April 13-17, 2009 will be a special week in the history of Tanzania’s University of Dar es Salaam as the East African nation marks its founding father, Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s 87th birth day and Ghanaian Kwame Nkrumah’s 100th birth day. Dubbed Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival, the week-long event will be marked by a series of lectures, debates, poetry, music, dance, book launches and film shows.
The highlight of the festivities are likely to be the Nyerere Annual Lecture on ‘New Imperialisms’ delivered by Prof Wole Soyinka of Nigeria and Nkrumah Centenary Lecture,”Beyond His Time: Nkrumah’s Heritage In The New Millennium”presented by Prof Kofi Anyidoho of the University of Ghana and the premiere of a documentary film, MWALIMU: THE LEGACY OF JULIUS KAMBARAGE NYERERE. This is an M-Net production directed by Tanzanian Furaha Piniel Ole Levilal, a former communication coordinator at the Zanzibar International Film Festival.
Ole Levilal says the idea to make films on ‘African Heroes’ was mooted by the South African pay-TV channel, M-Net, in 2008. This is meant to document the positive contribution of these leaders to Africa. Mwalimu
Julius Nyerere is one of the people on the list,” Ole Levilal says.
Other Africans in the TV series”that are directed by the nationals of the featured leaders”are Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Patrice Lumumba of Congo-Kinshasa, Prof Wangari Maathai of Kenya, Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, Maria Mutola of Mozambique and Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
“So I am proud to be part the team as a director for Mwalimu Julius Nyerere film in this big production
in the continent,” Ole Levilal, who was already working on the Nyerere film before he heard of the M-Net plan, says.