Kenneth Kaunda was the first president of Zambia. He was born on 28 April 1924 at Lubwa Mission in Chinsali. (In what was then Northern Rhodesia.)
He was the youngest of eight children. His father was a Minister and teacher who had left Malawi in 1904 and his mother was the first African woman to teach in colonial Zambia. Initially, the young Kaunda followed in his mother’s footsteps, becoming boarding master and then headmaster at Lubwa Mission from 1943 to 1945. He worked at Salisbury (which is now Harare), at the 'Salisbury Bindura Mines'. In 1948 became a teacher in Mufulira, for the United Missions to the Copperbelt. But he soon began to show an active interest in politics. In 1949 he returned to Lubwa to become a part-time teacher, but resigned in 1951 and became Organising Secretary for Northern Rhodesia of the: 'Northern Rhodesian African National Congress.'
In 1953 he moved to Lusaka, to take up the post of Secretary General. In 1958, Kaunda broke from the organisation and formed the Zambian Africa National Congress (ZANC). In 1959, Kaunda broke away from the ANC and formed his own party, the Zambian National Congress (ZANC). ZANC was banned in March 1959 and in June, Kaunda was sentenced to nine months imprisonment, which he spent first in Lusaka then in Harare. Kaunda was released in 1960 and elected president of the United National Independence Party, the successor to ZANC. He organised a civil disobedience campaign in Northern Province, the so called Cha-cha-cha campaign, which consisted of burning schools and blocking roads.
Kaunda started playing a continental role in 1963 when he became President of the Pan-African Freedom movement for East, Central and Southern Africa. In 1964 he was appointed Prime Minister and, later the same year, became the first President of independent Zambia. In 1966, the University of Zambia was opened in Lusaka and Kaunda was appointed Chancellor. He extended his influence to the global level after Zambia’s independence, serving as chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity from 1970 to 1971 and from 1987 to 1988.
A great friend of the South African liberation struggle, he was close to veterans of the liberation movement such as Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Chris Hani and others. He maintained his support for the liberation movements despite Pretoria’s policy aimed at destabilisation of governments in the region. In the 1980s he focused chiefly on Zambia's huge foreign debt. He allowed several African liberation organisations, including ZAPU and ZANU of Rhodesia and the African National Congress, to set up Headquarters in Zambia. Kaunda left office when he was defeated by Frederick Chiluba in multi-party elections in 1991. He retired from politics after he was accused of involvement in a failed 1997 coup attempt. Since retiring he has been involved in various charities with much of his energy going into the fight against the spread of HIV/Aids – Kaunda lost a son to the disease.
Kaunda received the 2007 Ubuntu Award. (The aim of the awards is to recognise organisations or individuals who have, through excellence, innovation, creativity, inventiveness, social responsibility or patriotism, distinguished themselves as true ambassadors of South Africa.) Since 1991, he has founded the Kenneth Kaunda Peace Foundation. They are dedicated to the establishment of peace and conflict resolution on the Continent. KK, as he is fondly known, now devotes his life in fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa. He has several Roads and a Municipality, named after him, in South Africa and Windhoek. The Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, in the capital city Lusaka, also pays tribute to Kenneth Kaunda.

A Famous Quote by Him-
“There was a real danger of attack; South Africa was training Zambian dissidents to destabilise the Zambian government and mounted a series of bomb attacks on ANC members in Lusaka. But President Kenneth Kaunda stood firm.”
– Kevin Ritchie, Sunday Independent

A Quote by  Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa-
“There was a real danger of attack; South Africa was training Zambian dissidents to destabilise the Zambian government and mounted a series of bomb attacks on ANC members in Lusaka. But President Kenneth Kaunda stood firm.”

He died on the 17th of June 2021, in a Military Hospital in Lusaka, at the age of 97 years old. He he was being treated for pneumonia.



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