Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Sokoine Belonged to 'Rhino' Clan

Arusha — AS the nation remembers the former Prime Minister, Edward Moringe Sokoine, by marking 30 years today since his untimely death by road accident, his clansmen say the late premier used to be a 'Rhinoceros.'

Ahead of the event in Monduli, Mr Metui Ole Shaudo, one of the traditional Maasai leaders, who now resides in Ngorongoro revealed that the late Sokoine belonged to one of the two biggest Maasai clans and the latter is usually denoted by the Rhinoceros.

"Few people know that the late Moringe was a member of the Mollel clan because Sokoine hardly ever used the 'Mollel' surname," explained Ole Shaudo, adding that under the Maasai culture, each clan is identified with a wild animal and the Mollels are regarded as 'Rhinos.'

Rhinos, according to Shaudo, are strong ferocious when attacked and hate noise (abhorring too much talking). On the other hand, the Laizer clan, according to the Maasai leader, is represented by 'Buffalo.'

"We have many clans in Maasai communities, but Mollel and Laizer being the largest, are the two mostly known ones," stated Ole Shaudo, the chairman of the Ngorongoro Pastoralists Council (NPC), who also happens to be a member of the late premier's clan.

"I am also a Mollel and Sokoine used to be my Member of Parliament (MP), because during the late premier's time, Monduli, Longido and Ngorongoro used to under one large 'Maasai District,' which was later transformed into 'Monduli' district," recalls Ole Shaudo.

Mr Sokoine may have been killed in a road accident on the 12th of April 1984 but as far as Ole Shaudo is concerned, Rhinos never die and the immortality is reinforced if a member happens to be a big leader like Sokoine and that is why even today, many children in Maasai communities in Kenya and Tanzania are called Moringe or Sokoine. A

nd sure enough the Executive Secretary of the Ngorongoro Pastoralist Council is also known as (Mr James) Ole Moringe. One of the qualities of the late premier is that of remaining humble even as a leader, according to many people in Monduli who knew him well.

The wife of the late premier, Mrs Napono Sokoine on the other hand revealed that throughout his life, the former premier never owned a car and that the family's first vehicle was donated by former President Ally Hassan Mwinyi in 1994.

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