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The Zanaki are an ethnic and linguistic group from the heart of Mara Region, Tanzania, to the east of Lake Victoria. In 1987, the Zanaki population was estimated to number 62,000. The group is subdivided into the Birus and the Buturis.
Julius Nyerere (1922–1999), the founder and first president of Tanzania was a Zanaki and was the son of the King Burito Nyerere (1860–1942), who was chief of the Zanaki, and of Christina Mgaya wa Nyang'ombe (1897-1997).
His firstborn child, Andrew Nyerere, said his father had Luo ancestry.
Veteran Kenyan columnist and political analyst, Philip Ochieng, a Luo, stated in an article in the Daily Nation, Nairobi, Kenya, that the Zanaki, an ethnic group to which President Nyerere belonged, were related by blood to Ochieng's subethnic group.
- Olson, James Stuart (1996). The peoples of Africa: an ethnohistorical dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 609. ISBN 0-313-27918-7.
- Clagett Taylor, James (1963). The political development of Tanganyika. Stanford University Press. p. 95. ISBN 0-8047-0147-4.
- Nkulu, Kiluba L. (2005). Serving the Common Good: A Postcolonial African Perspective on Higher Education. Peter Lang Publishing. p. 63. ISBN 0-8204-7626-9.
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