African Independence Founding Fathers and Mothers


Africa is one of the continents that experienced colonization by the western states. Attaining independence in different countries was not an easy task. Different personalities had to come up with strategies of ensuring that they stayed free from the colonizers. The men and women from different countries are not only referred to as the heroes and heroines of Africa but also the African founding fathers and mothers.

Mwalimu Julius Kabarage Nyerere

One of the most iconic African freedom fighters is Julius Kabarage Nyerere. With a rich educational background, he was able to identify the problems that Africans faced. He led Tanzania to attain independence in 1962. As a great proponent of communism, known as Ujamaa in Swahili, he was able to turn the people of Tanzania into brothers and sisters.

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The current peace and stability experienced in the country are attributed to the philosophy started by Nyerere. He had passion in the Organization of African Unity. Together with other leaders, they were able to bring African leaders along with a view of bringing unity in Africa. He was also the force behind the agricultural productivity of the country.

Haile Selassie

The emperor of Ethiopia is another iconic personality in the history of Ethiopia and Africa as a whole. He is the first African leader to set up a functional administration run by Africans. During his time, Ethiopia was mainly inhabited by Arabs. To regain the African stature of the country, he started the process of bringing back African value into the country. Haile Selassie had a great passion for nationalism and ensured that Ethiopia was the first country to achieve the state.

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Apart from his interest to improve the lives of people in Ethiopia, he also had a great interest in the unity of Africa. Together with other African freedom fighters, they formed the Organization of African Unity. As the first president of the Organization of African Unity, he fought for the formation of the United States of Africa.

Amina Sukhera (princess of Zazzau)

Long before the period of colonization, Amina Sukhera was already setting up a territory in the western part of Africa. The queen from the northern part of Nigeria was very instrumental in fighting for her nation. She refused to get married, and dedicated her life to fighting for the expansion of their territory with the aim of turning it to a commercial center. 

She lived in a period when Africans had not yet stabilized their territories. She is among the first people who gave the northern part of Nigeria an identity of trade. Many people would later visit the region to engage in barter trade. Her efforts to expand Zazzau territory also informed other communities of the commercial activities within the area. It improved interaction within the communities and hence fostered unity.

Samora Machel

The great leader of Mozambique is also remembered for the significant contribution he made to his country and Africa as a whole. Though there was a rebellion against the Portuguese before his time, he is remembered for leading the most successful revolution against the Portuguese administration in Mozambique. He traveled to other countries in Africa, got military training and returned to Mozambique to lead his people against the colonizers.

Through the national party, FRELIMO, he led the country to the first election where he was elected as the leader of the country. He also allowed South African resistant movements that fought against colonialists in South Africa to operate in Mozambique. His antics were of great importance to other countries as they fought for independence in their respective countries.


The African founding fathers and mothers led Africa to independence and ensured unity within the continent. The peace and stability experienced by most of the countries in Africa are attributed to them. They have been celebrated in different ways. There are holidays in their names, roads that bear their names as well as cities and educational centers with their names. One thing these iconic leaders had in common is their selflessness and passion for making the African continent a sovereign continent. And indeed, they worked together with other leaders to make this dream come true.

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