The University of Iowa

Oscar Kambona and the perils of African political biography

April 11th, 2013

Controversial African politician Oscar Kambona – who at one time served as the minister of foreign affairs and defense of Tanzania, secretary general of the country's ruling party (TANU), and chairman of the OAU's African Liberation Committee – was widely considered a traitor within Tanzania during his 25 years of exile, yet also stood as the leading opposition figure among an identifiable minority of citizens disaffected with Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere.

In an upcoming presentation at the University of Iowa, James R. Brennan, an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, seeks to dispel layers of misinformation about Kambona's life and show what the political stakes of his biography are in Tanzania today.

Brennan’s talk, titled “Writing the history of a nationalist/’traitor:’ Oscar Kambona and the perils of African political biography,” will be held Monday, April 22, 2013, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. in University Capitol Centre Room 2390.

This event is free and open to the public and sponsored by the African Studies Program in International Programs.

For more information, contact James Giblin at or 319-335-2288.

See the event poster