From Wikipedia, 03 June
Godfrey Mwakikagile is
a Tanzanian writer who was born in Kigoma in western Tanganyika on 4 October 1049.
was baptised Godfrey about two months later on Christmas day, 25 December 1949, in Kigoma as a member of the Church Missionary
Society (CMS) among whose supporters was Scottish explorer and missionary-doctor, Dr. David Livingstone of the London Missionary
Society. Dr. Livingstone campaigned against slavery and the slave trade but also helped pave the way for the colonisation
As Godfrey Mwakikagile
states in one of his books Africa and America in The Sixties which is partly autobiographical
and – among other subjects – also covers members of the baby boomer generation including himself born after the
end of World War II, he was, according to his birth certificate, baptised by Reverend Frank McGorlick (from Victoria, Australia),
a Scottish minister of the CMS Church in Kigoma his parents belonged to. But he was brought up as a member of the Moravian
Church in Rungwe District in what was then the Southern Highlands Province in colonial Tanganyika.
He moved to Rungwe District
with his parents when he was 5 years old after living in different parts of Tanganyika where his father worked as a medical
assistant for the British colonial government. Rungwe was his parents' home district.
Both were born and brought up in Rungwe District and were members of a tribe indigenous to that part of Tanzania.
Rungwe District, ringed by misty blue mountains,
is close to the border with Malawi and is located in the Great Rift Valley north of Lake Nyasa.
Godfrey Mwakikagile went
to school in Tanzania and in the United States1.
Tanganyika united with
Zanzibar in 1964 to form Tanzania.
primary school (up to Standard 4) at Kyimbila near the town of Tukuyu and middle school (up to Standard 8) at Mpuguso in Rungwe
District in Mbeya Region in the Southern Highlands, secondary school (up to Standard 12 or Form IV) at Songea in Ruvuma Region,
and high school (up to Standard 14 or Form VI) at Tambaza in Dar es Salaam.
He once worked as a news
reporter at the Standard, which was later renamed Daily News, and
as an information officer at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in Tanzania's capital Dar es Salaam before going
to school in the United States in November 1972.
He first joined the editorial
staff of the Standard as a junior reporter when he was still in high school, in
Form V, in 1969.
Coincidentally, his editor
at the Daily News, Benjamin Mkapa, who also helped him to go to school in the
United States, years later became president of Tanzania (1995 – 2005).
The president of Tanzania
during that period, Julius Nyerere who led the country from 1961 to 1985, was the editor-in-chief of the Daily News. But
his role was only ceremonial rather than functional.
Godfrey Mwakikagile graduated from Wayne
State University in Detroit in the state of Michigan, USA, in 1975.
He also went to Aquinas College, Grand
Rapids, Michigan, in 1976. One of his professors of economics at Aquinas College was Kenneth Marin who once worked in Tanzania.
It was just a coincidence that he went
to Aquinas College where he ended up being taught by someone who had worked in Tanzania years before. He did not know anything
about Professor Marin before then and met him at that school for the first time.
Professor Marin once worked
as an economist for the government of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam in the late sixties and early seventies. Before then, he worked
as an economist for the United States federal government. He was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to
serve on Wage and Price Control during the mid-sixties.
Years later, one of his students, Godfrey
Mwakikagile, also ended up writing about economics, among other subjects, mostly about Africa. And coincidentally, Mwakikagile's
first book was also about economics.
came into prominence in Tanzania and elsewhere after he wrote a major book about Julius Nyerere not long after the former
Tanzanian president died.
He is considered by many people, including
those who have reviewed his books about President Nyerere in different newspapers, magazines and academic journals in a number
of countries, to be an authority on Nyerere and one of his most prominent biographers.
One scholar who has cited
Godfrey Mwakikagile as an authoritative source on President Nyerere is Professor David Simon who teaches development studies
at the University of London and who is Director of the Centre for Development Areas Research at Royal Holloway College at
the university. Professor Simon has published excerpts from Godfrey Mwakikagile's book on Nyerere in his compiled study, Fifty Key Thinkers on Development, published
Professor David Simon is
also editor of the scholarly Journal of Southern African Studies and is on the editorial
staff of another academic publication, the Review of African Political Economy.
Godfrey Mwakikagile's works have been getting
serious attention among many people including academics in many countries who have also reviewed some of his books in scholarly
His first book, Economic Development in Africa, was
published in 1999 and he has maintained a steady pace since then, writing books, as demonstrated by the number of titles he
has on the market. He is one of Tanzania's most well-known authors and one of Africa's most prolific
He has written more than
20 books (since 1999) mostly about Africa during the post-colonial period, and has been described as a political scientist
although his works defy classification. He has written about history, politics, economics, as well as contemporary and international
affairs from an African and Third World perspective and is known for such works as Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era, and
and the West.
Both have been favourably
reviewed in a number of publications including the highly influential West Africa magazine
(founded in 1917 and based in London) which reviewed two of his books in the same year; a rare accomplishment in such a major
The books were reviewed
Africa magazine editor Kofi Akosah-Sarpong, a Ghanaian who also once was a visiting lecturer and
scholar-in-residence at the University of Botswana. They were excellent reviews.
Godfrey Mwakikagile's book,
and Africa: End of an Era, his magnum opus and probably his most well-known title, was
reviewed by West Africa magazine in 2002 three years after Nyerere died of leukemia
in October 1999 at the age of 772.
It was also reviewed by
News, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in October 2002 and is seen as a comprehensive work, in scope
and depth, on Nyerere3.
Others who have reviewed
the book include Professor A.B. Assensoh, a Ghanaian teaching at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, in the United
States. He reviewed the first edition of Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era in
Studies Review, an academic journal of the African Studies Association, in 2003.
The same book was also
reviewed by Professor Roger Southall of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), formerly of Rhodes University, South Africa,
in the bi-annual interdisciplinary publication, the Journal of Contemporary African Studies (Taylor
& Francis Group), 22, No. 3, in 2004. Professor Southall is also editor of the journal.
The first edition of Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era was
published in November 2002, and the second, an expanded edition, in January 2005. The third edition, also an expanded version,
was published in November 2006. And the fourth edition, also expanded, was published in December 2008.
The book has also been
cited by a number of African leaders including South African Vice President Phumzile Mla