Tribute to Dr. Anza Amen Lema
A distinguished selfless educationalist and role model
Mwangaza Education Resource Center in Arusha, Tanzania held a
meeting to commemorate Dr. Anza Amen Lema, almost four years after the
death of the distinguished educationist who became the first African
Headmaster at Ilboru Lutheran Secondary School in 1962.
He is remembered as
a scholar whose core values that he preached and
practiced "will stand the test of time."
Born on 28 October
1929 in Moshi, Lema died in Tanzania, a few days prior
to his 75th birthday. He undertook his teacher's training education at
Marangu Teacher's Training College, 1946-1950, and taught at several local
schools including Ilboru in Arusha.
From 1956 to 1959
he pursued undergraduate studies in history and education
at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, USA, and earned a Bachelor of
degree. After post-graduate studies from 1959 to 1960 he earned a Master
Arts in history and political science from the University of Wisconsin,
Madison. In March 1970, he was awarded a Doctor of Law degree by the
Bethany College, Kansas, USA.
In 1962 Lema was appointed
headmaster of Ilboru Secondary School, becoming
the institution's first Tanzanian headmaster. Under his leadership, Ilboru
became one of the most successful secondary schools in the country,
especially in its efforts to implement a national policy of education
In 1970, he joined
the Institute of Education at the University of Dar es
Salaam, where he worked for three years. From 1973 to 1980, Lema worked
Secretary for Christian Education in the then LWF Department for Studies.
From 1980 until 1992, he was LWF Associate General Secretary, and was
responsible for personnel matters at the Geneva secretariat.
Lema returned home
in 1994 to head the Dar es Salaam-based Christian Social
Service Commission (CSSC), a joint educational venture of the Christian
Council of Tanzania and the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, committed to
improving secondary schools' facilities in the country. After four years
with the CSSC, Lema worked for the ELCT's Tumaini University as a planning
officer and program coordinator until his death.
Professor John Shayo
the Vice Chancellor of Tumaini University described
Lema as a patriotic, hard-working and a good example that all should emulate.
Mmari the Provost of Tumaini University Dar es Salaam
College views the late Lema as a man who gave his very best in the cause
he believed in. "He lived through the past days of Tanganyika, the
- days of transition into Tanzania and the future characterized by
globalization, liberalization and their subtle as well as open challenge
value system he and we have inherited".
the world demand that we learn from role models such as Anza
Amen Lema. It will not be easy but the possibilities are there. He believed
and trusted in God his Creator. We are best advised to do the same,"
When he received news
of his death in 2004, Dr. Ishmael Noko, the General
Secretary of LWF, sent a condolence letter to the ELCT in which he said
former associate general secretary would be remembered by the Lutheran
family and ecumenical community as a person of compassion, always seeking
to find solutions that would strengthen human bonds.
The general secretary
praised Lema's involvement in the educational and
academic world, pointing out that his outstanding contribution culminated
in the formation of a Lutheran university in Tanzania. He will be missed,
Noko said. We are grateful to God for Anza's selfless life that touched
many churches world-wide, he added.
Delivering a sermon
during the commemoration event held at Ilboru Safari
Lodge, Bishop Thomas Laiser of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
(ELCT) Diocese in Arusha Region described the late Dr. Lema as someone
was patient, selfless and humble.
He urged members of
the Lutheran Church to fight for justice and ensure
that they were faithful in performing their duties to emulate and honor
Lema who proved to be hard-working and of distinguished lifelong service.
He suggested that
the Church should set a date every year or so to remember
the life and work of Dr. Lema by holding a similar event at Mwangaza
Centre located adjacent to Ilboru Secondary School which is still one
the best schools in Tanzania.
ELCT's Presiding Bishop
Hon. Alex Malasusa commended the work done by
Mwangaza and for dedicating the event in remembrance of Dr. Lema. ELCT
collaboration with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) formed
the resource center in 1996 to support and improve secondary school
education in ELCT owned schools throughout the country.
The two-day meeting
attended by some ELCT Bishops, Pastors, Representatives
from Mwangaza Centre, Tumaini Univesity and Education Secretaries from
Dioceses as well as Headmasters of ELCT Secondary schools also reviewed
centre's education audit in relation to the challenges of education in
Opening the meeting
he described the gathering as another opportunity to
assess, affirm and appropriate the contribution of Mwangaza in spreading
the Gospel through a partnership between ELCT and ELCA in the area of
Bishop Malasusa urged
ELCT Diocese to support Mwangaza by encouraging its
staff; meeting their obligations to the center as well as making effective
use seminars being organized by the centre.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
Box 3033, ARUSHA, Tanzania.
E-mail: Elizabeth Lobulu <ELobulu@elct.or.tz>