addition to the museum, there is a complex of several buildings including traditional tribal huts, Nyerere’s original home and the new one built using the retirement fund of Tanzanian military veterans. Unfortunately, Nyerere’s was able to live only two weeks in this house before he died on 14 October, 1999 at the age of 77. Across the street is the Roman Catholic Church where he frequently attended Catholic Mass.

At the museum, the admissions price is Tsh. 1,500 for Tanzanians and Tsh. 6,500 for foreigners. There is also a charge of Tsh 5,000 to bring a camera into the museum. There are many exhibitions with  explanations in Kiswahili and English. For example, the wording of his Gandhi Peace Prize of 1995 is written in English. There are exhibitions of Nyerere’s ordinary possessions such as his clothing, garden tools and walking stick. There are also many gifts given to him by foreign visitors or during trips outside of Tanzania. There are also many honorary awards and academic degrees he received as well as pictures of him with world leaders include the Pope. 

Outside the museum there is a cemetery across for the Marble Mausoleum where Nyerere was laid to rest. It is decorated with plastic flowers and a popular place for picture taking. This small building is separated from the others and is very impressive and a nice place for quiet reflection on his contribution to the human family.  

The curator of the museum is Ones Samuel. His mobile number is 078667111 and his email address is onesamwel@yahoo.com. Mr. Madaraka Nyerere, a son of the late Julius Nyerere, looks after the family home and visitors, especially those from abroad. He runs a little hotel or guest house.

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